Mains/ Recipes/ Savory

Hearty Vegetable Chili with Dark Chocolate and Cinnamon (Vegan)

I originally set out to make chili tonight for health purposes. My office is a minefield of overeating and carbohydrates as of late. From leftover bagels to cookie platters, the temptations are everywhere. Chili seemed like a clean and healthy way to enter the week and hit restart on my willpower (I figure if I’m packed full of beans perhaps I won’t reach for that extra brownie).

With the ingredients stowed away in my pantry, I headed to the gym and returned with the intention of taking a steaming hot shower. But the shower was not hot–not even lukewarm. After a phone call to the landlord, I started cooking up a one-pot-wonder. My apartment was immediately filled with comforting smells and, most importantly, warmth.

Let this chili, with hints of cinnamon and chocolate, warm you right up!


1 can of tomatoes, crushed or diced

1 can of beans, drained and rinsed (I used pinto beans)

1/2 a large white or yellow onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2-3 cups of vegetables (I used a frozen mix of corn, broccoli, edamame, and red pepper)

1 cup of water

2 spicy vegan sausages, chopped (I used the rest of these from this recipe)

1/2 tablespoon of olive oil

1-2 handfuls of raw kale

Spices (I added salt, cinnamon, cumin, cayenne pepper, and crushed pepper flakes)

1 small handful or about 2 tablespoons of dark chocolate or semi-sweet chips (I used Trader Joe’s vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips)

Garnish with: sliced avocado and/or a dollop of nonfat plain Greek yogurt.


Add olive oil to a large pot, turn on medium heat, and add minced garlic.


Let sizzle for 3 minutes then add in chopped onions. When onions have begun to brown on the edges, add in the chopped vegan sausage (you could also use meatless crumbles).


Allow to cook for 5-7 minutes before adding in all of the vegetables (don’t add the tomatoes just yet!). Pour in 1/2 cup of water and your spices (cinnamon, cayenne, etc.) immediately after adding the vegetables, stir, cover, and let simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes. Enjoy the smells coming from your stove!


After 20 minutes or so, remove the lid (the heat should remain on throughout the entire process) and add in the tomatoes and beans and another 1/2 cup of water. Stir well until the tomatoes and juices are evenly distributed and cover once more. Let simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes.


After 10 minutes uncover the pot and add raw kale, slowly stirring it in as it begins to wilt. Once the kale has been fully mixed in…we bring in the chocolate! Yes chocolate–it will add just the right amount of sweetness and depth.


Stir in the chocolate and cover once more. After your chili has simmered for another 10 minutes, it’s ready for tasting! I served mine up over a bed of raw kale with sliced avocado on top…truly delicious, warm, and cozy.


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