This easy chili recipe was engineered for vegetarian athletes who need complete proteins.

As you know, our tribe has special needs. That’s why I put quinoa in this easy-to-make vegetarian chili (it’s a complete protein).

So why not use brown rice instead?

Quinoa, being a seed rather than a whole grain, has all essential amino acids in it, whereas brown rice doesn’t, not being a complete protein.

Also, quinoa is slightly higher in fat than brown rice, and has more protein and dietary fiber per serving.

vegan-chiliI also included lentils, which is another great source of protein for vegetarians and vegans.

Out of all legumes and nuts, lentils contain the third-highest levels of protein, and 26% of the calories are attributed to protein.

Finally, I used organic turmeric (curcumin), because it is powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, and good for muscle soreness.

According to a 2013 medical study published in the “Journal of Pain Research,” 400 milligrams of curcumin was comparable to taking 2,000 grams of Tylenol.

Note: Turmeric is fat soluble and better absorbed in our bodies with the help of black pepper.

Carbs: 56 | Fat: 7 | Protein: 20 | Calories: 344

How Spicy: Medium-Hot
Yields: 6
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 30 min


  • 2 tbsp organic coconut oil (we recommend this)
  • 2 cups chopped red bell peppers
  • 2 tbsp organic garlic, minced (we recommend this)
  • 1 medium zucchini, stemmed and diced
  • 5 large Portobello mushrooms, stemmed, wiped clean, and cubed
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 4 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 4 cups cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 cups quinoa (rinsed)
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne (use as needed, start with 1 tsp)
  • 1 tbsp organic turmeric root powder (we recommend this)
  • 1 tbsp black pepper (add to taste)
  • 1 tsp sea salt (use as needed, start with 1 tsp)

Cooking Directions

  1. Bring the quinoa and 4 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, and the water has been absorbed, about 15 to 18 minutes.
  2. In a large pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the jalapeño peppers, bell peppers, serrano peppers, and garlic. Cook, stirring until soft, for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the zucchini and mushrooms, and stir until soft and the vegetables give off their liquid and start to brown for about 6 minutes.
  4. Add the chili powder, turmeric, black pepper, cumin, sea salt and cayenne, and stir for 1 minute.
  5. Add the tomatoes and stir. Add the beans, lentils, tomato sauce, and 2 cups of water. Stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 18-20 minutes.
  6. Once the red and green peppers are tender, stir in the quinoa. Return to a simmer, and cook 5 minutes to reheat. Remove from the heat, and stir in the cilantro.
  7. Drizzle some avocado oil, or add some slices of avocado on top for garnish. Not only does it dress up your meal, but it also provides “good” fat that helps lower bad cholesterol.

What others are saying:

“Hello Chris, I made this chili and was pleasantly surprise how good it tasted! Very filling without the use of meat. I love it and I would like to become a vegetarian. I love how clean eating makes me feel! I can do without the meat no problem as long as I can get my protein elsewhere! Thank you for sharing!!! I look forward to more recipes!”

“Chris, I LOVED this veggie chili!!! I made it for super bowl Sunday and everyone seemed to love it, vegetarian or not! I loved the addition of the quinoa.”

“I started from scratch, so it took me longer than the 15 min prep time. I cooked the beans from dried beans in some veggie broth…I also added some onion to the recipe because I love onion and can’t imagine cooking anything without it. I used red inca and used two zucchinis instead of the one. I am so excited about this recipe and will be looking for more yummy recipes from you.”