Western Vegetarian Chili Recipe

This vegetarian chili recipe draws on the flavours of beans and vegetables with western spices, but with distinctly North American tradition. This is a novel way to cook classic chili because it imparts two types of beans, vegetables and quinoa. The key with vegetarian chili is not to overcook the vegetables. With slow cooking and the right combination of spices, the beans transform into rich most delicious vegetarian chili

Dry beans are nutritionally rich. They are packed with protein, high fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and are low in fat. I have added quinoa to this vegetarian chili because it is the only grain known to be a complete protein containing all essential amino acids


3 cups dried navy beans
½ cup dried black beans
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cut into bite-size pieces
1 jalapeno pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced (optional)
2 Tbsp. GF chili powder
2 tsp. GF dried oregano
1 tsp. GF ground cumin
¼ tsp. GF ground cinnamon
¼ cup pure tomato paste
2 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. sea salt
2 large carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
¼ cup uncooked quinoa
Juice of 1 lime
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
Optional Toppings: cheddar cheese, chopped red onion, avocado, sour cream, yogurt, fresh cilantro, jalapeno pepper, gluten free corn chips


Soak beans in cold water for 24 hours. Drain and rinse
In a large heavy bottom pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and peppers and sauté for 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent
Add chili powder, oregano, cumin and cinnamon. Cook until fragrant about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato paste and then add beans, tomatoes, bay leaf and sea salt. Add water covering the beans plus 2 inches. Cover the pot and simmer the beans until soft, about 3 – 4 hours. Add carrots, celery, mushrooms and quinoa and simmer for 30 more minutes
Remove the bay leaf and add 2 cups of chili into a blender and roughly chop. Return to the pot and stir in lime juice, garlic and cilantro. Taste and adjust salt as needed. Serve with your favourite toppings
TIP: if you do not have a blender you can use a potato masher and mash the chili until you reach desired consistency. If the chili is too thick add a little more water. This chili will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days
NOTE: if you are using canned beans, use 3 (15 oz.) cans of navy beans and 1 (15 oz.) can of black beans. Drain and rinse the beans first and instead of water use vegetable stock

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