A Vegan Twist on a Classic Childhood Meal

One of my favorite meal memories as a kid is chili night. It’s a little ironic because the chili I liked as a kid is the complete opposite to what I eat now. Back then I didn’t like beans, so my mom would make me a special “beanless” chili that was mostly just ground beef, tomatoes, and spices. Now, of course, I load up on the beans and leave the beef out. Go figure. Anyway, what really sticks in my memory is not the chili – it’s the cinnamon rolls. Gooey, slightly spicy cinnamon rolls. We usually got our cinnamon rolls from an Amish bakery outside of my hometown and they were delicious.  We had this meal at school a lot, too (anyone know who came up with chili & cinnamon roll combo?) and my twin sister would always con people out of their cinnamon rolls by offering to give them her chili. We liked our sweets 🙂

My version of chili is full of beans and veggies and as hearty as any meat-based chili you might find. But, as in childhood, the cinnamon rolls are the star of this meal. They take some time to prepare, because they contain yeast, but they are absolutely worth the extra time. The recipe poster claims they rival Cinnabon cinnamon rolls and I’m in agreement. These are a big hit at work parties, too!

Chili & Cinnamon Rolls

Hearty Veggie Chili

  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 small carrots, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz. can tomato puree (diced tomatoes are also good)
  • 1 packet chili seasoning, or your favorite combo of spices

Heat olive oil in dutch oven or other sturdy pan. Add veggies and saute until soft. Add beans and chili seasoning, stirring to make sure all ingredients are coated with the seasoning. Add tomato puree and stir well. Cook on medium heat 10-20 minutes. The longer you leave it on the stove top, the more the flavors meld together. Serve with vegan sour cream, crackers, or Fritos chips and corn on the cob. And cinnamon rolls, of course!

Veggie Chili

The cinnamon roll recipe can be found here. I use Quick Rise yeast and the flax egg replacer and the result is huge, fluffy, and gooey cinnamon rolls. A note on the frosting – more powdered sugar equals a thicker frosting. If you want more of a glaze, just use a cup or so of powdered sugar.

Better-then-Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “A Vegan Twist on a Classic Childhood Meal

  1. Megan

    I’ll always remember my con-artist days! And how we would always have chili/cinnamon rolls before we would go Trick-or-Treating! 🙂

  2. Lisa

    I have never had chili and cinnamon rolls together.

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