Have you become tired of hearing that "authentic" chili has no beans in it, only beef? I certainly have had it! It might be true that back in the "good ol' days," while our forefathers were rustling cattle, there were no beans to be found on the range, only the animals who were being herded to be in the stockpot in the first place. But does that really mean that we should stop the progression and evolution of the chili? I think not. As times, tastes and even the human species evolves, it is time to redefine what "authentic chili" means. After all, we don't have live birds flying out of pies in the civilized world anymore either. Authentic, maybe; desirable, not.
Not only are legumes a welcome culinary and nutritional addition to chili, they are darn tasty to boot.
So what makes my chili "authentic?" In a thought, it isn't the animal products that make an authentic chili "authentic," but the spices, the chilies and, heck, I'll even agree to excluding tomatoes that have come to muddy down the chili flavors. But beef? Doesn't make the chili.
This chili has 7 different dried chilies, black beans, coffee and Tex-Mex spices such as cinnamon, allspice and cumin. Not a single muted chili powder in sight. That is what makes a Texan Chili authentic - not the cruelty.
And all this to make Frito Chili Pie, as requested by hubby. Frito chips are vegan and interestingly only contain around three ingredients. Healthy, maybe not, but really good. You can melt vegan cheese over the casserole or use my Cheese Sauce, which is the option we went with. Toss some jalapenos, lettuce, tomatoes and other taco ingredients on top and have a Tex-Mex feast.