Saturday, March 22, 2014

Shona's (Obviously) Last Minute Vegan Chili

Since it's been two years since the last post, I figured I'd add some color to this blog, mainly because my kind friends' reviews have excited me about my first ever "official" chili recipe... even if it's without chili powder. Chili powder - the way you are likely thinking about it - is VERY American to me. To me, "Chilli powder" means RED HOT CHILI PEPPER powder :) So, suffice to say, your version is not stocked in my cupboards, which can be problematic for the average recipe-following cook (aka... yours truly).

This recipe is inspired by my work, for always making me late (lol, just kidding) but really by my friends Laura and Jessica, who always manage to serve DELICIOUS chili at their gatherings!

Credits: This recipe is adapted from and inspired by TWO chili recipes with the ingredients I wanted to use - pumpkin and sweet potatoes. Other than those two items, most other items are probably already in your home!

  • Chef John:
  • Real Simple:
VEGAN Sweet potato, squash and 2 bean "Chili-powder-less" Chili! Also, 45 minute chili!

Servings: 6

2-3 tablespoons olive oil 
1 large yellow onion, diced
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 serrano pepper, diced - keep the seeds (more if you like the HEAT)
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 zucchini, diced in bite size (bigger than a regular dice but small enough to eat in a spoonful!)
2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher sea salt (or to taste)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 can (14 oz) low sodium diced tomatoes
1 cup of water
1 can (14 oz) of black beans
1 can (14 oz) of kidney beans
2 cups roasted sweet potato, diced in bite size
2 cups roasted pumpkin or pumpkin-like squash, diced in bite size

  • A large cast-iron pan (3 quarts) OR a heavy bottomed pot
  • OR adjust recipe for your crock pot (on high for 3 hours) - cook all ingredients and then dump in the crock pot for the simmer period
  • Cutting board and knife
  • Spoon to stir the recipe with
  • Spoon to serve the recipe with
  • Bowls & spoons to serve!
Toppings (a cup of each; delete dairy items to keep it vegan!)
  • Fresh-cut diced avocado
  • Freshly de-stemmed cilantro with a dash of lime juice
  • Freshly grated orange sharp cheddar
  • 1 cup low-fat sour cream
  • Organic blue corn tortilla chips


1. Using medium heat, saute the diced onions & minced garlic in the pan until softened (about 5 minutes)
2. Add in the diced serrano pepper (do this later if you want to preserve its heat) and saute for 2 minutes
3. Add in the diced bell peppers and saute for 2 minutes
4. Add in all the spices listed, reserving cocoa and cinnamon for last, and saute for 2 minutes
5. Once the mixture starts smelling like chocolate (sigh), add in the tomatoes WITH their juice and saute for another 2 minutes
6. Add in the black beans with their liquid, but drain the kidney beans before you add them to the pan, and saute away for another 2 minutes
7. Add in the water and allow the mixture to simmer, covered, on low heat for 20 minutes, stirring regularly
8. Add in the zucchini, roasted pumpkin/squash and roasted sweet potato, and allow to simmer for 10 more minutes, or until the zucchini is tender
9. Test the taste and adjust as needed. Serve and enjoy, or put in your crockpot on high to serve a little later.