This chili is knock your socks off perfect for anyone who desires a large helping of anti-cancerous, youth-promoting chemicals as well as a snazzy, hearty meal. Every single ingredient in this oil-free, vegan chili is mega good for us. Think rich-red tomato sauce, nutrient-dense baby spinach, fresh red peppers, onions, garlic, and of course, shiitake mushrooms.
Shiitake mushrooms are amongst my favorite type of mushrooms (in my eyes, they tie with Hen of the Woods and Portobello), and so I said to myself, why not throw some into a basic chili recipe and bam, add an extra layer of texture and flavor and the magical chemical ergothioneine? Ergothioneine is a magical chemical only present in mushrooms and I wrote about it in a previous post, which you can read by CLICKING HERE. Everyone should be aware of why ergothioneine, and hence, mushrooms are kick ass for disease prevention, free-radical protection and youth preservation. Wow, I managed to think of three nouns beginning with the letter P for the previous sentence in less than 15 seconds. I wasn’t counting, though, so it could have been more like 10 seconds. Anyway, please do yourself a favor and make this chili with shiitake mushrooms and educate yourself about why we should all include more mushrooms in our diets. Hopefully you will be just as fascinated by the ergothioneine present in mushrooms as I am and will find this recipe to be just as beautifully satisfying as I do.
This recipe is terrific because it will store well in your refrigerator for a full week or in the freezer for up to three weeks. It is a fantastic meal to pack for on-the-go lunches or post-work, late-night dinners. Hooray for chili!
Ingredients (makes 12-15 servings):
2 cups water
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
2-3 cups shiitake mushrooms, sliced
3-4 cups fresh, organic baby spinach
4 carrots, chopped
1 can of each: black beans, white beans, kidney beans (I use Eden’s BPA free)
2 cups of your favorite tomato sauce (can be canned or homemade)
1 ½ tablespoons oregano
1 tablespoon cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 heaping tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons ground chia seeds
1) In a large pot, add 1 cup of water, garlic, peppers, onion and carrots and sauté until they are all soft (this should take no more than 5 minutes).
2) Add the spinach, mushrooms, tomato sauce and the rest of the water and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the spinach has completely wilted.
3) Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for about 30 more minutes on low to medium heat.
My family adored this recipe and it was gone in two days. La sigh. It looks like I will be making this recipe again soon!
P.S. Don’t forget to add ground chia seeds to the recipe! They provide a layer of thickness to the chili as well as an extra dose of healthy, omega-3 fatty acids. I even top my bowl of chili with a few tablespoons of chia seeds to get even more chia seed deliciousness. I love chia seeds that much!
Lastly, I’m going to provide you with a chia seed fun fact: the high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in chia seeds actually make chia seeds a potent insect repellent and eliminate the need for pesticides for optimal growth. This means that growing organic chia seeds is as easy as sprinkling chia seeds over this chili.