Margarita’s All-American Vegan Chilli

By Margarita | Serves 4

“A three-bean vegan chill with a (optional) wine kick and spicy chipotle flavour, merging western and eastern cooking traditions, with a little Latin American flair thrown in for good measure.”

WARNING: If spicy is not your thing, skip the jalapeno pepper, chipotle, and/or chilli powder.


  • 16 oz (453g) organic black turtle, pinto and red dried beans (5.3 oz or 151g each). (Or one 16-ounce can of ready-cooked, organic black or red beans, no salt added, drained)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 astralagus root (optional; if using this herb, read this link first
  • 3-8 cups filtered water, soaking overnight, if using the dried beans
  • 3 oz (85 g) vegan sausage or tempeh
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed for tempeh/sausage marinade
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced for sautéing
  • ½ tsp jalapeño pepper, minced, or more to taste
  • ¼ tsp chipotle powder, or ½ teaspoon chilli powder (optional, very hot–more or less to taste)
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp tomato sauce, your favorite tomato sauce for pasta, salsa or paste (NOT KETCHUP!! – ed)
  • ½ tsp dried oregano, crush and rubbed between palms of your hands
  • 2 tbsp Seitenbacher veggie broth or your favorite vegetable stock (Marigold Bouillon, or home-made – ed)
  • ½ cup red wine (optional)/ 1 tbsp soy sauce/ 1 tbsp gluten-free Tamari
  • Pinch Himalayan or sea salt (optional)
  • 1 tsp dulse flakes
  • Handful cilantro (coriander) greens, minced

Ingredients for garnish

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 4 tsp white onions (spring onions), diced
  • 8 whole cilantro (coriander) leaves, minus the stalks, two leaves per bowl

TIP: When you get to the blending bit, if you just want a wholesome chilli rather than a soup, don’t blend!

    1. If using dried beans, screen the beans for any foreign debris such as stones. Rinse well and in a non-metal container, soak overnight in filtered water. Drain and discard that water the next morning.
    2. Get another container to marinate your protein of choice (tempeh/vegan sausages). In this container, add the oil and one or two crushed garlic cloves for every 3 ounces of protein. Mix well, seal the container and refrigerate.
    3. If using canned beans, skip the whole of this step and step 4: In a pressure cooker or medium-sized Dutch oven, place the pre-soaked beans. Add the bay leaves, the astralagus root and some filtered water. For a pressure cooker or normal pot, this will be 3 cups water per cup of beans, adding more if necessary. If using a pressure cooker, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, which might include less water. Cover pot or pressure cooker. Cook over a medium heat until the beans are done.
    4. Note: In a pressure cooker, the beans will take about 15 minutes to cook, while in a regular pot, between 1 and 3 hours. There are various factors that affect the cooking time: the age of the beans, the size and type of beans. Once the beans are nearly ready:
    5. Take a medium-sized skillet pan, sauté the next four ingredients (onion, red bell pepper, garlic cloves, jalapeno pepper) in the coconut oil for a few minutes until softened.
    6. Add half of the chipotle powder or the chilli powder (if using) to the skillet pan, and the following six ingredients: cumin; oregano; vegetable broth; salt; dulse seaweed flakes). Continue cooking on a medium heat for another minute, constantly stirring. Only add the remaining half of the chilli/chipotle if it’s not spicy enough already.
    7. Once the beans are done, discard the astralagus root and bay leaves.
    8. Next, add the contents of the skillet pan into a suitable pot along with the beans, as well as the wine/soy/tamari and tomato sauce. Uncovered, bring to a boil. Towards the end, add a handful of chopped up cilantro (coriander) greens.
    9. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover the beans for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    10. Using a blender or food processor, blend a third or half of the chilli (optional) for a creamier consistency and to make it more digestible. Pour the blended chilli back in the pot and mix the soup.
    11. The garnish (per serving): 1 tsp white onions, 1 tbsp diced avocado. 2 pieces cilantro/coriander
    12. Serve with brown, organic rice if needed.


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by George

I’m George Dryden - a slightly-off-the-wall-but-in-a-good-way journalist, blogger and almost-raw vegan. In April 2014, I graduated as a Certified Health Educator from the Hippocrates Health Institute, in Florida, USA (more about George)

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