As Cold As Ice? Warm Up With Vegan Chili


As Cold as Ice – Chili

Brrr…it’s freezing cold this time of year and what can warm you up more than a nice, hot steamy bowl of chili. My sister developed this recipe and I can’t get enough of it!  It’s spicy with an earthy, rich taste. Deliciosa any day of the year! 

Did you know? Chili is considered a stew because it is more solid than liquid. Stews only contain a thin layer of liquid, so they are thicker than a soup recipe. A wide variety of different ingredients are often added to Chili to put the makers special spin on it. For example, some may add quinoa, butternut squash, jackfruit, mango or seitan. Or they may skip the beans altogether and make it Texas style.  


My special ingredient is bulgur. I like it because it’s minimally processed. Plus, it adds bulk and a meaty-like texture, so it is a good replacement for ground meat in recipes.  It’s loaded with fiber and is a good source of iron and potassium. 

Paula K’s Fiesta Chili

Servings: 10


  • 1 tablespoon cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ large sweet yellow onion
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ each of a medium red, green, yellow and orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 15-ounce can pinto beans
  • 1 15-ounce can kidney beans
  • 1 jar of red pasta sauce*

 OR homemade pasta sauce:

  • 1 large can Italian plum tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed or sliced
  • 2 leaves fresh basil
  • ½ teaspoon fresh oregano
  • ½ – 1 small jalapeno, chopped (depending on how spicy you like it!)
  • ½ tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder 
  • 1 cup unrefined bulgur 
  • Optional: fresh cilantro

*Red pasta sauce ideas include: Monte Bene garlic marinara or Rao’s Marinara or Arrabbiata Sauce (a spicy red sauce). 


  1. Drain beans together in a colander and rinse thoroughly.
  2. Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.
  3. Add onion and tomatoes to the pot and sauté for 10 minutes. 
  4. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Next add the bell peppers, beans, spaghetti sauce, jalapeno and spices to the pot. Heat for 3 minutes.
  6. Add the bulgur, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until bulgur is soft. This may take longer if you are cooking in altitude.
  7. Scoop out a one-cup serving into a bowl. Top with optional cilantro leaves and serve with vegan cornbread or a warm corn tortilla. Enjoy!