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Healthy Meal Option: Veggie Chili and Delicious Sopapillas

Updated on April 19, 2013
Veggie chili with sopapillas.
Veggie chili with sopapillas. | Source

Easy Veggie Chile

If you want a quick meal that is nutritious and healthful, veggie chili is a good bet. It's a great source of protein, vegetables, and it tastes great!

It only takes a few minutes to put all the ingredients together. You can pair the chili up with rolls or french bread.

For a little taste of New Mexico, however, you can make the chili and while it's simmering, you can indulge in a yummy sopapillas recipe.

If you don't know what sopapillas are, they are little flour pastries that are often used for dessert. But, when I was growing up, my mom (who is originally from New Mexico) would often make sopapillas with dinner. Instead of a tortilla, sopapillas would serve as the "bread." Now that I'm grown and cook in my own kitchen, I carry on this tradition. I love sopapillas with pinto beans, enchiladas, burritos and in just about any recipe that calls for tortillas, I can substitute sopapillas.

I generally try to eat healthfully and it may seem strange that sopapillas - that have vegetable shortening - are paired up with vegetarian chili. For me, though, it's a little indulgence that makes a vegetarian (mostly, anyways) diet fun and doable.

© C. Calhoun 2012. All rights reserved.

5 stars from 4 ratings of Veggie Chili

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 25 min
Yields: 8 - 10 servings
Chili ingredients.
Chili ingredients. | Source

Ingredients

  • 1 cup or 1/2 of onion medium onion, diced
  • 2 pkg. (24 oz. total) veggie crumbles
  • 2 cans (30 oz. total) tomato sauce
  • 2 cans (30 oz. total) pinto beans, drained
  • 2 pkg. chili seasoning mix
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil

Tips on Ingredients

  • For the veggie crumbles, I used Boca veggie crumbles. Each package contains 12 oz. of soy protein "meat". Both packages will produce a "meaty" chili. You can add 1.5 packages for a less "meaty" chili.
  • I used Muir Glen organic unsalted tomato sauce.
  • You can use kidney beans in place of the pinto beans if you prefer.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Saute the onions in oil until they look translucent.  About 3 minutes.Add the veggie crumbles in with the onions and heat until no longer frozen.Add the tomato sauce.Add the pinto beans.
Saute the onions in oil until they look translucent.  About 3 minutes.
Saute the onions in oil until they look translucent. About 3 minutes. | Source
Add the veggie crumbles in with the onions and heat until no longer frozen.
Add the veggie crumbles in with the onions and heat until no longer frozen. | Source
Add the tomato sauce.
Add the tomato sauce. | Source
Add the pinto beans.
Add the pinto beans. | Source
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Mix all ingredients together except vegetable shortening.  Fold in shortening to help mix it evenly.Roll out a fist-sized piece of dough to about 1/8 inch.  Cut the dough into triangles.  I don't really care about the size, though you can cut them more evenly than I did here.Cook sopapillas on each side for about 2-3 minutes, or until golden.
Mix all ingredients together except vegetable shortening.  Fold in shortening to help mix it evenly.
Mix all ingredients together except vegetable shortening. Fold in shortening to help mix it evenly. | Source
Roll out a fist-sized piece of dough to about 1/8 inch.
Roll out a fist-sized piece of dough to about 1/8 inch. | Source
Cut the dough into triangles.  I don't really care about the size, though you can cut them more evenly than I did here.
Cut the dough into triangles. I don't really care about the size, though you can cut them more evenly than I did here. | Source
Cook sopapillas on each side for about 2-3 minutes, or until golden.
Cook sopapillas on each side for about 2-3 minutes, or until golden. | Source

Instructions

  1. Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until they become translucent - about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the veggie crumbles. Stir constantly until no longer frozen and it begins to warm.
  3. Add the tomato sauce and beans, stirring thoroughly. Add the chili seasoning and stir into mixture. When mixture begins to boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or longer, stirring occasionally.

Sopapillas

If you want to take the time to make sopapillas, add about 30 minutes to your cook time. They're worth it, though. They carry such a delicious flavor that complements the taste of the chili.
Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 5 tbsp. vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup or more of vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 cup warm milk

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt ,and warm milk. Add the flour. Gradually fold in the tablespoons of shortening so that it mixes evenly.
  2. Knead dough until it forms a large ball. It helps to "powder" your hands with flour.
  3. Stretch and fold the ball about a dozen times. Place back into large bowl and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Take off a fist-sized piece of dough. Lightly flour your work surface. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is about 1/8-inch thick. If it's too thick, the sopapillas won't "bubble" properly when cooking and if it's too thin, they can break when you're trying to put them in the pan.
  5. Cut the dough into triangles.
  6. Put enough vegetable oil into a pan to cover the bottom about 1/2 to 1 inch. Heat oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot (the surface of the oil will begin to ripple when it's hot), begin adding the triangles of sopapillas. Don't add too many - add enough for several to cook at once. The sopapilla triangles should bubble up a bit.
  7. Cook on each side for about 2 minutes, or until each side is golden. Use a slotted spoon to turn them over. Avoid using a fork.
  8. Remove sopapillas and drain on paper towels.
  9. Repeat steps 4-7 until you have used all the dough. This recipe will make about 25 sopapillas (unless you vary the size like I sometimes enjoy doing).

Veggie chili with sopapillas.
Veggie chili with sopapillas. | Source

Other Ideas

  • You can top your chili with cheese, sliced green onions, sour cream and freshly diced tomatoes.
  • The sopapillas don't only go with dinner. You can have them for dessert instead! Add a little honey and powdered sugar and they are an incredibly yummy after-dinner treat.
  • If you cry a lot when you're cutting onions, an easy way to reduce those tears is to rinse off the onion in cold water before you start cutting and then breathe through your mouth until you're all finished dicing and slicing.
  • When you pour the tomato sauce out of the can, you can add a little extra water to the can to "rinse out" the tomato. Just pour back into the chili mixture.
  • Since you use vegetable oil in which to cook the sopapillas, why not recycle the oil when you're finished?

About the Author

Cyndi is a freelance writer, photographer, artist and teacher. She loves studying language, arts and culture and sharing that knowledge with others.

Did you know you can write for HubPages? It's fun, easy and you can even make some money doing so.

Comments

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    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 3 years ago from Western NC

      GetitScene - hey, thanks! Yes, this is one of my favorite recipes - especially in the winter when it's cold. I'll sometimes put honey on the sopapillas, too. Have a great day!

    • GetitScene profile image

      Dale Anderson 3 years ago from The High Seas

      This sounds delicious so I'm absolutely going to give this one a try. Thanks for sharing, 5 stars, voted up and useful.

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 4 years ago from Western NC

      Sharyn - you crack me up. Mmm, ground turkey sounds like a great alternative here! Great idea! I do love those veggie crumbles, but turkey sounds like a good substitute. Thank you!

      Kelly - haha, I had this very dish last night. Sopapillas...mmm....sopapillas aren't a great 'diet' food, but well, you win some you lose some. HAHA. :)

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I just saw this in Sharon's feed...I'm starving and I'd love some of this chili right now. YUM and sopapillas! OMG you're killing me here!

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Ah, there's those Veggie Crumbles again :) I've got to try them. I have at least progressed from using ground beef in my chili to using ground turkey. Will be pinning for future reference. Thanks CC!

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 4 years ago from Western NC

      StarryNightsDiva - thank you for coming by! :)

    • StarryNightsDiva profile image

      Alissa 4 years ago from Wethersfield, CT

      This looks great! Thanks for sharing!

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 4 years ago from Western NC

      Kelley - aw, thank you! I appreciate all the votes and shares. Big hubhugs!

    • profile image

      kelleyward 4 years ago

      Oh wow this looks delicious! I can't wait to try it soon. Voted up, useful, 5 stars and shared! Blessings, Kelley

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      HawaiiHeart - yes, it's definitely really easy to make the chili. It doesn't take much time at all. Let me know what you think when you make it. :) Thanks for coming by!

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Angela- yeah I love soap pillars. they're so yummy! Thank you for the compliments and for stopping by. I appreciate you.

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      I definitely love my veggie recipes, Christy. :) I am not a total vegetarian, but for. Ost things I am. Hehe

    • HawaiiHeart profile image

      HawaiiHeart 5 years ago from Hawaii

      Had no idea veggie chili could be so easy! Thanks for sharing!

    • Angela Brummer profile image

      Angela Brummer 5 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

      I am so excited that I will be able to make Sopapillas. My friends mother use to make them for me! Now I can make them for my children. What a beautiful hub!

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Worth the vote up for sure! I like that you have a recipe here for the veggie lovers :)

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      kartika - awesome! If I get a chance, I'll try it, too. :) But DO come back and let me know - I will be traveling, so I won't have a chance to try this right of way. :)

    • kartika damon profile image

      kartika damon 5 years ago from Fairfield, Iowa

      That's a good idea! I'll get back to you after I try it and report the results! :)

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      kartika - hey there! I'm really glad you liked this; thank you so much for your feedback. An Amy's burger sounds perfect! You can try regular butter in place of the shortening - I've heard of people substituting that for shortening in recipes. However, I've never tried it, so I'm not entirely sure. Give it a whirl, though. The worst that can happen is that you won't like them. :) Hubhugs!

    • kartika damon profile image

      kartika damon 5 years ago from Fairfield, Iowa

      I love this hub because chile is dear to my heart, and I'm a vegetarian. I will probably add an Amy's frozen burger to the mix. These are delicious. I want to make the sopapillas - question - is there a substitute for the shortening in this recipe?

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Hola guapa, Marisa! ;) Thanks for stopping by. I'm so glad you enjoyed this. I know it's not quite "authentic" to put veggie crumbles in, but I try not to eat a lot of meat. My mom thinks I'm crazy. I should be using real meat. hehe. But, I still love the sopapillas and I'm glad to share. Thanks so much for commenting and sharing. Mil gracias.

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 5 years ago from Texas

      cclitgirl - Cyndi, I've been meaning to get to this hub for a while now. First, one word - YUM! I have always been a fan of chili and I really like the idea of veggie chili. I have never made sopapillas and I'm willing to give them a try. I'm sure the veggie chili and sopapillas are a great combo. Thanks for sharing. I'll be tweeting this one after I'm done with my comment. :)

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Julie - hehe, you crack me up. I love the chili - you can sub in regular meat for the veggie crumbles, too. I'd do a pound to a pound and a half. No worries on the sopapillas. If you're ever feeling adventurous though, give them a whirl. You might be pleasantly surprised. :D

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 5 years ago from North-East UK

      This looks yummy! I am trying out different Mexican food lately thanks to my daughter who is addicted to the stuff!

      I am probably too lazy to do the sopapillas but I would certainly give the chilli a try.

      Voted up.

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Mmmmm...sopapillas con frijoles. YUM YUM YUM. Oh geez, now I'm going to have to make them all over again. I'm craving them! Haha. You'd better go make some, too. Your brothers will come over more often, I promise...but don't tell them you make sopapillas if you don't want that to happen. Hahaha.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Yep! I need to make some sopapillas!!!! I was surprised when I grew up that people served them sweet and that was the "normal" way. LOL. Not in our family. I may have to make a pot of beans or taco soup with some sopapillas and have the brothers over! Yummy!!!

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Vicki! Cyber-sis! Hehehe. I know, right? I LOVE sopapillas WITH dinner - not after. They are SO GOOD with pinto beans, taco soup, black beans - the list is endless. :D Make some, make some! YUMMY, YUMMY stuff!! Let me know how they turn out. XD Hubhugs!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      OH, my gosh, CC, we ARE sisters! You are the only person I know outside of my family who eats these with chili instead of as a dessert. When I was growing up, my mom often made chili and sopapillas! The combination is great. We loved the ones that would poof up and make pockets that we could put the chili in. I haven't carried on the tradition. I think I made sopapillas one time. Now I am inspired. These would go great with my taco soup recipe, too! I have been missing out. Thanks for the great hub and reminder. Many votes!

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      TnTgoodrich - I soooo hope you enjoy them. :) I grew up on sopapillas. I don't eat them that often because of the shortening, but they are oh-so-delicious every once in awhile. :)

    • TnTgoodrich profile image

      TnTgoodrich 5 years ago

      Gotta try making some sopapillas ~ know my family will love them

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Unknown spy - thanks for stopping by! I'm glad you love chili - I do, too! :D Thanks for the votes, too. :)

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Interesting recipe..i love chilies much!

      voted up and all.

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Joan - these are addictive! Watch out. Hehe. I hope you enjoy them. :)

    • Joan King profile image

      Joan King 5 years ago

      Its the first I have heard of sopapillas. Thanks for the information I will certainly give it a try.

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      teaches - hello, friend! Thanks for stopping by - Hubhugs! Yummy stuff, those sopapillas. I'm going home soon to visit Mom and no one makes sopapillas like she does. She's really got the gift. :D

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Vincent - hehe, thank you for stopping by and for your thoughtful comments. I hope you eat a yummy meal so that you will be content. A content Vincent writes great poetry. :) Cheers!

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Yum, Ruchira. I would LOVE to try beans and roti. That sounds good! Hubhugs!

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      alocsin - that's exactly why I love sopapillas. :D Thanks for the votes. You're awesome!

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Rose - hehe, thanks for stopping by! They're so yummy. Hubhugs!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      You have my Spanish heart beating through this wonderful chili and sopapillas recipe. Yum, does not even begin to describe my excitement! Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      Vincent Moore 5 years ago

      What a deliciously delightful tasty hub. I am so into wanting to make these now, just have to go out and buy the ingredients and voila Vincent will be content. Thank you for sharing this beauty, well done, lots of pics to add to my hunger. Lol Voted Up.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

      great recipe, Cyndi.

      We have a similar version in indian cooking...beans and roti (made of wheat flour)

      voted up as interesting and useful

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I love sopapillas because you can put anything in them. This veggie version seems a delicious choice. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Awesome job, Cyndi! I'm intrigued to try sopapillas sometime now.

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Football playing carnivores, eh? Hahaha. That's too funny. Dunno...you never know how the vegetarian thing would go. You could make a small "test" batch (just halve the recipe) for lunch one day. If it's a hit, then you can go big. :D Thanks for stopping by and for SHARING. Hubhugs!

    • Teresa Coppens profile image

      Teresa Coppens 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Awesome recipe Cyndi. We love Chili at our house. Not sure how strickly vegetarian would go over but I can try (I live in a house of football playing carnivores!). The sopapillas look wonderful. Those I am definitely going to try. Thanks for sharing. I'll be sharing too!