Vegan Chili Magic at Mom’s House in Dover

March 10, 2017

Unless you’re a hard-core vegan, a recipe for Vegan Chili, probably sounds, well, less than appetizing!

And it might have had little appeal to the young moms and staff at Mom’s House in Dover.

However, the Food Bank of Delaware’s WIC Education Specialist Sarah Woods worked her magic to rock the recipe. While simmering, the aroma was beckoning, and the chili did not disappoint. So the day was a success.

WIC is a supplemental nutrition program for eligible Women, Infants, and Children.

Our WIC Education Specialists visit social service centers and child-care facilities, like Mom’s House, set up a mobile cooking station, then prepare nutritious and inviting recipes using ingredients that can be obtained with eWIC cards.

The recipes, such as the Vegan Chili, are selected because they are easy to prepare, kid-friendly, and nutritious. In other words, dried beans don’t have to be boring!

In preparation for the demonstration, Sarah, and our intern, Abigail, chopped onions, mushrooms, and green peppers while the dried lentils (store brand) soaked. When they arrived at Mom’s House, they set up an electric burner on a portable table.

Sarah provided a recipe card for the moms, and explained each step, adding handy cooking tips, such as adding the spices (cumin and chili powder) to the oil for a heartier flavor. More spices can be added later, she said, depending on the families preferences.

Then she added the diced peppers and onions, followed by the chopped mushrooms.

Next, she poured in canned tomatoes and corn.

“WIC has fresh produce options, but canned is more cost effective,” Sarah said.

She poured in vegetable broth next, explaining the chicken or beef broth could be used, but they were not vegan.

“The lentils are the main event,” said Sarah, praising their nutritional benefits.

“They have no saturated fat, and they are a good source of folate.”

While all the ingredients simmered, Sarah demonstrated the safe way to chop onions and green peppers.

She also told the moms that if they wanted to add meat to the recipe, ground turkey or beef are good choices.

About 20 minutes later, all of the moms sampled the chili and agreed that it was quite tasty.

Sarah asked them to complete a survey in exchange for a shopping bag filled with a cookbook and a toddler cup.

For more information about Food Bank of Delaware programs, visit

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