Beat the Chills with Southwestern Chili

First day of spring? I think not. I’ve been counting down the days to warm sunny weather, but it seems like winter will not get going without a fight here in Toronto. I mean, just look at this photo I took yesterday on my way home.

It was a perfect day for chili, and I remembered promising to share the recipe for it in this post. It’s one of my favourite winter (now early spring) dishes to make because it’s hearty, spicy and warm with lots of good protein. It’s an easy recipe too because it doesn’t require babysitting once you mix the ingredients together and get it on the stove, and freezes well so that you can bring the leftovers for lunch or save them for another chilly day!


If I’m in a hurry, I use BPA-free canned beans (like Eden Organic ). But if I happen to plan ahead, dried beans are definitely the more economical choice. Simply cover the beans with water in a ceramic or glass bowl and let them sit on the counter, usually overnight. The older your beans are, the longer you will have to soak them, since they’ve lost more of their moisture. When you’re ready to add them to the chili, drain them, rinse them well and dump them in.

Soaking the beans helps to:

  • remove residues from the surface of the bean
  • release the indigestible sugars (oligosaccharides) that can create embarrassing gas
  • drastically reduces cooking time, saving time, money and the environment
  • ensures even cooking throughout the bean (so you avoid having “crunchy” beans. Yuck!)

This recipe is so versatile since I’ve often made it with whatever vegetables I have on hand. If I make a vegetarian version of this recipe I always add a whole lot of veggies that stand up well to longer cooking times. Mushrooms, peppers, even sweet potato or butternut squash would all be awesome! You could even add more delicate veggies, just add them near the end of cooking, like I did with the corn.

Beat the Chills Southwestern Chili 

Kidney Beans, Canned

Kidney Beans, Canned (Photo credit: artizone)

Ingredients (serves 4-6 people):

  • 1 lb of organic ground turkey/beef from your local reputable farmer, tempeh, or omit for a vegetable-only chili
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 celery ribs, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1  28-ounce can of organic tomatoes (I have yet to find a BPA-free can)
  • 2-3 tbsp. organic chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. oregano
  • 1 tbsp. honey (if your tomatoes aren’t sweet)
  • 1 can of black beans (or a 1.5 cups soaked overnight)
  • 1 can of kidney beans (or 1.5 cups soaked overnight)
  • 1 cup organic frozen corn
  • 4 tbsp. chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • 4 tbsp. chopped green onion, for garnish
  • salt and pepper (or my personal fave, Herbamare), to taste


  1. Vegans/Vegetarians: Go to step 2. Omnivores: Brown beef/turkey in the bottom of a large heavy bottomed pot. Drain fat or if using turkey add a little bit of coconut oil to the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking.
  2. In the same pot on medium-low heat, saute onion, carrots, celery until onion is translucent. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
  3. Add tomato paste and chili powder, cumin and oregano and cook for another minute. Add canned tomatoes, kidney and black beans and honey. Cover and increase to high heat.
  4. Once mixture reaches a boil, turn down to a very low simmer, leave pot covered and cook for about 40 minutes or until beans are cooked through.
  5. Add corn and let simmer for another 2-4 minutes.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste (or Herbamare).
  7. To serve, scoop out 1-2 cups into a bowl and garnish with cilantro and green onions.
  8. Dig in and enjoy with guacamole and organic tortilla chips or crackers!

3 thoughts on “Beat the Chills with Southwestern Chili

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