Wednesday, November 17, 2021


"Any man that eats chili and cornbread can't be all bad."  

                                                                        --Carroll Shelby

A couple of years ago, a good friend talked me into entering a local chili contest so there would be a meat-free version for people to sample.  I created this excellent recipe for that contest but dreaded having to work in a park using only a propane tank for cooking and heating.   When the chili contest was cancelled due to inclement weather, I did not have to deal with the propane tank.  Oh, happy day!

I love making this chili in the fall when friends come for dinner.  If you put together the ingredients in the morning, you can put it in a crock pot on low and let it simmer the rest of the day while you play.  If you have a local farmer who grows bell peppers, you can use green peppers or use a combination of green and purple, yellow, and red. Make a pan of cornbread, chop up green onions and avocado, slice up a lime to squeeze on top of the chili, and enjoy!

Growing Healthy Kids: Kick Ass Chili 

(for People who don’t eat meat and other kind souls)

This is an amazing chili recipe.  Freezing the tofu adds great texture.  Letting the tofu soak up the marinade overnight adds great flavor.  Trust me on the peanut butter. 


Place a container of extra firm organic tofu in the freezer.  The day before you want to make chili, take package out of freezer and defrost in fridge overnight.

The next day, open tofu package, drain liquid, and squeeze all excess liquid from the block of tofu. 

Mix together in large mixing bowl:

·        3 Tablespoons tomato paste

·        3 Tablespoons soy sauce

·        3 Tablespoons smooth peanut butter

·        ½ cup vegetable broth

Crumble tofu into 1/2” pieces and mix thoroughly with tomato paste mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge to marinate tofu till ready to make chili (at least 4 hours, overnight is even better). 


Heat large soup pot to medium heat. 


·        3 Tablespoons olive oil

·        1 medium red onion, diced

·        1 large or 2 medium green peppers, diced

·        2 cloves garlic, minced

Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently.


·        1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes

·        1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

·        1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

·        ½ small can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely diced plus 2 Tablespoons adobo sauce (TIP:  remove seeds for less heat)

·        2-4 cups vegetable broth

·        Tofu mixture

·        1 Tablespoon chili powder

·        1 teaspoon cumin

·        1 teaspoon oregano

Bring chili to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook for at least 1 hour before serving. 

Serve with fresh lime wedges, diced avocado, sliced green onions, and your favorite cornbread. 

With love and kindness,

Nancy Heinrich, MPH

Founder and Wellness Architect