Freshly Vegan: Bean Chili

Making the decision to quit eating all animal products isn't easy, but you can make the transition taste great by making this delicious chili, without the beef.

Six weeks ago, I made what some may consider to be one of the hardest lifestyle changes (short of quitting drugs) a person can make: I went vegan.

I had been thinking about making this decision for a while. As I learned more about the way goods are produced in this country, I had become conscious of the capitalist control over my life. Going vegan is my attempt at becoming a more ethical consumer. It's my attempt at being more aware of what exactly I am putting into my body and how it was produced. Because it's not just about what I am eating, but where it came from. Farmers' markets are a vegan-friendly haven of locally produced goods and cheap produce, without all the processed junk found in a typical supermarket that, if purchased, could tempt the wayward tongue on a Saturday night (because by wayward, I mean drunk).

So here I am, six weeks strong and thoroughly enjoying my new lifestyle; I'll keep you posted on my progress. For any aspiring vegans here is a recipe for vegan chili that is carnivore approved.

• 1 lb dried black beans (or 2 15 oz cans)

• 5 cups of water

• 1 large white onion, chopped

• 1 large carrot, chopped

• 1 red bell pepper

• 1/4 cup tomato paste

• 6 cloves of garlic, crushed

• 2 tablespoons chili powder

• 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder

• 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

• 1.5 teaspoon salt (less is you’ve used canned beans)

• 1-2 bay leaves (optional)

In a large pot place beans and 4 cups of water. Bring the beans to a boil, cover and let simmer on medium/low heat for an hour. After an hour, toss in everything else, and add the last cup of water (or more as needed). Bring everything to a boil again, cover and allow to simmer for 60-90 minutes, until beans are soft and the water has been mostly absorbed.

Serve over rice or with sliced avocado and garnish with fresh cilantro.

I modified this recipe to fit my own tastes .

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