After watching documentaries such as What The Health, Food Inc. and Cowspiracy, you may be eager to adopt a plant-based diet. Not only will eating more fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, gluten-free grains and fermented foods benefit your health, doing so will reduce environmental degradation and curb the effects of climate change (that’s something to pat yourself on the back for).
However, eating more vegetarian and vegan meals might seem like a daunting task for those who are just starting out. It is for this reason we’re sharing a hearty and nutritious Healthy Homemade Chili recipe that is vegan and easy to make.
Cooked up by Chef Amanda of Bloom for Life, the chili recipe takes about twenty minutes to put together. On a low heat, all the flavors then combine to create a protein-packed, low-glycemic soup which is perfect for those who are new to the plant-based lifestyle.
The chili is the embodiment of Hippocrates infamous saying, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food.” Beans are high in protein and B vitamins, the vegetables are rich in vitamin A and C (benefit skin, hair, nails and immunity), the tomatoes high in lycopene (powerful antioxidant) and vitamin C, and the garlic and onions are anti-bacterial and boost the immune system. Even the seasonings have medicinal properties. Cayenne reduces inflammation and can lower blood pressure, and oregano is antibacterial and antifungal.
If you’re ready to improve your health and lower your risk of developing preventable diseases, such as atherosclerosis (heart disease), stroke, cancer and diabetes, try out this chili recipe. Served with avocado (high in healthy fats) and/or a gluten-free tortilla, it’s the perfect lunch and/or dinner you’ve been waiting for.
Healthy Homemade Chili Recipe [Vegan, Easy]
Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
Serving Size: 8-10
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 large can (28 ounces) or 2 small cans (15 ounces each) diced tomatoes*, with their juices
2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups vegetable broth or water
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnishing
1 to 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, to taste
Cayenne to taste (optional)
Garnishes: avocado, chopped cilantro or sour cream
- In a large pot, warm the olive oil until shimmering. Add your diced onion and minced garlic and cook until onions are translucent.
- Next, add your spices (chili pepper, oregano, cumin, paprika) to the mixture and let sizzle for 1-2 minutes. Then, add the carrots, celery, and bell pepper with a dash of water. Let cook until vegetables are tender — about 7-10 minutes. (If needed, add more water but subtract amount from 2 cups of water)
- Add the diced tomatoes and their juices, the drained black beans and pinto beans, vegetable broth, nutritional yeast and bay leaf. Stir to combine and let the mixture come to a simmer. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally and reducing heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, for 30 minutes. Remove the chili from heat.
- For the best texture and flavor, transfer 2 cups of the chili to a blender and blend until smooth. Alternatively, you may blend the chili briefly with an immersion blender.
- Add the chopped cilantro, stir to blend, and then mix in the vinegar and nutritional yeast, to taste. Add salt to taste.
- Let cool, then divide the chili among individual bowls and serve with garnishes of your choice. I served this chili with fruit and “Veggie Chips” which are easily found at most grocery stores.
- Store the chili in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
This recipe originally appeared on Bloom for Life. Ready to jumpstart your healthy lifestyle? Get the Bloom for Life cookbook with 80+ recipes and a 2-week menu plan.
(Credit: Amanda Froelich)
Read more: Top seven vegan sources of protein
Image Credit: Amanda Froelich
I am Luke Miller, content manager at Truth Theory and creator of Potential For Change. I like to blend psychology and spirituality to help you create more happiness in your life.Grab a copy of my free 33 Page Illustrated eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control Here