Mood Foods Recipe Collection

Ultimate ‘Vegan’ Chilli

Serves 6


400g mushrooms

olive oil

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

2 red onions

4 garlic cloves

1 fresh red chilli (de-seeded)

50g fresh coriander 

1 celery stick

1 red pepper

1 tbsp tomato paste 

250ml red wine (optional)

2 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp flaxseed

2 x 400g chopped tomatoes or passata

400g black beans or butter beans

400g kidney beans

1.5 tsp maple syrup

10g dark chocolate 

For the spice mix:

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp ground cumin

1tsp paprika

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 

1/2tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 bay leaf


Put the mushrooms into a food processor and pulse until finely minced. You can chop them if you prefer or if you don’t have a food processor. Try to ensure that you don’t pulse them into a paste as this is what gives the chilli its texture.

Pour a little oil into a large pan and when hot, tip in the mushrooms along with the salt and pepper and fry for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside in a dish until later. 

Peel and put the onions in the food processor then add the garlic and chillies. 

Remove the leaves from the stalks of the coriander and add the stalks to the food processor. Again, use the pulse function. 

Cut the red pepper and celery into very small chunks and put into a hot pan (with oil) and add the onions, garlic and chillies. Cook for about 10 minutes.

Add all of the spice mix to the pan and stir all together. 

Stir in the tomato puree then add the wine, soy sauce and balsamic vinegar and turn up the heat to high. Stir constantly until the liquid has reduced by two thirds and the alcoholic aroma has subsided. 

Tip the chopped tomatoes into the pan and simmer for 5 minutes.

Drain the black beans (or butter beans) and kidney beans and add to the pan along with the maple syrup and dark chocolate and stir. Add the mushrooms that you cooked off earlier and stir all together. Reduce the heat to a very gentle simmer, cover with a lid and simmer for at least 10 minutes. You can leave it simmering for longer and this will then enhance the flavour and add more water if you need to.

Take the lid off the pan and remove the bay leaf. Stir in the coriander leaves and serve! 

You can serve this with rice or brown rice or use to serve on top of nachos.

More about this chilli…  

This deep, dark and smoky chilli is perhaps one of the best that you will taste (even though it has no meat in it). The flavour comes from the mushroom base but is boosted by untraditional ingredients like soy, flaxseed, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and chocolate. You should leave it to bubble away if you have the time so that the flavours are even more enhanced. I promise you that you will not miss the meat thats made with the traditional chilli!

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