Game Day Chili Scores Big!
September 27, 2007
Urbana -- Cheryl Sullivan and Marilyn Nash, with Illinois Center for Soy Foods (ICSF) and the National Soybean Research Laboratory (NSRL) won top honors for the University of Illinois with their Game Day Chili at the Sixth Annual International Beer and Chili Cook-Off in Urbana, Illinois on Saturday, September 23, 2007.

Over 2,500 attendees sampled 11 different kinds of chili and judges proclaimed the vegetarian chili made with soy to be the best overall. Judging criteria included 5 factors: aroma, consistency, color, taste and aftertaste. The chili was judged on whether it smelled appealing and looked appetizing. It was also assessed based on how well the combination of ingredients melded together, if it tasted good and if after swallowing there was a pleasant aftertaste.

How good can soy taste? Just ask the judges who gave top honors to Game Day Chili. It was the only entry among all the competitors that included soy. A blind judging format was used, so judges were not aware Game Day Chili was meatless.

"Last year was our first time to enter the contest and participating in 2006 really gave us valuable knowledge for this year's winning recipe," said Marilyn Nash, Project Coordinator. Nash commented that one of the recipe's unique ingredients was chipotle chilies in adobo sauce. "It really gave the chili a pleasing smoky flavor."

"We were the only meatless chili being offered to attendees and many of those who tasted our chili appreciated the fact that it was delicious and vegetarian," said Cheryl Sullivan, Registered Dietitian.

Sullivan provided details on the soy component of the recipe. "Our recipe incorporates textured vegetable protein, also known as TVP™, or textured soy protein. It is made from defatted soy flour that has been texturized to resemble meat. TVP™ is a high quality protein and also a good source of fiber. People can substitute it for some or all of the meat in their own favorite chili recipe," remarked Sullivan.

The University of Illinois has a longstanding reputation in the soy area — everything from seed production to processing to nutrition. The recipe was perfected in the Illinois Center for Soy Foods test kitchen located in the National Soybean Research Center on campus at1101 W. Peabody Drive, Urbana, IL.

If you're looking for a crowd pleaser for your next tailgate party or family get together, consider Game Day Chili. A website,, contains recipes using soy, including the chili recipe.


Seasonings: 2 Tbsp. ground cumin 2 Tbsp. chili powder 1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder 1-1/2 tsp. ground coriander 1 tsp. dried oregano 1 tsp. sugar 1 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil 1 large onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, minced 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped 1-1/2 cups tomato juice 3 cups vegetable or beef broth 1-1/4 cups dry TVP (TVP is a registered trademark of Archer Daniels Midland Company.) 1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes 2 15-oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained 2 15-oz. cans kidney beans, rinsed & drained 2 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce (from can), chopped Condiments (optional): grated cheese, chopped onions, diced avocado, sliced black olives

1. Mix all the seasonings in a small bowl. Set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until golden. Add garlic, bell pepper, and seasoning mixture and sauté for another minute.

3. Add the remaining ingredients (except condiments) and mix well. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for at least 15 minutes to let the flavors blend.

4. Serve with the optional condiments, if desired.

Nutritional Information Per serving (1 ½ cups): 229 calories, 17 g protein, 33 g carbohydrate, 5 g fat (0.6 g saturated)