Ever have those days when going to the grocery store sounds about as enticing as a root canal? They’re few and far between for me, but it happens. This Sunday I was feeling super sluggish and spend most of the day being at one with my sectional, where I spent a shameful amount of time watching the Kardashian sisters carry on like a herd of feral donkeys, while simultaneously Pinterest-ing. Please don’t judge me.

The grocery store was just not happening, but I know that during the week, I do a million times better in the healthy-eating-on-the-run department when I have some quick lunches prepped. I dug around in my pantry a bit and realized that I had some tomato paste, and a can of diced tomatoes, chickpeas, corn….hmmmmmm. I don’t know that I had made chili at all this winter. Badda bing, badda boom, crisis averted; it was chili time.

I usually use kidney beans in my chilies, but the only prepared legumes I had were chickpeas. They worked wonderfully. That’s the great thing about chili, as long as you know the general proportions of liquid to veggies to spice, it’s pretty much always guaranteed to be a good time. For the first time ever I added some molasses to the pot, which really brought the whole thing together. I love the slight sweet, caramel touch it gave, with a nice tingle left behind by the chili flakes. I have two bags of red spice in my cupboard and no idea which one is chili powder and which one is cayenne, so I didn’t touch either of them.

I was impressed with myself on this one, not gonna lie. So the moral of this story is, that sometimes being an unproductive POS on a Sunday afternoon can result in delicious, healthy lunches for the whole week. Huzzah!


Sweet with Heat Veggie Chili

Yield: 4

Serving Size: 1 cup


  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 handfuls sliced mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup corn
  • 1 can (2 cups) cooked chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1/3 cup sliced roasted red peppers
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes (one big can)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/3 tsp red pepper flakes (for a mild-medium chili, add more if you like it hot!)
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil and garlic over medium heat in a large pot until fragrant, add onion and cumin, sautee until a little soft. Add in chopped mushrooms, corn, roasted red peppers, mix thoroughly, then add rest of ingredients. Let it all simmer on low heat for 40 minutes or so. Serve with sliced avocado, or store leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days. Freezes well, too!

3 comments to “Sweet with Heat Vegetarian Chili”

  1. This looks yummy! Can’t wait to try it out!

  2. lysa says:

    Chili…mmm. Good stuff! I love how you used some molasses. Looks delicious!!

  3. MultiGrooves says:

    Tried this out and think it a very good, homely dish. I say the avocado is essential to balance the tart sweetness of the chilli. Thanks

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