Vegan Chili For The First Nip In The Air

My new school doesn’t have air conditioning.  I’ve stopped wearing makeup to work because I sweat it all off by 9 o’clock.  (Have I mentioned that I don’t need to be there until 8:45?)  I have 2 fans going at all times in my office, but it’s hot.

But today that heat was supposed to break.   As I stood in the parking lot at the end of the day, talking to another teacher, the wind started to pick up.  It hit about 86 degrees in the middle of the day and, by 7 pm, was below 70.  So as I drove home thinking of dinner I knew what I wanted: Chili.

I’ve made quite a few vegan chilis but none have been, well, very good.   They have all been simply “ok.”  The kind of meal the family eats because it is put in front of them; But any leftovers linger in the fridge because no one has any interest in eating it again.

Tonight changed that.

I modified a recipe I found at Oh She Glows to something we really enjoyed.

2 tbsp olive oil

1 sweet onion, chopped

1 sweet pepper, chopped (I used 4 small peppers in assorted colors)

2 tbsp minced garlic

12 baby carrots, chopped

1 28 oz can diced tomatoes

1 15.5 oz can light kidney beans

1 15.5 oz can Great Northern beans

11 oz (2 little cans) tomato juice

1.5 cups veggie broth

1 tbsp cumin

3 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp sea salt

sprinkle cayenne pepper (about 1 tsp)

1 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tbsp garlic and herb blend

2 tbsp chia seeds


In a large pan heat the olive oil until very hot.  Add the onion, garlic, peppers, and carrots.  Cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes or until the veggies are starting to get soft.

Add the can of tomatoes with juice.  Drain and rinse the beans and add them.  Now the tomato juice and the broth.  Add the spices up to the garlic and herb blend.  Let it simmer about 30 minutes.  Then add the 2 tbsp of chia seeds and stir well.  Let it simmer about 10 more minutes.

We liked ours with some soy sour cream and polenta rounds.  (I slice the packages of polenta from Trader Joes and put them on a baking pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.  I then spray the tops and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.  Then I flip them over, turn the oven up to 425, and bake about 20 minutes more.)  They are crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside.  The perfect accompaniment to chili!


2 responses to this post.

  1. Yay for good vegan chili! I love it. Your ingredients sound great. I make a vegan chili that even my hubby loves … and that’s saying something! 😉 It’s fun to load vegan chili up with veggies and surprise ingredients (like cocoa). 🙂

    The big change in temperature is a surprise. We’re going camping this weekend at our mtn property and it’s going to be nippy even at night!



  2. Enjoy the camping, Shirley! I’m just so glad that some of this intense heat might be breaking. I’m ready for warmer clothes, fires, and more “stick to your ribs” kinds of food. I really love all 4 seasons for what they offer; I like the change!


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