Friday, November 16, 2012

Walnut & Black Bean Chili with Avocado Salsa

This vegan chili is not only soy but also gluten free. Humble walnuts serve as a hearty ground beef substitute and really give this dish its distinct flavor. Corn tortillas dissolve in the hot broth and act as a thickener, allowing this soup to bubble away and taste more flavorful with every passing minute. If you have never tried walnuts as a meat substitute, I recommend this as your first test recipe, you won't be disappointed!

Black beans and walnuts serve as a base for this chipotle and ancho spiced chili, spritzed with lime and garnished with a quick and easy avocado salsa.

Walnut & Black Bean Chili
serves 4
1/2 cup walnuts
1-15oz can diced tomatoes
3-6" corn tortilla, torn into chunks
1 cup refried beans
2 garlic cloves
1 chipotle pepper plus 1 tbl adobo sauce
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, small dice (reserve 2 tbl for avocado salsa)
1 tbl chili powder
1 tbl cumin
1 tsp ancho chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1-15oz black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
2 limes, divided
2 radishes, thinly sliced

Grind up the walnuts in a food processor into coarse crumbs. Set aside. Add the tomatoes, tortillas, refried beans, garlic, chipotle and adobo into the processor and blend until smooth. Set aside.
Sweat the onions in olive oil in a medium pot until soft and translucent. Add the walnuts and saute until toasted, 5 minutes. Season with chili powder, cumin, ancho and salt. Cook for 3 minutes.
Add tomato mix along with the beans, broth and water. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.
Cook over medium-low heat for 30 minutes until thick, stirring often.
Add the juice of one lemon and taste to season with salt if necessary.
Divide into portions and garnish with lime wedges, radish slices and avocado salsa.

Avocado Salsa
2 avocados
3 tbl roughly chopped cilantro
2 tbl minced red onion

Combine the avocado, cilantro and red onion and mash into a coarse salsa. Taste and season with salt.


  1. Ended up with a big liquid mess which looked like vomit!

  2. Just made this, but I substituted the canned tomato's and refried beans with a full can of mixed beans and two large vine tomato's. Super tasty! I also added some maple syrup and some BBQ sauce to make it a bit more sweet and smoky. THUMBS UP!


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