As the heat gives way to cooler nights, I love to reintroduce soups and warm, comforting meals into my diet– and one of my staples is chili. There are many variations, but this one is sure to please even the staunchest meat lover.
As you read through the ingredient list, you may say, “really, chocolate in chili?” Yes, you read that right. Cacao, is chocked full of antioxidants and give a deep, rich flavor. It is traditionally use in Mexican cooking, (i.e., mole sauce). One more note before you dive in, don’t let the long list of ingredients scare you. This meal comes together fast in a big pasta pot or a slow cooker or Instantpot. Just pan saute veggies, toss the canned beans/tomatoes and tempeh/Beyond Beef into the pot, add the spices and condiments, let simmer and voila! And don’t worry if you don’t have all the ingredients or if you have to sub a few things. Get creative. It will still be amazing!
- 2 teaspoons grapeseed or coconut oil
- 1 small onion diced
- pinch of salt (use a smoky finishing salt if you have one)
- 1 medium red pepper chopped
- 1 zucchini cubed
- 1 tablespoon tamari (sub soy sauce *not gluten free, nama shoyu, or Braggs Liquid Aminos)
- 1 medium sweet potato, cut in 1/4 inch cubes
- 2-3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 28 oz crushed (diced or stewed are fine too) tomatoes, organic if possible
- 1 can black beans, (organic/no salt)
- 1 can pinto beans, (organic/no salt)
- 1 cup Beyond Beef (optional)
- 1/4 cup coffee
- 1 tsp sriracha, optional (sub your favorite hot sauce)
- 1/4 teaspoon cacao (sub 1 square of dark chocolate or cocoa)
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/8 tsp smoked paprika
- handful of cilantro, chopped
- Daiya shredded cheddar
- avocado slices
- lime slices
- Heat a large sauce pan to medium heat and add oil. Once oil heats up, add onion and salt and saute until translucent. Add red pepper and zucchini and continue to saute. Deglaze pan with tamari. Add sweet potato, garlic and another pinch of salt and saute for another minute or two.
- Pour can of tomatoes into the pot along with the beans, Beyond Beef, coffee, sriracha, cumin, oregano, smoked paprika and chili power. Allow to cook at a low boil for 3 – 5 minutes and then turn down to a simmer for another 30 – 45 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are cooked through.
- Add hot sauce and salt to taste.
- To make a heartier meal, serve over pasta, rice, quinoa or any grain you like. Note that I added in Beyond Beef, but you could also use tempeh, tofu, seitan, faux sausage, or mushrooms to give the chili a “meaty” texture. Garnish with avocado, “cheeze,” “sour cream” or anything else you can think of!