Bean And Mushroom Chili

My variant of a recipe I found in the “Forks Over Knives” Cookbook (which is worth purchasing PERIOD).  This isn’t quite where I want it yet, but the unusual combination of spices, in turn, produces a delightfully deep and unique flavor – fennel works well with cumin and coa powder in ways I didn’t expect.  The beans and mushrooms work together better than I’d expected – and I strongly recommend using diverse beans.. It’s a bit milder than I’d hoped, but some extra salt picks it up.  I think I’ll tweak it with cinnamon next time (and maybe cut the black pepper).

Makes about 6 servings.

  • 1 White onion, diced
  • 1 lb mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp crushed garlic (6 cloves)
  • 1 Tbsp powdered cumin
  • 1 Tbsp Ancho Chili Powder
  • 1 Tbsp coca powder
  • 2 Tbsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 3 cups diced tomatoes (or 1 28 oz can)
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 ½ cups different beans. (3 14 1/2 cans) – I use kidney, pinto, and black beans
  1. Place onion and mushrooms in a large dutch oven or other saucepan. Dry sauté, adding water as needed to keep them from sticking. Stir and sauté for ten minutes until onions and mushrooms soften. The mushrooms will release their water over time.
  2. Add all spices, stir to mix, cooking for 3 minutes or so until well blended.
  3. Add all other ingredients. Bring to simmer, cook covered for 25 minutes

I first tried it with a pickled cabbage salad – which worked very well.  A sour kick and a spicy kick but neither overwhelming.  Rounded it out with some nice mild corn.


– Steven Savage

Recipe: Vegetarian Cincinnati Chilli

Been awhile since my latest cooking posts?  Yep, pretty busy, holidays, and all.  Also a lot of my dishes are in an experimental state, and I haven’t had the mojo to tweak my curry after the latest milestone.  However one recipe just got out of “experimental” to “done” – vegetarian Cincinnati Chilli!

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 finely chopped red onion
  • 1 Tbsp crushed garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato puree
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 + 1/8 tsp cinnamon (trust me, the exact amount matters)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 14 oz can pinto beans, drained, or about 3 cups of cooked beans.
  • 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  1. Sautee onion in olive oil until soft.
  2. Add garlic to onion, brown both.
  3. Add all ingredients but pinto beans and vinegar
  4. Bring to boil, then let simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Add beans and vinegar. Cook another 10 minutes until heated thoroughly.
  6. Remove bay leaf.
  7. Serve.

The result is great. A rich, sweet, spicy, satisfying chilli that’s got that whole Cincinnati Chili feel without meat.  Only caveat – not sure 10 minutes is long enough to cook the beans and vinegar in.  You may want to try 15, or try a different bean as this time the pintos came out just a bit “beany” in taste.

Still, going to call this a success.  It’s delicious.  I may have to try it with other protein sources!

I fount it went well with polenta or carrots as a side dish.

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at, publishes books on career and culture at, and does a site of creative tools at He can be reached at

White Bean Vegetarian Chili

This is a delightfully different, light, vegetarian chili.  It has a mild but pleasing spicy-sweet taste that is satisfying without being the same old chili flavor.

Makes 6 250 calorie servings or 5 300 calorie servings.

  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil, divided
  • 1 large, white onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp crushed garlic
  • 3 cans (14 oz ea) low-no sodium white beans, about 5 cups
  • 1 1//2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 medium chopped seeded green chili (about 1/4 a cup not packed).
  • 2 Tbsps Soy sauce
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp dried cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  1. Sautee the onion in one Tbsp Olive oil until it softened.
  2. Add garlic to onion, stir regularly until onion and garlic begin to brown.
  3. Add all other ingredients except remaining olive oil’ lemon juice, and dried cilantro. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Bring to simmer, and simmer covered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add olive oil, cilantro, lemon juice, stir thoroughly. Bring to simmer.
  6. Remove from heat and serve.

Thats it.  Pretty simple – which is another thing I like about it!

You can freeze it pretty easily.  To unthaw it I’d let it unfreeze in a frigde or use microwave defrost a bit then cook it up to a light boil.

As for side dishes I’ve found it goes best with corn, corn chips, steamed broccoli with lemon juice, and (oddly) cherry tomatoes.  I don’t think it’d go good with rice, potatoes, or refritos.  It would probably be an excellent game day chili or event chili, and its thick, creamy broth would also be satisfying in winter – though it’s not too heavy.

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at, nerd and geek culture at, and does a site of creative tools at He can be reached at