Vegan Chili

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As the crisp morning breeze whispers rumors of fall, I am inspired to dust off the crock pot and create dinner right after breakfast. My recipe is a blend of fresh summer harvest with reliable pantry staples that simmers in flavor and tempting aroma, and needs no further invitation.

Our vegan household has been challenged recently with the reality that two of our kids need to be completely gluten free. Though that seems like an impossible challenge, I am motivated by the amazing results we’ve seen in a very short time.  We have significantly less bellyaches, head-aches, attitude issues and brain fog, which reminds us that everything we eat matters.

Cincinnati chili is usually served over pasta, and there are wonderful gluten free pastas available.. But the delicious blend of sweet spices matches perfectly with the spaghetti squash and beets I just pulled from my garden.

Mmmmm…it’s a winner. Enjoy our Vegan Chili recipe today!


Morning preparation:
Rinse beans and soak in water over night. Drain. Chop beet greens (including stems), peppers, onions, and garlic. Whisk vinegar, tomato paste, chili powder, cocoa, cinnamon, cumin, tumeric, nutmeg, cloves and bay leaf into 1 cup of water. Add beans, seasoning liquid and remaining water to the crock pot.  Depending on time frame, set temperature to high and cook for 3-4 hours. Or cook on low for 6-8 hours.

One hour before dinner:
Preheat oven to 425. Bake uncut squash and beets for 60 minutes.
Allow to cool to avoid burning fingers. Remove skin from beets, chop finely, add to crock pot. Carefully cut the squash in half, remove seeds,and use a fork to loosely separate strands to form “pasta”. Remove excess squash and either add to crock pot or save for later. Serve chili on the squash. Of course, for larger crowds, simply place fluffed strands directly into a bowl, and scoop chili over the top.

Top with homemade sour cream.
Garnish with fresh cut or dried herbs such as cilantro, thyme, oregano, and/or green onion.
Freeze leftovers for up to 3 months.





I made the decision to become vegan impulsively. I boarded a plane with a ham sandwich and a copy of Alicia Silverstone’s “The Kind Diet”. I devoured the book and tossed the sandwich and I’ve never looked back. Becoming vegan has changed my body, my mind and my spirit, and together, we can change our communities, our nation and our planet. Eating a vegan meal doesn’t require a commitment ceremony, a press release or applause. So don’t over-think it. Just try it…one bite at a time.
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