The Chili Bible

October 26th, 2009

chili_bowlAs Sid Lerner, Chairman of The Monday Campaigns, says, “if you think chili needs meat you don’t know beans!’ Meatless chili comes in a variety of flavors and is a great source of protein. The Vegetarian Chili Cookbook by Robin Robertson offers 80 unique, hearty recipes that are both nutritious and satisfying.

The Vegetarian Chili Cookbook
by Robin Robertson
Harvard Common Press
160 pgs, Nov. 1998

You may be surprised to discover that meatless chili comes in enough varieties to warrant its own cookbook, but The Vegetarian Chili Cookbook definitely deserves a spot on your kitchen shelf. With 80 different recipes, you’re sure to find a few favorites. The chili recipes are sorted into four categories; vegetable, traditional, spicy and innovative. There is even a chapter full of creative ideas on how to use your leftovers! Robertson brings together unexpected ingredients to create inspired blends like “Pumpkin & Black Bean Chili’ and “Bombay Chili with Chutney’.

Robertson, an expert on plant-based nutrition, says she wrote a cookbook of meatless recipes in order to help her readers improve their health and save money. “Whether it’s to ward off cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, cancer, or food poisoning, going meatless seems to be the preferred choice for many people. Medical science shows that humankind does not need animal protein to live: In fact, it’s the ingestion of animal meat that has been found to be the root cause of much of the heart disease, strokes, and cancer in this country.’

Most of the recipes in The Vegetarian Chili Cookbook feature beans as a central ingredient, which are a great nutritional resource. Beans are full of protein (lentils, for example, have 17.86 grams of protein per cup) and, unlike meat, they are an excellent source of fiber. While the saturated fat in meat products has been shown to raise cholesterol, consumption of beans has been proven to lower it. Considering the health benefits, its no wonder that Baltimore City Public Schools chose to feature chili on their first Meatless Monday lunch menu!

Get fired up this Meatless Monday with a warm bowl of chili! Be sure to check out The Vegetarian Chili Cookbook for lots of terrific meatless recipes. You can also try one of over twenty original Meatless Monday chili recipes by visiting the archive.