June 14, 2011

Chili Con Cocoa

Occasionally someone will ask me if I have missed meat since becoming a vegetarian and I have to think about it because I feel like I should miss meat. I used to be the biggest meat eater. I liked steak and I liked it raw! Some days I would just crave steak and would cook it up and nothing else. Thor still laughs that on our second date we came home a little late (around ten) and I cooked us both big slabs of steak and served it up like it was a very typical late night snack.

Funny thing is, I don't miss meat at all. If there was ever a day that I really wanted a piece of meat I probably would eat it, but that hasn't happened yet. Last time I was around a lot of meat was when I went to the Grille from Ipanema with some friends.The smell of meat was everywhere and there were just these big skewers of different meats "floating" around the restaurant. The strangest thing happened, I went into the restaurant expecting that I would crave all the meat that was around, but instead I became physically ill. I actually had to go sit outside (in very cold temperatures) to try a calm the nausea! I can not explain why this once bloody steak lovin' girl got queasy over some meat but there it is.

Turning vegetarian also had some unexpected positive side effects. I was forced out of my comfortable meal patterns and found new foods and a passion for cooking. I just love cooking for friends and breaking it to them that their meal is vegetarian/ vegan/ white sugar free/ white flour free etc...

I don't think that being vegetarian is for everyone and I hope to never come across as preachy. I do believe we can all enjoy wholesome plant based hearty meals together and no matter your dietary preferences "breaking bread" with others is a valuable experience to share with family, friends' and strangers.

This chili is the perfect comfort food for vegans and meat lovers alike. I served mine with a baked potato and a salad.


1 tbsp Olive Oil
1-3 cloves garlic, minced (I used 1 large)
2 bell peppers, chopped ( I used 1 green, 1 orange)
1 sweet onion, chopped ( I only had half left!)
3 carrots, chopped
1 cup frozen corn
1 tbsp cumin
3 tbsp chili powder
pinch sea salt
pinch cayenne
1 can each: black beans, white kidney beans, red kidney beans (rinsed)
1 lg can diced tomatoes with juice
1 fresh tomato, diced
2 tsp oregano
3 mushrooms, chopped
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
Juice of 1 lime
 2 tbsp Chia Seeds (optional- but a nice thickener and its the latest super food!)
1 jalapeno, chopped ( I omitted this 'cause Thor is not into the spicy food...)

1. In a large pot warm OO. Add first 5 ingredients and saute until everything is soft. Add the rest of the ingredients, cover, and cook for about 30-40 minutes. Medium-low heat or a very gentle simmer.

2. Well I guess there is only  step really.... Serve! I garnished mine with avocado and some vegan pepper jack cheese but you just garnish away with whatever you little heart desires!

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