Winter is Coming – Time for Some Chili

Cold weather is chili time. Actually, all weather is chili time, but chili is especially delicious during the colder months. This recipe is completely vegan. For a meaty texture we use bulgur, and for some extra oomph, we use dehydrated mushrooms and crushed walnuts.

I can’t stress enough how intensely good this is. The recipe looks long, but it’s rather easy. Give it a try and enjoy.

This recipe requires three steps.

  1. Soak beans
  2. Prepare tomato sauce
  3. Make chili

Step two is broken up into two parts, A and B. Part A can be eliminated in the interest of time and substituted for a jar of store bought tomato sauce. Part B, however, is critical. If eliminating part A, make sure you heat the tomato sauce before continuing to Part B.

All Ingredients

  • Salt
  • 1 bag of red kidney beans (16 oz)
  • ½ ounce dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 4 teaspoons oregano
  • ½ cup crushed walnuts
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ⅔ cup bulgur
  • 2 onions
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 7 cups water

Step 1 – Soak beans (duration, at least 5 hours)


  • 1 bag of beans
  • 1 teaspoon salt


Soak beans in water and 1 teaspoon salt for at least 5 hours

Step 2 – Make tomato sauce (duration, 45 min – 1hour; this can be made in advance)

Part A.


  1. Salt
  2. 4 tomatoes
  3. Tomato paste
  4. 1 onion
  5. 1 red pepper
  6. ¼ cup red wine
  7. 6 garlic cloves
  8. 1 tablespoon Olive oil


  1. Prepare the vegetables: cut the onion, red pepper, and tomatoes (keep onion aside)
  2. Heat olive oil
  3. Put onion in pan, stir in salt and cook about 4 minutes until translucent
  4. Stir in red pepper, tomatoes, and wine. Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes. Stir in garlic, and cover for another 10-15 minutes.

If preparing in advance, cover and refrigerate when complete, if not, continue to Part B.

Part B.


  • ¾ cup walnut
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½ ounce dried shiitake mushroom
  • 3 tablespoon tomato paste


  1. Stir walnuts, soy sauce, and tomato paste into sauce, blend
  2. Crush shiitake mushroom with hand and place in sauce
  3. Set aside

Step 3 – Chili (duration, 3 hours)


  • Salt
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bag kidney beans, soaked
  • 7 cups water
  • ¾ cup bulgur
  • 28 oz of tomato sauce (used prepared tomato from step 2)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons oil


  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. On stove top, heat oil in large pot or dutch oven
  3. Stir in onions 1 teaspoon salt and cook until translucent. Stir in chili powder, ground cumin, coriander, and oregano until fragrant. Stir in beans, mix well, then water, and bring to boil.
  4. Put pot in oven for 45 minutes
  5. Stir in tomato sauce and bulgur. Cook in the oven covered for 2 hours

And for those that would like to have a little fun while cooking, below is a curated play list ideal for chili preparation.


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