The best red bean balsamic chili.

Vegan red bean chili by Knead to Cook.
Vegan red bean chili by Knead to Cook.

Vegan Red Bean Balsamic Chili. School started and I feel compelled to make chili.  I know, summer isn’t over yet but fall is on my mind.  We have been blessed with such beautiful weather this summer.  The last few days had a nice chill in the morning and in the evening – which justified this meal as I type this and the 90 degrees are headed into PA.

So now that everyone is back to school, I try to find a new routine.  Plus reclaim my house after a crazy-busy summer.  I spent the day cleaning, cleaning and oh yeah more cleaning.  I had this dinner made by 11 am, much as my husband predicted.  Laundry done.  Grocery store shopping completed and the dogs walked.  Felt good to be productive.  Remember how that feels?  Summer just doesn’t allow for that.


1 package of Vegan meat crumbles (I used Gardein beefless ground)
Olive oil
1 bell pepper, washed and diced (any color will do)
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2-1 small jalapeño, diced (seeds in for spicy or removed for less heat)
1 can of tomato paste
1 – 14 ounce can of organic fire-roasted tomatoes (diced) or you can use freshly roasted tomatoes (2 cups)
3 cans of beans (I used dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained)
2 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
1 teaspoon of chili powder
1/2 teaspoon of ground cayenne


In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add a drizzle of olive oil.  Let that heat up, then add the meatless ground crumble, pepper, onion, garlic and jalapeño.  Sauté for 4-5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.  Then add the paste and spices.  Give it a good stir.  Then finally add your beans, tomatoes and balsamic vinegar.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a low simmer and cover.  I leave to simmer from 3-6 hours.  If cooking a long period of time, do periodic checks to stir and add water if the chili is reducing too much.  I add 1/4 cup if necessary.

Serve garnished with green onions, red onions, sliced avocadoes or jalapeños etc.

Okay finally an athletic/life update…

Last week I ran a total of 5 days!  This was quite daunting after two weeks off post operation on my finger.  It was hard. Plain and simple.  My body is still recovering from the anesthesia and my wound.  I took it for what it was worth and enjoyed being able to lift, run and ride again.

photo 2

Then Saturday came and I rested my body.  It was so sore and every muscle was screaming but it was good… good pain!  Farmer’s Market shopping turned into hubby buying me a new laptop (much needed), this is my first post on it.  First cycling and now this… lots of changes this summer for me.  Take me out of my comfort zone!

Then Sunday came and my husband found a great hilly ride for us to do.  All UPHILL the entire way.  Oh my screaming legs!  Then at mile 18 or so my husband stopped for a stretch and when taking off and clipped in on my left side I made the rookie mistake and leaned too far over and fell.  This wasn’t my easy first fall ~ this one hurt.  My hip, knee and ankle.  I managed, begrudgingly, to get back on and ride the rest of the way.  We rode 30 miles.  AND we saw Amish camels?! Photo proof below.  You just never know what lies ahead do you?

photo 1

Monday and Tuesday and I ran.  I felt pretty sore but it’s getting better.  I ran 5 miles on Monday and 6 miles today with a bit of lifting and abs.  I navigate around my cast as best as I can.   I’m hoping to keep adding miles to my total and making progress with my recovery.  I really cannot wait till the pins are out of my finger and I can operate normally again.  This cast and sensitivity is just taxing.  Enough complaining.  Just happy to be moving and attempting to cook again.  Wishing you all a wonderful week!



— Knead to Cook

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