Rustic Chili

Rustic Chili

Why rustic chili?  Because its hearty, filling, and wholesome.  I feel like I could walk out my door and just gather the ingredients in the forest (if beans and tomato paste grew in the forest, that is).

With superfoods like shiitake mushrooms, walnuts, and quinoa, its not only incredibly filling but its full of nutrition.  Shiitakes enhance the immune system and protect against cancer (for more click here).  Walnuts are full of omega-3 fatty acids which help with memory, cardiovascular disease, inflammation, and depression (for more click here).  Quinoa is high in micronutrients as well as protein.  There is not one ingredient in this chili that’s not high in fiber and micronutrients – its got it all!

He uses a slow cooker and more ingredients for his and I didn’t feel like waiting or doing extra chopping.  I was feeling lazy so I modified it to make it quicker and easier.

The ground up dried mushrooms and ground walnuts create a thick, creamy chili.

This is an oil-free recipe.  Onions and garlic are sautéed in water instead of oil.  You could also use veggie broth instead of water to cook ‘em up.

Rustic Chili


  • 540ml/19oz can kidney beans, drained
  • 398ml/14oz can black beans, drained
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-3 jalapenos (depends on how hot you like it)
  • 1-3 other small hot red peppers
  • 3 tsp oregano
  • 2-4 tsp cumin (depending on taste)
  • 1-3 tsp chili powder (as hot as you like it)
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped roughly
  • 2 tsp Braggs Liquid Aminos or tamari or low sodium-soy sauce
  • 156ml/5.5oz can tomato paste
  • 14 g package of dried shiitakes (or other dried mushrooms)
  • 2 cups water
  • 3-4 TBSP red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • salt & pepper to taste


To cook peppers: place the whole peppers on a baking sheet, uncovered, and bake at 350 F for 10-15 minutes until slightly browned.  Set aside and let cool.  When cool, de-seed and mince.

Meanwhile, place dried mushrooms in a coffee grinder or a blender that will grind them into a fine powder.

Sautee onions and garlic in a little water in a large pot on medium heat until onions are soft.

Place walnuts, oregano, cumin, chili powder in food processor and blend until walnuts are the size of oatmeal.  Then add chilis, tomatoes, Braggs or tamari, tomato paste, and ground mushrooms, and blend well until tomatoes are finely chopped.

Add the contents of the food processor to the onion pot.

Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down to low and simmer 30-40 minutes.  Add black beans and kidney beans and cook for 10 minutes more until beans are hot.  Add red wine vinegar (3-4 TBSP, add a bit at a time to taste)

About 15 minutes before the chili is done, cook the quinoa by boiling 1 cup water, add quinoa, cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook until quinoa is just tender.  Add the cooked quinoa to the chili and mix well.