I am a little bit obsessed with my Vegan 3-Bean Chili recipe lately.
I know what you’re thinking: Chili? In the summer? Abso-friggin-lutely.
First of all, everything that you put in a chili thrives during the summer. Sweet peppers, tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, and onions are all plentiful in the summer months. So is zucchini, which I add to this chili, too.
Second, when you eat spicy foods during the summer, you can actually regulate your body temperature more naturally. You can read more about it here, but trust me, it’s actually totally scientific.
Third, if you need to pull back the spice, I created this AH-MAZ-ING avocado cream sauce that will make it a little less intense and still 100% delicious.
And here’s an admission: I never thought I liked chili until I created this chili recipe. Honestly. I’d had chili before that I liked but not enough to replicate on a regular basis.
This recipe is crazy easy. You can make it in the morning and let it sit, which will make it even tastier. Since all of the ingredients are fresh (no tomato paste or canned tomatoes in this chili) I find that it feels lighter in my body. I feel full when I eat a bowl, but not heavy.
So make this chili on a hot summer day, get your sweat on, and cool off naturally.
Vegan 3-Bean Chili with Avocado Cream Sauce
1/2 cup each of pinto beans, black beans, kidney beans (i use dried beans and cook them in advance, which takes about 2 extra hours. you can do this the night before OR the morning of. or you can use 1 can of each instead)
1 Tbs olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 small jalapenos, minced (more or less depending on how hot you want your chili)
1 inch fresh turmeric, minced
1 red pepper, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped into very small pieces
2 cups zucchini, chopped
4 tomatoes, chopped (keep as much of their juices as you can)
1 cup water or veg broth
1 Tbs chili powder
2 tsp cumin
salt, pepper to taste
avocado cream sauce~
1/3 cup cashews
1/4 cup water
1 Tbs lime juice
1 tsp salt
*If you need to cook your beans, this is the first step. Once they are cooked, you can proceed.
Heat your oil in a large pot. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Then add garlic, jalapeno, and turmeric (if you’re using). Cook for another minute or 2, stirring well. Then add the red pepper, carrots, and zucchini. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the tomatoes and the spices.
Add the beans and water/broth, then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook uncovered for 15-30 minutes. Cover, then let it sit for another hour or 2 before eating.
While the chili is cooking, make your sauce.
Add the avocado, cashews, water, lime, and salt to a vitamix or food processor. Blend until very smooth. No, you do not have to soak your cashews first. They’ll be just fine. The sauce should be fairly thick, so start with less water and then add more as needed. Add more salt if you want it to be a little more “sour cream” style.
When the chili is ready, serve with a dollop of the avocado cream.
And enjoy your summer sweat!