Vegan Chili + Ultimate Chili Bowls

It’s been raining for a week, and when it rains, I have chili on the mind. Things have been more or less a whirlwind lately – work is very busy, and I’m spending most of my free time training and teaching pilates. Searching for balance throughout the week, I turn again to planned-ahead meals, so I can spend more time on pilates and less time cleaning in the kitchen. I knew I wanted to make a big pot of something, and re-heat whatever it is, for dinners and lunches. I love bowls of any kind, but chili bowls are one of my favorites. If I ran a little cafe, different types of bowls would certainly be on the menu.

This ultimate chili bowl has a couple of heaping spoons of chili sitting on top of a scoop of quinoa, and it’s topped with steamed kale in garlic tahini sauce and avocado. Today’s chili was cooked in a crockpot, so making it was a breeze. Perfect for me because I just turned it on and went to run some errands. Eric and I couldn’t wait, and had some for lunch this afternoon while listening to hail throbbing into our skylight.

I have a feeling the next few days will be the last of the rain until spring officially arrives. Stay dry and warm this week!

Vegan Chili & Ultimate Chili Bowl

by Maria Bardet

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 1/2 hours (or 8 hrs in crockpot)

Keywords: entree soup/stew

Ingredients (8 chili bowls)

For the Chili

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 chipotle peppers (in adobo sauce)
  • 10 ounces cremeni mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced small
  • 4 Tbs tomato paste
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 3 15-ounce canned beans (pinto, black, kidney), rinsed and drained
  • 3 Tbs soy sauce
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ cup red wine
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For the Chili Bowl

  • bunch kale, stemmed and cut into small pieces
  • 3 Tbs tahini
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbs dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1-3 Tbs olive oil, depends on desired consistency
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • avocado slices, for topping



It’s a bit silly giving instructions for a crockpot recipe – just combine all chili ingredients and cook on low for 8 hours. If you want to use a dutch oven instead, first sauté the onion and garlic until golden.

Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Once it boils, lower the heat, close the lid and simmer for 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.

Garlic Tahini Sauce

In a mixing bowl, combine tahini, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, mustard. Mix well with a fork.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

To assemble the Ultimate Chili Bowl

Steam the kale for about 5 minutes, and add the tahini sauce. Mix tahini sauce and kale, until thoroughly combined.

Cook the quinoa: in a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups of quinoa with 4 cups vegetable broth, and bring to a boil. Lower heat, close lid, and simmer for 15 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes.

Spoon a big scoop of quinoa into a bowl, then a spoonful (or two) of chili and top with the creamy and garlicky kale, and avocado slices.

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    My name is Maria and I live in California. I love teaching high-energy Pilates classes, going on long runs, and making connections with all of you! Hope you find a few useful articles, fitness tips, and recipes while you're here.

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