Monday, February 14, 2011

Award-winning black bean chili

On February 6th, our awesome local vegan store, Never Felt Better hosted their first cooking competiton, a chili cookoff, and guess what?  WE WON FIRST PRIZE!  Here's the recipe we've developed. It's a bit of work, but worth the effort. I hope you enjoy it too! Makes a GIANT freaking pot o'chili.

  •  3 cups dry black beans, cooked in a 2qt crockpot full of water for 8 hours (this will be added, liquid and all, so don't drain them)
  •  2 cups cooked short grain brown rice
  •  2 tsps olive oil
  •  1 diced onion
  •  2 diced poblano chili peppers
  •  3 tbsp chili powder        
  •  3 tbsp cumin powder
  •  1 12 oz bottle hard cider (apple or pear)
  •  1 6 oz can tomato paste
  •  1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  •  1 lb frozen corn
  •  1 tbsp cocoa powder
  •  1/2 tsp chipotle powder
  •  1/4 tsp cinnamon
  •  1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  •  1/4 cup toasted unsalted pumpkin seeds (if you can't find unsalted ones, start with raw ones and toast them yourself, which is what we do, or add less extra salt) coarsely ground
  •  6 (or more) cloves of garlic, crushed
  •  1 very large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, diced and roasted at 425 for about 45 minutes, until edges start to caramelize
  •  1/2 tsp molasses
  •  1 tsp sea salt


Saute onion and peppers in olive oil until onion is translucent. Add cumin and chili powder, saute until liquid is absorbed by the spices. Add the cider, chipotle powder, cocoa powder, vanilla, cinnamon, ground pumpkin seeds, and molasses. Bring to a simmer. Add canned tomatoes (do not drain) and liquid, and tomato paste. Stir in the beans, squash, rice, corn, garlic, and salt. Simmer for 30 minutes. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for 12-48 hours and reheat, which lets the flavors meld and improves them. Really great with lime juice, chipotle Tabasco, Daiya cheese, diced onion, avocado, toasted pumpkin seeds, faux sour cream, or just as is.


  1. This also works well with dried chili peppers if you can't find fresh. It tastes great cold, too.

  2. Holy Cow this sounds amazing! Can't wait to try it!