Jul 19, 2013

Pinto Portabella Chili

You just can’t go wrong with a big pot of steaming chili. The aromatic spices that fill the house alone are worth the minimal effort it takes to create this dish.

Mushrooms. I eat a lot of them. And they’re really great in this chili. Just process them in the food processor for a bit and add them to the pot and you have a perfect ground meat substitute. Here are a few words from the wise Dr. Fuhrman about mushrooms…

Make Room for Mushrooms!

“Phytochemicals in mushrooms have been shown to enhance the activity of natural killer cells — “killers” that work mightily to defend you. These specialized immune cells attack and destroy virus-infected and cancerous cells.

“Additional cancer-fighting effects of many different types of mushrooms – including white, cremini, portobello, oyster, shiitake, maitake, and reishi – have been studied in relation to stomach, colorectal, breast and prostate cancers.

“By taking the nutritarian approach to eating, that is, mixing the most powerful and protective foods – including mushrooms – one can rev-up the immune system against infection and cancer, as well as prevent heart attacks, strokes and dementia.

“Make “room” for these natural “killers.” Eat mushrooms, every day!”  

                                                                                                ~ Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

Thanks, Dr. Fuhrman! I love making chili for its sheer simplicity. Once you get all the ingredients into the pot, you have time to spare. I clean up and tend to other work or chores while the chili is cooking. It’s great for company, too. Put it together early and have time to enjoy your guests!

  • 6 cups cooked pinto beans (two 29 oz. cans)
  • 2 pounds portabella mushrooms
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 quart mushroom stock (or veggie stock) ~ see notes
  • 2 TBS ground cumin
  • 1 TBS chili powder
  • 1 TBS ground coriander
  • 1 TBS Spike salt-free seasoning
  • 1 TBS tamari or other low sodium soy sauce (optional)
  • 1 TBS date sugar
  • 2 TBS hot sauce (or to taste)
  • vegan cheddar shreds for garnish (optional)

  1. Pulse mushrooms in a food processor until chopped pretty finely, but not mushy.
  2. Add mushrooms and all remaining ingredients to a large pot.
  3. Cover and simmer on low for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Don’t worry if the mixture seems too thick. The mushrooms will give off a lot of their water as they cook.
  4. Garnish with some vegan cheddar shreds if desired.

Serves 6-8. Enjoy!

Healthy trails,

4 responses to “Pinto Portabella Chili”

  1. moonwatcher says:

    Hi Helyn,

    I will definitely try this when it gets back to chili weather here. I couldn't agree more with you and Dr. Fuhrman about the benefits of mushrooms. I have learned to be a gatherer of wild ones right in my neighborhood. I dry them and use them crumbled up on my salads or to make stock. I also freeze stems, as you suggest. They are a food of the gods!! And this chili looks amazing. Thank you!! I've got a post about finding mushrooms on my blog on the post Wild Mushroom and Two Rice Pilaf. xo


  2. Helyn says:

    Oh, great Maria! I see wild mushrooms growing nearby… just not sure which ones are safe to eat! Can't wait to check out your post!

  3. Rhonda says:

    Hi Helyn,

    Chili season is here, so this will be delicious this week! Do you have a recommended ratio of mushroom stems to water for the stock?


  4. Helyn says:

    Hi Rhonda,
    I don't usually even measure but what I do is use about double the amount of water per mushrooms stems and add about one TBS of Spike salt-free seasoning to it to boost the flavor. Hope you enjoy the chili!!

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