This has the look and feel of a hippie chili--except it's packed with flavor. This isn't a super spicy chili; it's got a hint of sweetness with a small an apathetic chihuahua.


This chili has been through countless iterations. We've found over time that, like a curry, a chili depends heavily on the chili powder you use. Both our coop and Whole Foods carry Frontier brand spices. In our experience the regular chili powder produces a better chili than the fiesta chili powder, which is too sweet. We happened to only have the fiesta variety on hand for this most recent batch, and had to cut the sweetness with a couple teaspoons of white vinegar (add this 1/2 tsp at a time). In an ideal world, we would make our chili powder. Our friend Nick did this at a chili shootout/mustache party some years back and it was outstanding. Next time, Gadget.

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 jars or 28 oz cans (7 - 8 cups) diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups (1 can) kidney beans
  • 2 cups (1 can) black beans
  • 1 package tempeh, cut into cubes or crumbles (optional)
  • 1 large stalk of celery, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1  - 1.5 tsp oregano (ideally Mexican, rather than Greek)
  • 2 tsp soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari)
  • dash of cayenne
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/2 - 2 tsp white vinegar (optional, to cut sweetness)

In a large pot, sautee the onion, carrot, and celery (and tempeh, if using) in oil over medium heat. Once everything is softened and the onions are becoming translucent, add in the spices, coating the mixture well. Add in the tomatoes. Now, add in the beans: if you're using canned beans, dump in the whole can, liquid and all; if you're using fresh beans, spoon in with a slotted spoon, then add in 1/4 - 1/2 cup (depending on how thick you like your chili) of the cooked-in water from each bean (if you kept it). Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for at least a half hour.