Savory Michigan Style Vegetarian Chili For Winter Warmth

A long winter can take its toll—pledges of losing weight in the new year start to fade from memory. Despite the grudging use of the treadmill and stationary bike, I’ve noticed a few extra pounds have gathered. Oh, and the doc wants me to consider cholesterol-lowering meds. Ugh! Time to consider alternatives. What would be a great tasting cold-weather dish using all Michigan ingredient foods?

Raw ingredients for Michigan Chili
Raw ingredients for Michigan Chili

A Tasty Guilt-Free Wintertime and March Madness Treat

Admittedly I’m a meat and potatoes guy. I like red meat and genuinely like to include it in my everyday diet. However, after a bit of research, I found I can have a healthy Michigan Style Vegetarian Chili using mostly locally grown ingredients. It also uses a meat substitute, so I won’t feel I’m missing out on the high protein I seem to crave.

The Love of The Michigan Bean

Michigan Kidney Beans - Michigan Food
Kidney Beans from Michigan

According to the Michigan Bean Commission, the Thumb region is a top producer of dry beans globally. The white navy beans are famous food in Michigan. The area’s rich farmland is surrounded on three sides by Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay’s moderating effects, making for ideal growing conditions.

The Health Benefits of Eating Beans

The typical white or black bean has high protein, complex carbs, and fiber. Beans contain a powerhouse of nutrients, including antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, such as copper, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. They are a perfect base for a meatless, cholesterol-free yet satisfying recipe.

One academic paper on the Nutritional and health benefits of dried beans shows beans may be a good contributor to the health benefits associated with eating a vegetarian diet. The beans grown in Michigan are rich in soluble fiber and in resistant starch, all of which contribute to the low glycemic level of these foods. Some research suggests that diets that include beans reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol may reduce the risk factors for metabolic syndrome and decrease the risk of ischemic heart disease and diabetes.

A Mostly Michigan Ingredient Chili

By trial and error, we have a mostly Michigan Bean Chili Recipe. We strove for Michigan grown ingredients and sought out our local brands to round things out. We hope that we have a tasty, healthy, and economically award-winning chili recipe here. Looking forward to and welcome your suggestions and send us your Michigan ingredient recipe, and we will gladly post it.


All Michigan Ingredient Bean n’ Veggie Chili

Michigan Ingredient Food – Veggie Chili

Recipe by Mike HardyCourse: Michigan FoodCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

8

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes
Calories

300

kcal

This simple chili recipe contains many Michigan ingredients and works great on the stove or in a crockpot. Because this recipe includes beans, it is considered a Michigan-style Chili.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Kellogg Morningstar Farms GRILLERS® CRUMBLES™

  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil (Not extra virgin)

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 1/2 cup chopped celery

  • 1/2 cup Michigan sweet corn or sweet pepper

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 4 (2-1/2 cups cooked) cans Dark Red Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed or with mild chili sauce.

  • 1 tablespoon cumin

  • 1 pinch of light brown Michigan Pioneer Sugar (cuts the acidity)

  • 4 (14-1/2-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, do not drain

Directions

  • Heat and lightly sauté the crumbles, celery, garlic, and onion in a large saucepan with olive oil.
  • When heated through and the onions are slightly soft, add beans, tomatoes, chili powder, sugar, and cumin.
  • Mix well, smashing tomatoes. Simmer low covered for up to 3 hours. Add additional broth or water if it boils off too much. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Stir from time to time. Do not allow ingredients to stick to the bottom of the pot.
  • Serve with sharp shredded Pinconning Cheese on top for garnish. This Michigan ingredient food goes great with Chelsea Michigan’s Jiffy Mix cornbread. We like Fenn Valley Capriccio dry red wine as a perfect accompaniment.

Recipe Video

Notes

  • You can add frozen corn or sweet red bell peppers for added flavor and color.
  • Transfer the entire saute pan to crockpot and add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer on low for up to six hours covered. Taste and add more cumin, chili powder, or other spices to taste

Michigan Food – Gibby’s Fries – A Summer Tradition – Gibby’s Fries are fresh-cut homemade French fries that can only be found at carnivals, festivals, and fairs during the summer months. We dropped in on the Huron Community fair during Sunday’s set up. Gibby’s was already doing business, and the fryers were hot. We also look at where French fries were invented and the types of french fries out there. The answer may surprise you.

Kinde Michigan – Our Beantown – Many want to keep this place a secret. It’s a slice of a true American farming community in the Thumb of Michigan. John Kinde founded the village in the 1880s during the region’s transition from lumbering to agriculture. Home of great Polka and the Michigan Northern Bean.

Michigan Bean Commission – Great Recipes – Top recipes from the advocate of bean growing in Michigan

Michigan’s Hometown Foods – There is nothing like the familiar foods of home. If you have spent any time in Michigan, you will find many posts for our love of UP Pasties, Faygo RedPop, BetterMade potato chips, and Vernor’s ginger ale. That is only the beginning.

Michigan’s Vlasic Pickle Soup – This is a quick, savory, hearty main course soup perfect for a camp lunch. The potential variations are endless. It’s easy to prepare, and this dill pickle soup seems to taste even better the next day. We picked Vlasic dills as they are locally grown and processed in Imlay City. A perfect Michigan meal.

12 Best Breakfast Places in Michigan’s Thumb – The Upper Thumb is blessed with sandy beaches, fun places to visit, and great inexpensive places to eat. We compiled a listing of the top restaurants, grills, bakeries, and bars that offer breakfast. According to the travel sites Yelp and TripAdvisor, these are the top-rated places to go for your morning meal.


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