August 31, 2014

C.H.U.D. C.H.I.L.I.


Why, yes, that is an edible C.H.U.D., complete with carrot claws and olive eyes. Is it too terrifying to eat, or too cute? I'll let you decide.
Happy MoFo, everyone! Let's get this month-long party started! 
The theme I'm working with is 80's horror films. And what better film to start with than C.H.U.D.?

I grew up in Waco, TX, and the only place to rent movies was at a place called Flicks, which was in a tiny converted house wedged between the Piggly Wiggly and a full-service gas station. I was a frequent Flicks customer. My PawPaw drove me there every Friday and Saturday and I would easily watch between 4 to 6 horror films every weekend. There really wasn't much to do in Waco, TX, in the 80s before you were old enough to drive. My grandparents weren't too savvy about the movie titles, and they never ventured into Flicks themselves, so they didn't have a clue what I was watching. Seriously, I saw The Exorcist (alone!) at ten years old. And The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. And The Amityville Horror. And on and on and on... Am I scarred for life? Maybe, but the point is this: My middle-aged brain is now full of mildly useless trivia and quotes from all the horror movies I watched as a kid. And now I'm going to parlay that knowledge into fun recipes for the purpose of Vegan MoFo 2014. Woo Haw!

C.H.U.D. (1984)
C.H.U.D. - if you didn't already know - stands for Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers. The movie is terrible, but a lot of fun to watch. This one is particularly special to me because it is the only horror film I ever watched with my grandparents in the room. I was horrified the entire time it played, but MeeMaw and PawPaw chuckled in the background and chatted with each other, probably just bored and wishing they were playing dominoes or something.

I really want to get my hands on the C.H.U.D. DVD because, apparently, there is a fantastic commentary track that is "better that MST3K" (according to a reviewer on the movie's IMDB page). Being a huge fan of MST3K, I need to find out if this is true. I suspect it might be, as Daniel Stern is one of the commentators and that guy is hilarious.

So, anyway, on to my first MoFo creation, C.H.U.D. C.H.I.L.I!

I topped my C.H.U.D. C.H.I.L.I. with sliced and browned
Tofurky Italian Sausages and fresh pico de gallo.
1 cup vegetable broth, or more as needed
Half a white or yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1 red bell pepper, diced (can sub green if you're broke)
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large zucchini, peeled and chopped (don't peel if it's organic)
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 28-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 6-ounce can tomato paste 
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 bunch fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped

  • In a large pot, get your vegetable broth cooking over medium-high heat. Once it's pretty toasty, toss in your onion, garlic and carrots. Saute them in the broth until they begin to soften. This only takes a few minutes. Don't let your veggies turn to mush.
  • Add the zucchini, bell pepper, jalapeno and spices. Cook for a couple of minutes. Add more broth if needed, just to keep things from sticking.
  • Throw in your beans, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Cover and cook for about half an hour on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Dribble in some extra broth to get it to the texture you like. Some folks like thick chili, some like it runny. 
  • When it's about ten minutes from being ready, toss in your cilantro. I like to give the cilantro just enough time to flavor the chili, but not overcook it so that it stays bright green and beautiful.
  • Keep tasting and tweaking every now and then. You might want more spices or more beans. This chili is very forgiving. Just get it to the point that it tastes fantastic to YOU.
  • I like to top my chili with sliced and browned sausages (Tofurkey's Italian Sausages are only $2.99 at Trader Joe's right now!) and fresh pico de gallo. You can also try some vegan sour cream or vegan cheese! Vegan queso is delicious on this too.
  • Enjoy, and don't get too close to any steamy manholes.

5 comments:

The Vegan Scholar said...

It looks great! I love terrible, B-movie horrors. There's something about them that always draws me in!

sara said...

I love your theme! I may have permanently scared my children of sewer grates by talking about CHUD people when they were younger. The chili looks awesome!

Rhea Parsons said...

That looks delish! And so cute. Love the theme! Glad to have found you.

Panda With Cookie said...

Love this theme. I will look forward to your posts this month. I watched my fair share of 80s horror flicks back in the day.

Katie said...

I did a whole month of horror movies a few years ago, i'm excited to see what all you come up with! I don't think i've ever watched the original C.H.U.D., but I remember the sequel well.