Chorizo Chili with Avocado Créme Fraîche


My trip to overseas to Southeast Asia was a remarkable experience. What is less remarkable has been my return to a harsh, Minnesota winter. To cope with the cold I decided to make a spicy chili, full of flavor and an abundance of textures. Feel free to play around with the spices used. I would say this is a solid medium spice level. If you’d like to bump up the heat, add in some fresh jalapeños.


– 1 medium onion, diced
– 1 bag of mini sweet peppers, de-seed and dice
– 2 Tbls chili powder
– 1 tsp chipotle
– 1 1/2 tsp cumin
– 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
– 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
– 8 oz vegan chorizo (Upton’s is a great brand, Trader Joe’s also has a good one)
– 28 oz can diced tomatoes
– 14-28 oz water

For Avocado Créme Fraîche
– 1/2 avocado
– 2 Tbls plain fat free Greek yogurt
– lime juice
– dash of garlic salt
– dash of nutritional yeast

1. Sauté onion and peppers in a little olive oil or water. Once soft, add the spices in
2. Next you can put the remaining ingredients in the pot. Simmer for 10-15 minutes

3. To make the avo créme fraîche, combine all ingredients, whip together until smooth


200th Blog: Chili with Black-Eyed Peas

Black-eyed peas are a neat little legume, and yet I hardly cook with them. These spotted treasures get a lot of hype around New Years as some believe they bring good luck. I thought this luck would be fitting for my 200th blog 🙂

They are loaded with nutrients such as calcium, folate, protein, fiber and vitamin A. I concocted a recipe that can be used all year round and kept it simple by using them for a satisfying chili. Next time you’re at the store, grab some dry or canned black-eyed peas to have on hand for this great meal. You won’t be disappointed.

Chili with Black-Eyed Peas

  • 1 c dry black-eyed peas, soaked in water overnight
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle seasoning
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 bag of meatless crumbles
  • 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 c veggie broth, or water
  1. Saute onion and garlic in a little oil or water
  2. Once soft, add seasonings and crumbles. Cook for about 5 minutes or until crumbles are well thawed
  3. Add beans, tomatoes and stock, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for at least an hour or until the beans are cooked
  4. Salt and pepper to taste


Chili Verde

Not only did I make a homemade chili tonight, but I made a homemade salsa verde to go with it. Yeah, that’s right. I’ve never made salsa verde before, mostly because I was super intimidated by tomatillos. Fear no longer, I conquered the leafy, green tomato. The recipe came from the recent Vegetarian Times and I botched it a little. This is my spin on chili verde!

Salsa Verde

  • 6 larger tomatillos, outer skins removed
  • 1 jalapeno, stem removed
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • cumin and salt to taste
  1. Bring veggies to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the veggies start to split open
  2. Use a slotted spoon and transfer to a food processor (reserve some of the stock)
  3. Blend until everything is combined, add water for desired texture. Complete with your desired amount of salt and cumin




  • 1 c green onion, chopped
  • 1 c fire roasted corn
  • 1 can of black beans (original recipe called for 2 cans, whoops!)
  • salsa verde (above, or any 16 oz jar)
  • cumin and salt to taste
  1. Saute green onion in a little bit of the left over tomatillo stock (you can also use oil or water)
  2. When soft, add the corn, beans and salsa. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes
  3. Season to your liking

pre verde


Mom’s Veggie Chili

For being a meat eater, my mom is impressing me with her vegan cooking skills. She made me a phenomenal chili which she adapted from a Weight Watcher’s cookbook, subing soy chorizo as the meat and adding extra peppers for a good kick. If you are a fan of chili, this one is a definite must make!


  • oil
  • 2 links of soy chorizo (I used Field Roast, but Trader Joe’s has good ones too)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbls chili
  • 1 tbls cumin
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, with seeds, chopped (if you have time, roast it)
  • 4 green zucchini, chopped
  • 4 celery, chopped
  • 2 red tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 yellow tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 6 oz can of tomato paste
  • 1 small can of fire roasted green chiles
  • 1 15 oz can of stewed tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can of Rotell tomatoes and chiles
  • 1 15 oz can of black beans
  1. Saute the onion and garlic in a little oil. Add water if necessary to prevent sticking
  2. After the onion/garlic gets soft and fragrant, add in the spices and remaining fresh veggies. Cook until they are somewhat soft
  3. Next add all of the canned goods (make sure to drain the beans before adding)
  4. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes

Chili Con Veggie

When I am in the mood for chili, I usually stick to my favorite recipe. I decided to live a little tonight and get creative. I sautéed some onion, red peppers, jalapeno and multi-colored carrots for 15 minutes…

While that was sautéing, I cut up some tempeh and cooked it in a frying pan with water and shoyu. When the liquid soaked up, I added a little more water. After about 15 minutes I mashed the tempeh into crumbles and added it to the veggies along with: chili powder, cumin, some black beans, and a big (28 oz) can of diced tomatoes. It looked like it needed more liquid so I added about 14 oz of water.

I brought this to a boil and simmered until everything was soft and well acquainted (about 20 minutes). I’m serving this with some delicious olive bread, but it would also go great with these pumpkin muffins, which I hope to veganize soon!

topped off with some Daiya cheddar cheese!

Happy Saturday 🙂

Comforting Chili with Eggplant and Lentils

I had a few eggplants leftover and wanted to do something creative with them. I searched through the indices of a few cookbooks and met my match in Isa’s Appetite for Reduction. Her eggplant lentil chili is actually described as a mole, but subtract the cocoa and you have yourself a hearty chili! I didn’t know exactly how many pounds my eggplants weighed in at, but I guesstimated it was around 2lbs. I freaked a bit when I dumped the cubed eggplants into the pot. I knew they’d cook down, but there seemed to be an overwhelming amount. In the end, it all turned out marvy. (*note to those who seek heat, definitely kick it up with this one…I was making this for diners that are sensitive to heat, but it could use a hotter chili spice, maybe some Habanero peppers?)

Eggplant Lentil Chili

  • 1 tbls olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (I used orange)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbls mild chili powder
  • 2 tsps ground cumin
  • 2 tsps dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 c dried green lentils, rinsed
  • 4 c veg broth
  • 1 15oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 lbs eggplant, peeled and cubed
  1. Saute onion and pepper. When onion is soft (after 5 minutes or so) add garlic. Let that sit for a minute.
  2. Then mix in powders and salt. Add 1/2 c broth, cook for a minute.
  3. After everything seems well incorporated, add lentils, remaining broth and eggplant.

4.  Bring to a boil, once boiling lower to a simmer.

5.  Cover and let chili simmer for 40 minutes, until the eggplant and lentils are soft.

Prize Winning Chili

As you may know, CAA has their 2nd Annual Vegan Chili Cook-Off coming up in two weeks. At this very moment, I am dining on some pretty phenomenal chili. I am sad to be missing out on this cook-off, because I have the winning chili recipe. Rather than hoard this recipe to myself, I am going to share it with you all. What would really make life great is if one of you carried this recipe on to the cook-off, in my honor 🙂 This chili recipe is a classic; combining some heat, some beer and a whole lot of deliciousness.

If you have any questions about the recipe, just holler! (original recipe from Rachel Ray, I just de-meated it)


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
  • Meatless chorizo, chopped (I used Trader Joe’s brand of chorizo)
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder (might want to moderate this a bit, I used 2 tbls and it was pretty hot)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can red beans, drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained
  • 1 bottle beer
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced fire roasted tomatoes


Heat a big, deep skillet over medium high heat with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, and peppers; season with chili powder and cumin cook 5 to 6 minutes. Add chorizo and both cans of beans, cook for about 2 minutes. Stir the beer into the chili and reduce the liquid a minute then add the tomatoes and heat through. Season the chili with salt, to taste, and reduce heat to low.

Courtesy of Food Network