Sir Paul McCartney is probably best known for being a Beatle. In fact his composition, “Yesterday,” is considered the most covered song in history. But in his post-Beatle period he and late wife Linda stopped eating meat, according to several print accounts, when they watched lambs frolic in a field across from a restaurant where meals of lamb sat before them. Linda later wrote vegetarian cookbooks.
Ellen is a funny lady, but she’s dead serious about her commitment to stopping animal cruelty, and she walks the walk by eating a completely vegan diet. Her favorite dish is Vegan Red Beans and Rice. It calls for vegan sausages to add a meat-like texture and flavor.
Brad Pitt is a full-blown vegan, though mate Angelina Jolie and his children reportedly eat meat and meat products.
Natalie Portman has had an on-again, off-again relationship with a strictly vegan diet. Reading Jonathan Safran Foer's book "Eating Animals" inspired her to embrace a vegan lifestyle, but she reverted to a vegetarian diet during pregnancy. Portman reportedly returned to veganism in time for her 2012 wedding which featured a strictly vegan menu.
What’s the difference between veganism and vegetarianism? In a nutshell, vegans refrain from eating all animal products including eggs and dairy. Some who embrace a vegan lifestyle avoid all products made from animals, including leather, wool and silk.
Vegetarians don’t consume meat, poultry or fish but many eat eggs and dairy products. This, of course, is a general definition, as many types of vegetarianism exist. Some are egg-eating, some dairy eating, some avoid foods containing gelatin—some proclaimed vegetarians even eat fish.
Today is National Vegetarian Food Day. Although I eat some form of meat or dairy protein almost every day, I’ve tweaked the meat-and-bean-based chili from my books to create a vegetarian chili that has received good reviews from tasters. I offer it here for National Vegetarian Food Day.
Vegetarian Pistachio Chili
The nuts in this sweet and spicy dish provide protein and rich flavor.
· 1.5 Tbls extra virgin Olive Oil
· 1 C shelled, blanched Pistachios, coarsely chopped*
· 1/2 C blanched, raw Cashews
· 1 small Sweet Onion, chopped
· 2 Red Bell Peppers, cored, seeded, and chopped
· 1 Yellow Bell Pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
· 1 C Yellow Raisins
· 2 cloves Garlic, minced
· 3 C Tomato Puree
· 2 Tbls Chili Powder
· 2 Tbls Honey
· 1 tsp Red Pepper Powder
· 1 tsp Ground Cumin
· 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
· 1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
· 2 Tbls fresh Lemon Juice
· 2 C Water
· Salt and Pepper to taste
· Heat olive oil in Dutch oven over medium heat.
· Sauté onion, bell peppers, pistachios, and cashews about 5 minutes, until vegetables soften.
· Add raisins and garlic and sauté 2 minutes more.
· Blend in tomato puree and stir to coat well.
· Stir in honey and spices and blend thoroughly.
· Stir in lemon juice and allow mixture to bubble on stovetop. Then reduce heat.
· Simmer for 1 hour, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.
· Add water after chili cooks 1 hour, and cook 1 hour longer.
· Serve hot with brown rice or tortilla chips.
*If you must blanch nuts yourself to remove their skins retain the water, strain it, and use it when the recipe calls for adding water. This will add flavor to your chili.
Enjoy your meatless chili for National Vegetarian Food Day!
Check out photos from our other recipes!