Now we are talking. I hope you like chili because this recipe was inspired by my love of a hearty homemade vegetable chili. While this recipe does contain chili powder and other spices used in typical chili recipes, the recipe you will find below is far from a standard chili recipe. I think it’s a new, wonderful variation with creamy tahini sauce twist!
This recipe provided all of the evidence I need that roasted tomato sauce, creamy tahini and chili powder are one dynamite combination. Toss in lots of vegetables, including oyster and shiitake mushrooms, and we’ve got a spicy, mouth-watering treat to satiate our appetites come lunch or dinner time.
I love oyster and shiitake mushrooms, but I know that depending on where you live and/or shop, they can be on the pricy side. You can use any type of mushroom for this recipe (well, any as in, the one’s sold at grocery stores and not the poisonous kinds you randomly find in the forest!). Halloween has passed and we don’t need any more horror stories due to imprudent mushroom gathering decisions.
You can also use frozen mushrooms rather than fresh and this is especially useful if you are on a budget. Frozen mushrooms are always cheaper than fresh. The same goes for the other vegetables in this recipe. Feel free to use frozen veggies, if desired.
Go organic if you can! This is especially important for the raw baby spinach. Spinach is one of the most heavily sprayed vegetables and is on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list. Just say no to conventional spinach! At #37 dirtiest out of 48 fruits and vegetables on the EWG’s pesticide ranking list, mushrooms are middle of the road in terms of pesticide residue. The most important ingredients to go organic with are the celery, tomatoes and red pepper, which are all on the dirty dozen list. CLICK HERE to educate yourself!
Makes 8-10 bowls full.
2 (15 oz) cans cannellini beans (can also use kidney or black beans)
1 large yellow or red onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 large handfuls raw spinach (about 5 oz)
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 cup oyster mushrooms
2 cups shiitake mushrooms
Roasted Tomato Tahini Sauce:
2 ½ cups roasted tomato sauce (can use your fav canned brand, preferably low-sodium)
1 cup vegetable broth
½ cup tahini
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
1 tablespoon Bragg’s liquid amino acids (optional)
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon cayenne
A few tablespoons ground chia seeds
Chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
Edible flowers (as pictured)
1) Use your fine knife skills to slice and dice all of the vegetables. Once this is completed, in a large pot, saute garlic, onions and carrot in ¾ cup water on medium heat for five minutes, stirring often.
2) After 5 minutes, stir in celery, pepper, mushrooms and spinach. The spinach will take up lots of room, but it will wilt quickly and substantially shrink. Add ¼ cup more water, if necessary. After a few minutes stir in beans, mix all ingredients in the pot well, reduce flame to a simmer and cover pot while you prepare the sauce.
3) This is the fun and also really easy part! To prepare the creamy roasted tomato tahini cream sauce, place all sauce ingredients in a high-powered blender ALONG WITH all spices. This will result in one totally delectable, snazzily spiced sauce that you will definitely enjoy if you are a fan of chili! I like to add all of the spices to the blender in the preparation of the sauce rather than put them in the pot with the vegetables because this ensures that the spices are evenly dispersed. And it makes a super delicious cream sauce!
4) Pour the sauce into the pot and stir very well. Increase the flame back to medium heat and heat for another 15-20 minutes, stirring often.
5) After this time, the stew will be all ready for eating. Hooray! Pour into bowls and garnish with desired toppings.
If you have leftovers, you can store in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for a few weeks. You can prepare this on the weekend and have many yummy, home-cooked meals ready for eating during the busy week ahead!