Most Texas-dwelling chili fanatics enjoy the meaty machismo of the spicy stew, so Texas icon Willie Nelson claiming vegan chili as his favorite is pretty unusual. In a story featuring country music dads and their favorite foods, Nelson said (via Wide Open Eats) that despite not being vegan, he and his wife Annie were in search of more health-conscious recipes.
In an effort to add more nourishing ingredients to his repertoire of recipes, Nelson turned to Michel Nischan, an award-winning chef, for some ideas. Lucky for Nelson, Nischan had won a handful of chili cook-offs prior to working with the country music star (via Wholesome Crave). The chef came bearing the knowledge of a true chili aficionado and gave himself an additional challenge by preparing one meaty chili dish for the couple, and one vegan. The fiery veggie chili is made with simple, whole ingredients including an assortment of legumes, peppers, carrots, tomato paste, vegetable stock, and plenty of spices, according to Wholesome Crave. Nischan used yeast to replicate the hearty taste of meat. In the end, the couple fell head over heels for the vegan chili (via Wide Open Eats).
With sway as influential as his, Nelson’s hot take on vegan chili might just persuade people to eat less meat — an environmentally-sound decision that PCRM says could help combat climate change. Right, on Willie Nelson!