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  • Writer's pictureLeslie

Flexitarian Smoky Chili

As we get used to life in a pandemic, it's important that we continue to strive toward health while accepting where we are at. Progress over perfection, is a good mantra now.

What I love about this comforting and classic dish is that it meets you where you are. This Smoky Chili works for both strict vegans as well as plant-based eaters who occasionally eat meat or fish (aka "flexitarians"). This is a stressful time, let's face it, and we may have people sheltering in place with us who have different needs and cravings than we do. Loaded with whole foods and plant-based, either way you make this dish it's still packed with nutrients and - my favorite - FIBER!

We have enjoyed this with or without organic ground turkey (just add more beans!). Use veggies you have on hand (throw in a diced zucchini or some chopped chard leaves for example) and adjust the spices to what you have in your drawer. Just remember to taste and adjust before serving, that part is key!

Enjoy the shelter everyone, stay in and stay well...yours, Leslie

Flexitarian Smoky Chili


¼ cup mezcal OR 3 TB tequila plus 1 TB Ancho Reyes chili liquor, optional but adds great flavor!

1 onion, diced

1 jalapeno, seeded and minced

1 organic bell (sweet) pepper, cored, seeded and diced

1 sweet potato, scrubbed and diced

3 large cloves garlic, minced (or sub 1/2 tsp garlic powder)

1 pound organic ground turkey*

1-2 TB ancho chili powder (or sub any chili powder) - use more for more heat

1 tsp ground cumin

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

2 TB raw cacao powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp dried oregano, optional

2 cans organic fire roasted diced tomatoes (or plain diced tomatoes)

2 cups organic vegetable broth (or sub chicken broth or water)

4 cups (or 2 cans) beans (use any variety you like, I prefer pinto, white, black)

salt and pepper to taste

*Note: if making without turkey, add a third can of beans.

2-4 drops liquid smoke OR 1 TB chopped chili in adobo sauce, optional for extra smoky flavor

For serving: yogurt, avocado slices, chopped green onions, cilantro, pepitas, lime wedges, all optional


1) Heat a large pot and add mezcal to pan. Add onion, jalapeno, and bell pepper and cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute, being careful not to burn the garlic.

2) Add turkey (if using), sprinkle with salt & pepper, and cook, while breaking up the meat, and allow to brown. If making vegan and not using turkey, skip to step #3.

3) Add spices (chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, cacao, smoked paprika, oregano) and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.

4) Add tomatoes and broth, stir and allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes.

5) Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve warm with toppings over rice, cauliflower rice, zucchini noodles, or on it's own with a side of corn bread or some (preferably organic) tortilla chips.

For this recipe, I used #ranchogordo Yellow Indian Woman Heirloom Beans (so good!). To cook, I soak the whole bag overnight, drain and rinse the next day and cook in filtered water (water should come about 2 inches above the beans) for 1 1/2 hours (cook time depends on the size and variety of the bean). You can also cook in an #instapot but this is my favorite method.

I can't wait to see what great recipe comes from my next batch of these yummy beans...lmk if you have any ideas for me to try!


Tag @feedingyourgoals on Instagram and Hashtag #feedingyourgoals

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