• Bradley & Alyssa

New Year's Chilli

Updated: May 17

Come January, during the peak chili-ness (hehe) of winter, we start to really crave a hearty, good chili. While it's only our second winter shared together, we've decided to make it a tradition to chef up some seasonal "New Year's chili" each January. And lucky you to be the recipients of our stew-pendous* recipe.

*you can't outrun our puns, muahaha

You must be wondering, how the heck do you cook chili that can be served to both carnivores and vegetarians? The answer, friends, is easy. But first, we'll take you on an unnecessary tangent as to why you should not use a [damn] slow cooker. We may or may not have a personal vendetta against them after trying to use one for this recipe. As we were approaching 8 pm on a Saturday after a long day of skiing (aka hungry, tired, helpless), our chili was two hours deep into slow cooking. After a taste test, it was still completely raw and cold. So while the chili was cooking late into the evening, we ended up feasting on the only option available to us in our crazed, hungered state: Burger King.

**pro: vegan impossible whopper con: ....it's Burger King

Back to the chili. It's easy to create a flavorful vegan chili base by adding the meat towards the end of the process, which in this case, will result in options for a beef chili and/or a tofu crumble chili. And by cooking slowly over a stovetop, you minimize the time of cooking and—in our personal opinion—by simmering the garlic, onions, seasonings first, you are able to build upon a better flavor profile for the chili. So now that we've shared our minor cooking fail and justified how we are not failures in the kitchen, now we can share with you the best (awardless) chili recipe on this side of the Mississippi.

Course: Entree

Servings: Enough to feed a small army (10-12)


Courtesy of Noracooks, with our own twist

For Chilli

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced

  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 28-oz cans crushed tomatoes

  • 15-oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 5-oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 cup water

  • 3 tablespoons chili powder

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • 1 bag of frozen corn

  • 2 medium zucchini

  • 1 cup of dried quinoa

For Ground Beef

  • 1lb of grass fed beef

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

For Tofu

  • 14-ounce firm tofu

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika


1.Preheat oven to 350. This will be for baking your tofu, if you so desire.

a.If you do, mix soy sauce, nutritional yeast, chilli powder, smoked paprika and crumble the

tofu into a large bowl, mixing everything together. Spread Tofu onto baking sheet and place in oven. Bake for 30 minutes.

2. Grab the largest pot you have and turn the heat up to medium.

3. Add in a few tablespoons of olive oil, followed by your chopped onion and garlic; sautee for 3-4 minutes until translucent and your house smells like you are trying to keep the vampires away.

4. Add the rest of the chilli ingredients in the pot, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for an indefinite period of time. Okay...try 40 minutes :)

7. Boil water and cook quinoa, following instructions provided on bag (we prefer to use a rice cooker)

5. In order to prepare the ground beef, take the 1lb of beef and add in spices. Mix together and sautee on the stove until meat is fully cooked through.

6. If you want your chilli to have a thicker texture, use an immersion blender and lightly blend only a few times (they are fun...I know, but don't go overboard!)

7. Now it's time to serve, but you can't have chilli without at least some of the following:

  • sour cream, you can find kite hill (vegan brand)

  • cheese shreds or vegan cheese shreds

  • wedge of lime

  • tortilla chips (pictured below, you'll see that we made homemade ones with lime salt- recipe coming soon!)

  • chopped cilantro

  • avocado slices

  • Oh, and you can't chilli without corn bread either (also, recipe coming soon!)

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