Monthly Archives: July 2013

Vegetarian Skyline

Cincinnati Chili – Skyline (Vegetarian Recipe)

To be honest, I have not eaten real Skyline in at least 20 years.  When they began serving Black Beans and Rice as an alternative to their beef chili, I switched to that and have never looked back. This recipe is pretty close to how Skyline smells and I’ve had some carnivores taste test it.  The only thing not duplicated is the fine texture of the beef.  I prefer the chunkier chili, however I suppose you could pulse it through a food processor if you really wanted to duplicate the fine grind of Skyline.

The most time consuming part of this recipe is measuring all of the spices.  That is why I mix a big batch and measure it out for each preparation.  This reduces the prep time significantly.  For me from about 1 hour to 15 minutes (plus time to simmer).  A bonus of this method is the ability to adjust the spiciness of each batch of chili (ie. add more or less to your personal preference).  When measuring the spices for one batch of chili, it creates just about 4 tablespoons.  So multiply the spice mix recipe by how ever many batches of chili you want and then measure out 3 1/2 – 4 tbsp for each preparation. has a handy calculator to easily multiply measurements.  However, there are 3 teaspoons in 1 tablespoon (in case you didn’t know).


Skyline Spice Mix

*for one batch of chili*

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp sugar

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp allspice

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cumin

1 tbsp chili powder

1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder (baking variety)

Mix all dry spices together.  Use immediately in chili recipe or store in an airtight container in a cool dark place.


Skyline Chili Recipe

1 tbsp oil (I prefer ghee)

1 large Onion finely chopped (you may even prefer to chop in a food processor for a more authentic chili)

1 package veggie grounds (I prefer Quorn because they are soy-free) = 1 lb ground meat

15 oz. tomato sauce

1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce (or soy sauce)

1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

3/4 cup water or veggie broth (more if needed)

3 1/2 – 4 tbsp spice mix (see above)


Remove grounds from freezer to begin to defrost.  Heat oil in large sauce pan on Med-low heat.  Saute onion for a few minutes.  Just before it begins to turn translucent add the grounds.  DO NOT COVER.  The trick to cooking veggie grounds is letting them dry out.  Otherwise they get mushy.  As the grounds cook, break apart the frozen chunks and stir with the onions.  Let the grounds brown and dry, but avoid burning.  This takes about 10 minutes.  Add tomato sauce, worcestershire, apple cider vinegar, and spices.  Stir in water or broth.  Allow sauce to simmer for at least 20 minutes on low heat.  Add more water as needed to reach the preferred consistency.

Serve over spaghetti noodles with lots of finely shredded mild cheddar cheese.  Chopped onions, kidney beans, oyster crackers and hot sauce are optional.

appetizers - Skyline Style

appetizers – Skyline Style









Banana Bread

Front Range Banana Bread w/ Hemp Seed

I live along the front range at about 5,000 feet.  When I moved to Colorado, I found that many of my previous baking recipes didn’t quite turn out the same way as they did back in Ohio.  Some may argue that I’m not at a high enough elevation to require any alterations to a recipe, however I will say that regardless of the “why” things bake different here than they do in the Mid-West.  While some recipes are just fine, others do require a bit of some adjustments.  Maybe it’s the dry air, or the 300+ days of sunshine.  Whatever the reason, my old banana bread recipe never turned out the way it should.  So here is one that works.


Front Range Banana Bread (“high-altitide”) w/ Hemp Seed

2 Medium size bananas, very ripe

4 tbsp oil or soft butter (I like coconut oil)

2 large egg

2/3 cup sugar

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup hulled hemp seeds + more for topping

1 1/3 cup flour

1/2 cup chocolate chips/ nuts/ etc. (optional)


Preheat oven to 350˚F.  Combine butter, eggs, sugar, and bananas,  Add salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, vanilla, and hemp seeds.  Use a hand mixer or an emulsion blender to combine all the ingredients.  I like the emulsion blender b/c it makes everything smooth and creamy (but don’t over blend).  Stir in flour with a spoon until moistened.  Fold in chocolate chips/ nuts/ etc. if using them. Grease a loaf pan (I use coconut oil) and lightly flour it.  Pour bread batter into pan.  Sprinkle hemp seeds on top.  Bake at 350˚F for 50 minutes.

I know it’s tempting, but let the loaf cool completely before trying to remove from the pan.  Otherwise you’ll end up with more than one loaf, and it won’t be pretty (if you know what I mean).


High Altitude Recipe

When I found the original recipe it was called a “High-Altitude” recipe.  I changed the name to Front Range since I don’t bake above a mile-high, also I altered the recipe a bit.  So if you live at a higher elevation, let me know in the comments if this works.


A Note on Hemp Seed

Hemp seed is a little powerhouse food.  It is high in Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids.  It is also a complete source of protein containing all essential amino acids.