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Mesquite Grilled Tempeh Chili and a Shiner Beer.

Mesquite Grilled Tempeh Chili and a Shiner Beer.

I can’t rave enough about this wonderful Vegan Tempeh Chili Recipe from blogger 28Cooks.

It all started when I was looking for a use for Tempeh. I found it for Tofu, but the Tempeh thing was a mystery, so I looked to Pinterest.

I have since made this chili about five times, all with a different flair each time, but all excellent, because the basics are here … this last time I grilled the tempeh with mesquite charcoals and then marinaded the block overnight.

And, boy, do we have a winner! Hubby says this is the recipe I make when people come over. (I’m even considering it for the 4th of July party.)

I think it’s excellent for a vegan barbecue, a pot luck, and hell, it’s even good in this hot, hot Austin humidity. Just pair it with a Shiner and kick ur boots.

But besides all that racket, here’s why it’s a winner:

  • It’s laden with the good protein of beans and tempeh (soy-based).
  • Veggie laden with onions, garlic and green pepper.
  • Takes advantage of local market Heirloom tomatoes.
  • Packs huge flavor as the marinade for the tempeh alone has 6 ingredients.
  • Gets you outside and cooking on your grill. Perfect for a 4th of July b-b-cue.

(Don’t let the number of ingredients scare you off … I, too, am not a fan of the long recipes … but just take one day and grill the tempeh and then marinade overnight. The next day make the chili … Also, like any tomato-based pasta dish, soup, etc., it gets better the second day of rest.)

————-   Here’s what you are gonna need: —————————-

Grill, mesquite charcoals, lighter fluid, matches

1 block (8 ounces) of Tempeh (I used Westsoy brand from dairy case @ WFoods)


For the Tempeh Marinade:

2 tablespoons less sodium soy sauce (I used Wan Ja Shan Organic and Gluten Free Tamari @ WF)

1 tablespoon organic sesame oil (I used Napa Valley Naturals)

1 tablespoon crystal hot sauce (Louisiana, baby!)

2 tablespoon water

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon organic garlic salt (28Cooks uses Garlic Powder, but I only had salt.)

heirloomsThe other important items:

1 tablespoon olive oil (I use light-tasting Pompeian)

4 cloves garlic

1 cup chopped onion (I used the sweet local ones)

1/2 cup green bell pepper

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon mustard powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon cracked pepper

1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chilis (the 28Cooks recipe calls for 2 cans)

1 can (15 ounces) organic kidney beans (I used Westbrae)

15 ounces of chopped heirloom tomatoes (to replace the second can of diced tomatoes)

1/4 cup water

(please note: I use 1/4 cup water and 28Cooks used 1/2. I think the 1/4 cup is good if you use the Heirlooms in place of the second can of diced tomatoes.)


———    How you whip it up   ———

Prep Tempeh First:

Arrange mesquite charcoal in grill and fire it up.

Now head back inside and whip up your marinade in a large Ziploc.

When the grill is ready, add block of tempeh and grill until browned well. (This time varies depending on your grill, heat levels, etc. If you overheat the block and get black that’s fine, you can always shave it off…the texture of Tempeh affords these screw-ups. LOL!)

Bring your grilled block of tempeh inside and place it into your prepared Ziploc.

Seal Ziploc tight while removing trapped air. With one hand hold the Ziploc and gently crunch up the big block so marinade gets evenly distributed over each little niblet of tempeh.

Store in fridge overnight.

Chili-makin day:

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in your chili-makin pot (I like mine hot enough that a drop of water sizzles when thrown in).

Chop up your garlic and put it in the pot along with the onion and green pepper. (Cook until all are limp or where you desire.)

Add your seasonings like the Italian, Mustard, Cumin, Chili Powder and Cracked Pepper (I purposely left out the salt because with the soy sauce and all the other flavors I don’t think it’s needed.)

Add the 1 can of tomatoes, 1 can of kidney beans and yes, finally, the tempeh and any marinade droppings from the Ziploc. Including the 1/4 cup water.

Mix everything and get it to a boil. Then simmer for 30 minutes or until you desire…the longer you heat the more the soupy tomato evaporates…some folks like chili thick and some like it on the soupy side.

I served ours in a big bowl and topped it with a tad of Greek Yogurt and purple onion. (Oh, I can’t forget that Shiner Beer now.)

DELISH! Thanks 28Cooks. This is SMOKIN HOT!

Readers: If you have any suggestions on how to improve on the recipe please let me know. Thank you!