I like to think of myself as a bit of a chili connoisseur. I have been making chili with my brother since I could practically walk, and we have perfected the recipe over the years (always using our three key ingredients: dark chocolate, beer, and ketchup). Traditionally made with ground turkey, different types of beans and a hearty pasta, this vegetarian version satisfies even more than the original.
While chili is usually reserved for the winter months, it is a great, heart healthy dinner that can be enjoyed year round and will keep you satisfied for hours on end. Beans are a perfect food full of fiber, protein, and iron. Experiment with different beans (in this recipe, I use red beans and black beans) to see what type you love best. If using canned beans instead of fresh, always look for organic, lower-sodium varieties. The addition of a gluten-free beer like Green’s gives the perfect kick.
*Buy organic if you can, here’s why.
2 Tbsp. olive oil or coconut oil
1/2 small yellow or white onion, chopped (here’s a tip)
1 large red pepper, chopped
1 large jalapeno pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
1 cup pale beer (try Green’s gluten-free beer) or low-sodium veggie broth
1 large can crushed or diced tomatoes (I also slice a few fresh tomatoes and toss in)
1 large can organic black beans, drained
2-3 cans organic red beans, drained
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
2 Tbsp. salt-free chili powder (or more, to taste)
1 Tbsp. cayenne hot pepper sauce (optional) or cayenne pepper
1 can spicy vegetarian refried beans (look for lower-sodium varieties)
Chopped scallions for topping
Dollop of vegan sour cream (optional) OR Daiya cheese
Gluten-free elbow macaroni (optional)
1-3 tbsp. flour for thickening (optional)
Let’s get started.
1. Over medium heat, add oil to a deep pot and add onion, peppers and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes to soften veggies.
2. Add beer or broth, tomatoes, black beans, red beans and stir to combine. Season chili with cumin, chili powder, and hot sauce. Cover and cook for a few minutes.
3. Thicken chili by stirring in refried beans.
4. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes (or longer), then serve, topped with fresh scallions and vegan sour cream!! Add flour to thicken chili if needed.