Here we are: our first entry as first-timers in Vegan MoFo and personally my first post in a long while (Brett is the far better brewer and food-creator.)
This weekend I was making some vegan beer chili (we’ll cover this later in the week) and wanted to add a little something to punch up the flavor. Lots of chili recipes tend to include bacon, and I had no suitable bacon replacements in the house. Scanning my shelf o’ goodies, I spotted a small tub of Organic Just Tomatoes Bits that I have not used in a while. If you are not familiar with their products – they essentially have a whole line of tubs full of dried fruits & vegetables. You can find them at pretty much any co-op or natural foods store. I figured I’d experiment to see how they’d turn out if I bacon-bit-ized a scoop full of them to add to the chili.
Just Tomatoes Bacon Bits
- 1/2 C Just Tomatoes Bits
- 1 tsp high quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbs liquid smoke
- 1 tsp tamari
Simple instructions: Add the olive oil to a pan over medium heat; Add Just Tomatoes Bits so they are coated well in the oil (lots of stirring); Add the liquid smoke and tamari almost immediately. The key is to keep an eye on it and stir often. They can easily burn if you get lazy (obviously I learned that lesson the hard way.) It only takes a few minutes (5 for me; will vary depending on your cookware & stovetop.) I was looking to brown the bits – but not make crispy.
Add some more oil if you desire – I think it can only help give it a bit of “greasiness.”
I thought these turned out pretty awesome. They ended up giving the chili an extra oomph I was looking for, though I wish I had made & added more to that. I can see other uses in the future too – these would be perfect as a topping on some Sunday brunch tofu scramble as an alternative to the tempeh bacon we’re all too often accustomed to.