Make the “Everybody Likes It” Vegan, Gluten-Free Chili
I run. In order to run, I need fuel. And I have found that the better the fuel, the better the run. Good fuel for me means lots of plant-based proteins, minimally processed grains, and vegetables.
I am also the mother of two teenaged children, and the three of us live with my retired parents. Among us, we have a vegan, a vegetarian, two omnivores, and one if-it’s-not- white-or-brown-I’m-not-eating-it-avore. Preparing a dinner that will fuel me, nourish my kids, and please my “square meal” 70-year-old mother is a daily adventure. Rarely does mealtime bliss come from the same pot. When it does, I count it as a miracle.
This chili is just such a miracle. Everybody liked it. My dad, who hates cilantro. My mom, who hates mushrooms. My son, who hates kale. My daughter, who hates liking something that people think she might like. Like, everybody.
Serves 4. I double this recipe. Leftovers freeze well and are also great re-heated and served over brown rice, quinoa, or wrapped in a gluten-free tortilla for a quick lunch or dinner on the run (or after a run). Adapted from Kris Carr and Chad Sarno’s “Crazy Sexy Kitchen”.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 10 oz. baby portobello (cremini) mushrooms, quartered
- 1 medium zucchini, diced
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 15-ounce can (each) black beans, kidney beans, pinto or northern white beans, all drained and rinsed
- 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 2 cups purified water
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro (about 1/8 cup), finely chopped
- 2 cups kale, chopped into small pieces
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Diced avocado
- Cashew sour cream (recipe below)
- Hot sauce
- Homemade corn tortilla chips (recipe follows)
- Heat oil in a large dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add diced onion and garlic. Saute, stirring, until onion is translucent and beginning to brown.
- Add the chili powder and cumin. Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. (Toasting the spices with the onion and garlic helps to open up their flavors).
- Turn heat to medium high. Add mushrooms, zucchini, and sweet potato. Stir well. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking. The mushrooms and zucchini should release some of their moisture, and the sweet potato will soften a bit.
- Add in beans, tomatoes, water, maple syrup, sea salt and cilantro. Bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low (so the ingredients remain at a simmer). Cover pot with a lid. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until sweet potatoes are fork tender.
- Remove lid. Stir in kale. Allow kale to wilt into chili as it simmers, about 5 minutes.
- Add freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Serve hot. Garnish with diced avocado, hot sauce, and cashew sour cream. Serve with homemade corn chips for dipping.
Cashew Sour Cream
- 1 cup raw cashews, covered in filtered water and soaked for an hour
- juice of 1/2 lemon (about a tablespoon)
- 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- generous pinch of sea salt
- Drain cashews. Add to a blender. Add fresh water just to cover cashews.
- Add lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and sea salt.
- Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Adjust seasonings to taste.
This stores well in the fridge for about a week. I store it in a short Mason jar and use it on top of everything, all week long.
Homemade Corn Tortilla Chips
- 4 corn tortillas
- canola oil cooking spray
- sea salt
- 1 lime (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425℉.
- Cut each tortilla into 6 triangles (I stack them up and cut through all of them with my chef’s knife)
- Spread tortilla triangles onto a large baking sheet (I line mine with parchment).
- Spray tortillas with canola oil cooking spray; sprinkle with salt.
- Bake until lightly brown and crispy, about ten minutes.
- If you would like, squeeze the juice of half a lime (cut side facing your hand) over the chips right as they come out of the oven.
Try it, and let us know what you think. Always open to feedback!