Vegan Four-Alarm Chili

Vegan Four-Alarm Chili by Alexandria Rodriguez
Videography and Production by Marissa Rodriguez

Alexandria Rodriguez, a junior business marketing major at St. Mary’s University, is a vegetarian who knows how to make delicious and appetizing meals. She has a deep appreciation for every ingredient that goes into making a dish. Rodriguez proves that vegan dishes are not bland because her favorite dish, vegan four-alarm chili, is packed with flavors and spices that would make any meat-eater question their carnivorous ways!


  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 canned tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 canned beans (garbanzo, pinto and black-eye peas)


In a large pot,  sauté the garlic in olive oil for about 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, chili powder, cayenne powder, cumin powder, red pepper flakes, salt, and water.

Bring to a slow simmer, and allow to cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the beans and simmer for at least another 30 minutes.

Tortilla Chips and Queso

Tortilla Chips and Queso by Mireya Mata
Videography and Production by William Oulvey

In this video, watch and listen as Mireya Mata, alumna of St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, shows us how to make Tortilla Chips and Queso without using animal products. You can make this dish yourself by using the following recipe:

Ingredients for Tortilla Chips

  • 12 corn tortillas
  • Non-stick spray
  • Sea salt (optional)


Spread the tortilla wedges in a single layer on the sheet. Spray tortillas lightly with non-stick spray. Bake tortillas until lightly brown, approximately 10-12 minutes (watch carefully as ovens vary). Sprinkle with salt if desired. Repeat steps for the remaining 6 tortillas.

Ingredients for Vegan Queso (Cheese)

  • 2 tablespoons shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup red or yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • ¼ cup carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 cup onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup of water
  • ¼ cup raw cashews
  • ¼ cup vegan butter (Earth Balance)
  • 1-2 teaspoons sea salt to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 can Rotel (Diced tomatoes and green chilies)

Note: You will not use the whole can just add enough to desired amount of spiciness!


In a saucepan, add shallots, potatoes, carrots, onions and water and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are soft. In a blender, process the cashews, salt, garlic, vegan butter, mustard and lemon juice. Add softened vegetables and the cooking water to the blender and process until smooth. Add as much Rotel as you like depending on how spicy you like it. Start with 2 tablespoons and increase to desired amount. Serve with baked tortilla chips for Chips and Queso or add toppings such as refried beans, Smart Ground (vegan ground beef), tomatoes, guacamole, Tofutti Sour Cream, black olives etc. for nachos.