Veggie Mama Blog

plant-based love from my family to yours

  • Veggie Mama Lindsey

Recipe-Black Bean Quinoa Chili

It's still hot and muggy buy the evenings are starting to feel just a bit cooler, as a hint of autumn is finally creeping in. I've seen pumpkin spice stuff all over insta already and I've started to see big, beautiful pumpkins at the wet market.

If you are a vegan in Shanghai, and you have not been to your local wet market, you must go. Like, immediately. It's an unbelievable feast for your senses. Dried goods, fresh veggies and handmade noodles and wanton papers. It's one of my favorite places (as long as I avoid the non-veg area!).

You can see, smell, and touch all of the vegetables piled high on the vendor's tables. You can see immediately what's in season, and it smells of earth. I love it so much.

Now that fall is approaching, the sweet potatoes are getting a little bigger, there are new kinds of eggplants popping up (I saw perfect ball shaped ones the other day!), and bamboo shoots are big and hearty.

It's also the perfect time for a hearty soup that has a kick of spice to keep you nice and warm on cool nights. It IS a spicy one though, so if you don't like the heat, omit the Tobasco and red chili.

This was the first soup on our menu at Happy Buddha and we never took it off the menu. People loved it! There is a chef here named Eduardo that I really admire and from time to time I would see him at Happy Buddha, always with the Black Bean Quinoa Chili. One time he said, "Do you know how many times I have ordered this on Sherpa's?" (Sherpa's is a local food delivery service.) I about died of happiness, in disbelief that such a talented chef would like something I made. I just never dreamed of a moment like that. So, if you ever see this Eduardo, thank you so much for loving this dish.

I hope you will love it too!


1C Quina (cooked PRO TIP cook in the rice cooker with about 1 inch of water covering the quinoa before cooking. Perf! BONUS TIP Cook more than you need and freeze it! Quinoa keeps beautifully in the fridge!)

1tbs. coconut oil or olive oil

1 white onion diced medium

3 cloves garlic, minced

1tbs. ground cumin

1 tomato diced medium

3C cooked black beans, lightly mashed or pulsed in the food processor a few times but not until mushy

1 green bell pepper diced medium

1 red bell pepper diced medium

1 zucchini diced medium

1 small whole red chili pepper

1tbs vegan Worcestershire sauce

1tsp. Tobasco sauce

2C low sodium vegetable broth or water

3tbs. tomato paste or sauce

salt & pepper to taste

1tbs. oregano leaves


1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, and cook until the onion softens and turns translucent, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the garlic, chili powder, and cumin. Cook and stir 1 minute.

3. Stir in the tomatoes, black beans, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, zucchini, chili pepper, chipotle pepper, and oregano. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook and stir 4-5 minutes until peppers are tender.

4. Add vegetable broth, vegan Worcestershire sauce, Tobasco, and tomato paste and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes.

5. After 20 minutes, stir in the cooked quinoa. Cook to heat through for 5 more minutes.

This chili is a meal on it's own, but also goes perfectly with nachos! One time I slathered some tortilla chips with this chili, vegan cheese sauce, cashew sour cream, lettuce, tomato, pico de gallo and avocado and it was pure heaven!


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