It’s done. The websites are LIVE. I can finally, after about four solid months of work, breath a sigh of relief. Sure, there is still work to be done, but the bulk of this project is completed. In theory, things should start to go back to normal around here.

Part of completing a software project means taking the time to analyze how it went. Where did you run into issues? What unexpected things happened? How can you be better prepared for the next one? It is the perfect time to reflect, and as I reflect on my job, it’s easy to transition to reflecting on other aspects of my life.

Over the course of this past year, I feel like I’ve really grown. While there is still (plenty) of room for more growth, I’ve improved at my job. I’ve also remained true to my veganism and continued to strive towards living cruelty-free. As the end of the year approaches, it feels nice to take a step back and think, “Yes. I believe I am on the right track.” The only thing left to do is continue down it.

It’s been cool in Austin the past few days, which means it’s perfect weather for chili. I woke up last Saturday morning with the intense desire to make a big ol’ pot of meaty, creamy, cheesy goodness… you know, the exact opposite of what people envision when they hear the words “vegan dinner.”

I looked for regular, “carnivore” chili recipes to alter because vegan chili recipes tend to include hearty, “good-for-you” foods (quinoa and lentils come to mind), and that was not going to fit the bill. I wanted to eat something that tasted like it was going to cause a heart attack. The first recipe returned by Google was for an “award winning” chili, and the only ingredient that wasn’t vegan about it was, surprise, the meat. If only we lived in a world where meatless crumbles were easy to find… oh wait, we do. I give you: Award Winning (Vegan) Chili!


Award Winning (Vegan) Chili
Adapted from


  • 1 lb meatless crumbles (I used Gardein)
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 1 (14 oz) can Rotel
  • 2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 (14 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup water


  1. Cook the meatless crumbles with the onions and peppers in a dutch oven.
  2. Add the tomatoes, seasonings, and water. Bring to a boil.
  3. Add the beans, cover, and simmer for 1-2 hours.

Top it with Daiya cheddar shreds, Tofutti sour cream, and diced green onions.

Serve with your favorite vegan cornbread recipe. I tried Isa Chandra’s Vegan Cornbread. It was denser than I anticipated, probably because of “user error” (get it? I made a software joke!), but still tasted great. I guess that means I’ll have to try it again.