BUFFALO CHICKPEA CHILI WITH MUSHROOMS

Vegan Buffalo Chickpea Chili with Mushrooms - The First MessVegan Buffalo Chickpea Chili with Mushrooms - The First MessVegan Buffalo Chickpea Chili with Mushrooms - The First Mess
We’re back from 9 days in paradise! I had a truly relaxing time, read a couple good books, and got that essential mega dose of sun and sea. Maybe I’m lucky (actually, I know that I am), but I’ve never really felt the post-vacation blues. I almost always come back restored and inspired to take on new work or tackle old projects that have been hanging around a bit too long–like maybe the one wall in my upstairs hallway that I STILL haven’t finished painting yikes.

We came back on a Friday night, stopped at Whole Foods to get some groceries/a slice of vegan pizza, and then I pretty much spent the weekend cleaning, organizing, planning, and dreaming with a completely refreshed mindset. I hit a deep creative/general motivation rut over the holidays, not gonna lie. I was asking myself A LOT of hard questions. I am fond of practicing gratitude, and with this trip and the dose of sparkle it brought back, my thankfulness is soaring.

Just as your physical body needs sleep for optimum function, your emotional and spiritual self needs periods of relaxation and time to just do/not do whatever the hell you want. Spending full days at the beach without my phone/computer felt indulgent and admittedly confusing at first. Like, what am I supposed to fill up my day with? Should I just lay around, meditate, eat lots of fruit, have a beverage, walk the beach for the hundredth time, read another book, and watch the waves in between? That’s what I did. It was the dose of life-giving self connection that I needed.

I dreamed up this recipe while I was there. I think this is the first time I’ve ever posted a game day-style recipe in time for the Super Bowl? Pats on the back. You guys know that I like my entire life doused in Buffalo-style hot sauce (see this salad + these potatoes + this hummus from the One Part Plant Cookbook, which is a staple in our house), so this chili is a natural progression.

You finely mince mushrooms in a food processor for that meaty texture in this chili. The flavour of the mushrooms isn’t particularly pronounced in the final product. Chickpeas, carrots, and celery fill the rest of the pot out. The Buffalo sauce, fire-roasted tomatoes, and miso make it so satisfying and instantly crave-able. I would not hesitate to serve this over fries, not even a little bit! 😉 I like the relative ease of this recipe too. I served our bowls of Buffalo chickpea chili up with dollops of extra cool cashew sour cream. I give a quickie recipe for that in the recipe headnotes.

Hope you try this one! Tag me on Insta if you do (especially if you’re pouring it over fries–I wanna see that in action!)

Vegan Buffalo Chickpea Chili with Mushrooms - The First MessVegan Buffalo Chickpea Chili with Mushrooms - The First Mess
VEGAN BUFFALO CHICKPEA CHILI WITH MUSHROOMS RECIPE
Print the recipe here!
SERVES: 6
NOTES: For a quick cashew sour cream, combine the following in an upright blender: 1 cup soaked cashews, ½ cup water, juice of ½ a lemon, pinch of salt, and a ½ teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Blend until smooth and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days!
I used cremini mushrooms, but (slightly more affordable) button mushrooms would be fine here. I think they might even make the chili look a bit more appetizing *shrug*.
-I used SWEET smoked Spanish paprika. This brand is my go-to for smoked paprika.
-If you don’t have a food processor, you could certainly mince the mushrooms by hand, milling them back and forth on the board with a chef’s knife. If you’re wondering whether this recipe is worth dragging the food processor out for, it is. The finest chopping done in 5 seconds.
-My favourite all purpose miso is South River’s chickpea miso.
-I like seasoning this chili at the very end because most hot sauces are quite salty and acidic. You may not need much salt at all.
-Last but most important note: You need to get PROPER Buffalo-style hot sauce. It’s got that salty-tangy hit! Tessemae’s is great if you can find it.

1 lb (454 grams) white button or cremini mushrooms, stems removed
1 tablespoon avocado or other heat-tolerant oil
1 large yellow onion, small dice
2 medium carrots, small dice
4 ribs celery, small dice
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon miso
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
⅓ – ½ cup Buffalo-style hot sauce (start with a ⅓ and add more to taste at the end)
1 28-ounce can (796 mL) crushed tomatoes (I prefer fire-roasted)
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
1 cup vegetable stock
sea salt & ground black pepper, to taste

Chop the mushroom caps into quarters and place them in the bowl of a food processor. Close the lid and pulse the mushrooms until they are all finely minced. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onion to the pot and saute until slightly soft, about 3 minutes. Add the carrots and celery. Saute the vegetables until all are slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Add the minced mushrooms to the pot and stir. Keep stirring and cooking the mushrooms until they glisten and soften up slightly, about 2 minutes.

Add the garlic, miso, and smoked paprika to the pot and stir until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the Buffalo-style sauce, tomatoes, chickpeas, and vegetable stock to the pot. Stir to combine and then bring the chili to a boil.

Simmer the chili, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Everything in the Buffalo chickpea chili is already cooked, but you want to marry the flavours before serving. The carrots should be soft when you’re done. Season the chili to taste with salt, pepper, and more Buffalo sauce if desired. Serve the chili hot with cashew sour cream, toast etc.

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