Veggie & Bean Chili — With An Indian Twist!

Veggie & Bean Chili — With An Indian Twist!



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My family loves to eat comfort food and one of our favorites is chili. I like to make a healthy version without any meat. I swap out vegetable oil with olive oil, which is heart-healthy. I use dark red kidney beans for omega-3’s and black beans for fiber. I add in lots of anti-oxidant rich peppers and onions. I put my own personality in the dish by adding special spices to give the chili an Indian twist. I add turmeric, cumin, garlic, and ginger, which all help reduce inflammation in our bodies.

Inspiration: Family Favorite Healthy Makeover


  • 7   ounces   black beans   can, rinsed
  • 16   ounces   kidney beans   can, rinsed
  • 1/2   cup   refried beans   canned
  • 14   ounces   tomatoes   canned, diced
  • 1   cup   mixed peppers   diced - green, red, orange
  • 1   cup   sweet onion   diced
  • 1   head   garlic   peeled, minced
  • 1 1/2   cup   vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2   teaspoon   salt
  • 3/4   teaspoon   turmeric powder
  • 1   tablespoon   ginger   paste or fresh minced
  • 1   tablespoon   cumin powder
  • 1 1/2   tablespoon   olive oil
  • 1      whole wheat tortilla   heated
  • 1   tablespoon   cilantro   chopped




1. On medium heat, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan.
2. Add peppers, onions garlic, and ginger. Cook until softened (approximately 7 minutes), stirring regularly.
3. Add vegetable broth, stir.
4. Add black beans and kidney beans (that have been thoroughly rinsed and drained). Stir. Let cook for a few minutes. Then add refried beans to combine well.
6. Add salt, turmeric, cumin and stir.
7. Simmer on low heat for 5-8 minutes.
8. Heat whole wheat tortilla on grill pan for 1-2 minutes each side. Cut into triangles.
9. Serve hot chili in bowl, garnish with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro. Serve tortilla triangles on the side for dipping.

About the Chef

Emma Scielzo

Age: 13 – MD

Why is healthy cooking important to you?  Healthy cooking is very important to me and my family because we want to live long and healthy lives, and we have learned that the food you eat has a big impact on your health. My family has a history of heart disease and cancer, and so we are particularly conscious of trying to eat foods that are heart-healthy and full of anti-oxidants. My Indian grandparents have taught me how to incorporate ingredients that pack a lot of flavor and add a lot of health benefits-- such as ginger, garlic, turmeric, and cumin. I like to be creative in the kitchen and so I make a lot of American dishes with an Indian twist. When we eat healthy, we feel healthy – and we feel good about ourselves.

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