Tag Archives: vegan chili

Trish’s Spicy Cashew Chili


Sometimes food communicates. This recipe speaks to my heart directly. It’s my friend Trish’s signature vegan chili, and as I type this, sweet Trish is in hospice, on the final part of her journey through this life.

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January 2015, Boho Girl and Trish at Sticky Rice/Baltimore Vegan Drinks

She has been fighting cancer. First – she successfully beat breast cancer. With that victory, she also met the love of her life, Chris. We were privileged to meet them on an early date into their relationship – at our first Baltimore Vegan Drinks several years ago. We sat next to them, and our fun evening eating vegan pizza & playing skee-ball was a big part of what inspired Nathaniel & I to take over organizing Vegan Drinks events in 2012. After all, we met such great people there – we wanted to have more events with great people like Trish and Chris! By the way, we challenged them to a skee-ball roll-off that first night. Trish won the entire match. 🙂

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Trish and Chris at Burleigh Manor, August 2014

Over the years, we got to know Trish and Chris as friends. Sometimes people enter your life and you just click. Good friends come along, and you know right away. We were even part of their wedding day last June, photographing their dream wedding, complete with Vegan Treats cake and a stunning vegan cheese plate.

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Beautiful Trish on her wedding day, June 2014

But the happiness was short lived. By fall, Trish’s cancer had returned. This time in her liver. As of the time of this writing, cancer has spread into her bones, and she has a blood infection. It is laborious for her to breathe. Doctors have no promises. It could be days or weeks left for Trish.

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The Dirty Hippie and Trish at a Christmas Party, December 2013

My heart is breaking as I type this post to share her chili recipe. When I think of Trish, I could never see “cancer.” I see life. Joy. Happiness. She has been one of those amazing women whose laugh brightens an entire room. I will always remember sharing edamame with her the first night we met; I will cherish memories of her hugging rescued pony Edgar at Burleigh Manor Animal Sanctuary last summer; I will always remember how stunning she was on the day she married Chris. Mostly, I will always remember her heart-felt, warm smile and her gracious way of seeing life. Despite tragedies and challenges, Trish has maintained a positive outlook. She inspires me.

And of course, I will think happily of her every time we make this chili. It has a background of Italian with sun-dried tomatoes and basil; a lot of spunky heat from red chili flakes and peppers; and the sweet creaminess of cashews. It’s a snap to make, too. You chop a few veggies, and after that, everything goes into the slow cooker. Four hours later, you’re ready to feed a crowd.

I invite you to try it, too. Trish loved making those around her smile – as well as feeding people (like most Italian women!). This incredible chili will nourish your body and soul, and help keep Trish’s kind, gentle presence in the world, where we truly need people like her who have so much love to give.


Trish’s Spicy Cashew Chili

2 25-oz. cans red kidney beans
1 25-oz. can chickpeas
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes in juice (add juice as well as tomatoes)
1 8.5-oz. jar julienned sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil with herbs (fork out the tomatoes but don’t add the extra oil)
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth (or use water if you wish)
2 large stalks celery, diced
1 large red pepper, diced
1 cup raw cashews, chopped into thirds
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 red onion, minced
1 tsp. each: cumin, coriander, basil, oregano and dill
1 Tbsp. each: chili powder, crushed red pepper
1 tsp. sea salt (or to taste)

Throw everything in a large, party-size slow cooker and cook on high for at least 4 hours (more if you like your beans softer).

Serve warm to a hungry group of 6 to 8 – or more!


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Trish and Chris, spring 2013


5-way Cincinnati Chili


Folks from Cincinnati take their chili VERY seriously. Just the fact that we made it vegan is probably not okay by them. However, with the new Fiesty “Beef-Free” Crumbles from Beyond Meat, I’d venture a guess that even hardcore chili fans may take a fancy to this recipe. These crumbles are worth seeking out – they’re vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, kosher and REALLY delicious. We’ve even got a coupon code for you at the bottom of this post.

Cinci chili is traditionally a chili con carne style dish, beef-based and no-bean, with an unusual mix of spices that resembles a pumpkin pie blend. It’s commonly served over spaghetti or hot dogs, and is a thinner, sauce-like consistency than the normal stick-to-your-ribs chili most folks make. Regional Ohio/Kentucky/Indiana restaurants that serve Cincinnati chili are called “chili parlors” and according to the Greater Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau, Cincinnatians consume more than two million pounds of chili each year, topped by 850,000 pounds of shredded cheddar cheese.

That’s an impressive amount of chili! But with no further fanfare, we’re excited to offer up a vegan style Cincinnati chili. Oh – you’ve got to get the lingo right: try it one-way (in a bowl); two-way (with spaghetti); three-way (with spaghetti and cheddar); four-way (with spaghetti, cheddar and onions) or five-way (with spaghetti, cheddar,onions and beans). And oyster crackers are always served on the side.



5-Way Cincinnati Chili


3 Tbl. olive oil

1 cup onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbl. chili powder

1 Tbl. paprika

1 Tbl. cumin

1 tsp. ground allspice

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1 bay leaf

pinch salt/pepper, to taste

1 pack Feisty Beyond Meat Beef-Free Crumbles

1 15 oz. can tomato sauce

1 cup diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)

2 Tbl. A-1 sauce (yes, it’s vegan!)

2 Tbl. unsweetened cocoa powder

1 Tbl. apple cider vinegar



bag or box of your favorite spaghetti (we used Tinkyada)

shredded vegan cheddar (we like Daiya)

finely diced sweet onion

kidney beans or chili beans

oyster crackers


In a large soup pot, saute chopped onion and minced garlic over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes, until caramelized and light brown. Add chili powder, paprika, cumin, ground allspice, cinnamon, cayenne, ground cloves and bay leaf to pot. Stir until onions are well coated and oil makes the spices into what looks like a paste. Warm for about one minute, then add entire pack of Feisty Beyond Meat Beef-Free Crumbles. Again, stir to coat so the spices are well distributed.

Over low heat, add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, A-1 sauce, cocoa powder and apple cider vinegar. Gently combine. The mixture should not be too thick; if it looks too thick, add a little water. Simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring every ten minutes. Before serving, remove bay leaf.

In the meantime, prepare your chili fixin’s. Boil spaghetti according to package directions; drain and set aside. Chop onion into fine mince. If using pre-seasoned chili beans, warm them in a saucepan. If using kidney beans, drain and rinse from the can and season lightly with chili powder, cumin or your favorite spices. Warm in saucepan with a splash of water and olive oil.

To serve 5-Way Cincinnati Chili, build in layers: first the spaghetti goes into a bowl, top with a generous portion of chili. Next, add a handful of vegan cheddar shreds, some chopped onions and chili beans. And maybe more cheddar shreds, just cuz they’re good. Don’t forget the oyster crackers!

As promised, here is the coupon to try Beyond Meat’s Beef-Free Crumbles. To find them in your area, check Whole Foods, or try the map on Beyond Meat‘s website for the closest retailer. The code to get your own copy of this coupon is: http://bit.ly/OVWF3I