February 3, 2017

Mama’s Fake-out Chili

Mama’s Fake-out Chili

by Dr. Shaheena Ahmed, Pediatrics

As the busy mother of four children, I’m always looking for ways to offer my family meals that are easy to prepare and good for their health. My children and husband are confirmed meat eaters; however, last Super Bowl Sunday, I secretly made meatless loaded nachos and this meatless hearty chili. They were none the wiser and ate it all up. Since then, I refer to this as my “lamb chili” so that my kids don’t question the seitan* chunks that replace meat in this dish. Making this dish in a slow cooker is a time saver. The beans, quinoa*, and seitan offer plenty of protein and fiber without a lot of fat. The various spices add a lot of flavor without necessarily adding a lot of heat. Enjoy!



1 box (12 oz) of seitan (wheat-based meat substitute), cubed or sliced

2 cans (15 oz) of chili beans, (red, pinto and black or whatever bean you like)

1 box or can (33 oz) of tomato sauce

2 medium red bell peppers, chopped

1 pack (8 oz) of mushrooms, chopped

1 large onion, diced

1 whole green chili pepper

½ cup quinoa (small round grain), dry

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp ginger powder

2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. cumin powder

1 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. red chili pepper

1 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce


*All spices and veggies can be increased or decreased to desired heat, saltiness, and chunkiness




  1. In a medium sized pot, saute onions in olive oil
  2. Add garlic powder, ginger powder, salt, black pepper, red pepper, and cumin powder
  3. Add seitan and brown
  4. Add soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce to seitan (more or less to taste)
  5. Add mushrooms and brown
  6. Add red bell peppers to soften
  7. Add whole green chili and ½ of the tomato sauce. Let it simmer
  8. In a slow cooker, plug in and turn to high. Add remainder of tomato sauce.
  9. Add quinoa to the tomato sauce as it will soften and sprout while cooking
  10. Add the cans of chili beans
  11. Add sautéed seitan with vegetables to the slow cooker. Stir well.
  12. Cover lid to the slow cooker. Cook on high for 1 hour.
  13. Reduce to medium for 2 hours. Stir.
  14. If desired consistency is reached, you can turn down the slow cooker to warm.
  15. Serve with your favorite condiments (such as shredded cheese, sour cream, chives and/ or cilantro) or enjoy as is- during the big game, a cold winter weekend or while reconnecting with your loved ones at mealtime!