Mexican-style Chili

Mexican food is one of my all-time favourite cuisines and like a lot of ethnic cuisines, so much of it is naturally plant-based or easy to adapt to a plant-based version. Before I went plant-based, I had never cooked a Mexican dish before but for some reason Chili was one of the first dishes I made after going plant-based and it has been a firm favourite ever since. I usually just add any combination of black beans, vegetables, corn, tomatoes and Mexican spices and let it simmer until cooked but today I decided to write down an official Chili recipe so that I can share it with all of you. My favourite thing about this Chili is that it is so versatile: it is a nutritious meal all on it’s own or you can use it to make bowls, nacho dishes, wraps, quesadillas, etc. It is packed with protein and veggies and this recipe easily makes 10 servings so it is perfect for meal prep! Remember to freeze some of it for use in the future if you know you aren’t going to get through all 10 servings in the next few days.


For my patients on calorie-controlled meal plans:

1 x serving of this recipe (1/10th of the recipe)  =

  • 1 legume/ protein serving

  • 1 veg serving

  • 1/2 fat serving



  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 onions, chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 2 sticks celery, diced

  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced

  • 250g portobello mushrooms, diced

  • 3 cups cooked or tinned and drained black beans (about 2 tins)

  • 1 cup dried soya mince or TVP + 1 tbsp Ina Paarmen beef-flavoured stock

  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes

  • 3 mielies, cut off cob

  • 1 red pepper, diced

  • 1 green pepper, diced

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 tbsp dried oregano

  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or more to taste)

  • 2 tsp ground coriander

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1 tsp coconut sugar or xylitol

  • Fresh coriander and lime juice for serving


1. Prepare the soya mince by soaking the dried TVP in 2 cups of boiling water mixed with the 1 tbsp of beef-flavoured stock for at least 20 minutes. (Replace TVP with 1 1/2 cups cooked lentils if soy intolerant)

2. Whilst the soya mince is rehydrating, heat your oil on medium heat in a large non-stick pot and add your onions and garlic. Fry for 2-3 minutes or until golden.

3. Next, add your celery, carrot and mushrooms and saute for 7 minutes until the mushrooms have started to shrink down and release their juices. If you need to, add a splash of water during cooking to prevent burning.

4. Add your spices and saute for another 3 minutes until fragrant. Add another splash of water if necessary to prevent the spices from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

5. Add in the tinned tomatoes and soya mince (along with the soaking liquid) and stir through.

6. Add the remaining vegetables and turn down to a low simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the carrots and peppers are cooked through.

7. Taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lime juice and some fresh coriander.

Jessica KotlowitzComment