Chili con Verdes

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Chili con verdes with quinoa cornbread

Nothing like a big bowl of spicy chili to warm you up on a winter’s day.  This is a healthy but delicious twist on the chili a lot of people are used to.  How do yo take something that is amazing and make it even better.  Throw some greens in of course.  Hence the name, Chili con verdes.  I chose kale to greenify this chili. Oh baby.

Serves 4-6


3 tablepoons extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
2 large carrots, diced
2 medium parsnips, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 medium zucchini, cut in small chunks
3-4 large kale leaves, stems removed, leaves roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 whole dried chip peppers, chopped
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 cinnamon stick
salt and pepper
4 cups pureed tomato
3 cups cooked red kidney beans
1 1/2 cups cooked chick peas
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 cup water – use more if chili is too thick

optional: a few sprigs of fresh coriander, leaves picked and chopped – for garnish


1. To make your chill powder grind the chili peppers, 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds, oregano, and paprika in a mortar and pestle or in a coffee/spice grinder.

2. Add olive oil to large pot with remaining 1 teaspoon of the cumin seeds and the mustard seeds.  Cook on medium-low for 1 min until seeds begin to pop.

3. Add your all chopped vegetables except the zucchini and kale with cocoa powder, cinnamon stick, chili powder and good pinch of salt and pepper to the pot and sauté on medium for 10 minutes until vegetables begin to soften.

4. Add kidney beans, chick peas, and tomato puree.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 mins.

6.  Add chia seeds, zucchini and 1 cup water. Cook for another 20 mins.

7. Add chopped kale leaves and remove from heat.   Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.  Kale leaves will become a beautiful vibrant green colour.

8. Serve in bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro if that’s your thing.  Serve with rice or even better homemade cornbread.


Throw those greens in!



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