When Bad Things Happen to Good Recipes

A few nights ago I was craving chili, or more accurately, Frito chili pie. So when I went grocery shopping I picked up the essentials: Fritos, kidney beans, chili beans, and onion – obviously leaving out the ground beef. My thought was that since I add so many extras to my chili (chopped onions, Fritos, sour cream, cheese, and mustard) that just taking the beef out and leaving the rest of the recipe the same would suffice.

I was definitely wrong.

While the end result tasted fine, it was missing something. After some contemplation on the matter I determined that the recipe was more than likely missing its “fat” element. The ground beef had always provided a bit of fattiness to the chili that added that little extra something to make it perfect. My “vegetarian recipe” for the chili – not really a recipe unto itself at all – was missing that little extra something.

Since I stopped eating meat (33 days ago for those of us counting) I’ve been aware of the fact that I can’t simply make meat-centric recipes without the meat and expect it to taste the same. I just thought the chili would be different, I mean, I wasn’t really changing anything except the omission of the beef. I was still getting the protein with the beans and the sauce stayed the same, but when I took the first I was sadly disappointed with the taste.

I will do some research on actual vegetarian chili recipes before I attempt to make it again and in the end I learned my lesson: do not make a meat recipe without the meat and expect the same results. It’s just not going to happen.

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