This gluten-free Cincinnati style vegan chili uses beets to perfect a sweet & spicy tradition. Use squash in place of spaghetti, and creatively serve in the original packaging.

As the crisp morning breeze whispers rumors of fall, I am inspired to dust off the crock pot and create dinner right after breakfast. My recipe is a blend of fresh summer harvest with reliable pantry staples that simmers in flavor and tempting aroma, and needs no further invitation.

Our vegan household has been challenged recently with the reality that two of our kids need to be completely gluten free. Though that seems like an impossible challenge, I am motivated by the amazing results we’ve seen in a very short time.  We have significantly less bellyaches, head-aches, attitude issues and brain fog, which reminds us that everything we eat matters.

Cincinnati style vegan chili is usually served over pasta, and there are wonderful gluten free pastas available.. But the delicious blend of sweet spices matches perfectly with the spaghetti squash and beets I just pulled from my garden.

Mmmmm….it’s a winner. Enjoy our Vegan Chili recipe today!

1 lb dried 13 bean mix (or other variety)
1/2 lb of black beans (or other variety)
10 cups of water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tbsp Dutch cocoa powder
1 tsp each: cinnamon, cumin, tumeric
1/4 tsp each: cloves, nutmeg
1 bay leaf
1 spaghetti squash
3 beets and their greens
5-6 cloves of freshly chopped garlic
1/2 cup organic corn
2 diced jalapeños (optional)
1 vidalia onion
1 sweet pepper
1 15 oz can of tomato paste

Morning preparation:
Rinse beans and soak in water over night. Drain. Chop beet greens (including stems), peppers, onions, and garlic. Whisk vinegar, tomato paste, chili powder, cocoa, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, nutmeg, cloves and bay leaf into 1 cup of water. Cover with remaining water.  Depending on time frame, set temperature to high and cook for 3-4 hours. Or cook on low for 6-8 hours.

One hour before dinner:
Preheat over to 425. Bake uncut squash and beets for 60 minutes.
Allow to cool to avoid burning fingers. Remove skin from beets, chop finely, add to crock pot. Carefully cut the squash in half, remove seeds,and use a fork to loosely separating strands to form “pasta”. Remove excess squash and either add to crock pot of save for later. Serve chili on the squash. Of course, for larger crowds, simply place fluffed strands directly into a bowl, and scoop chili over the top.

Top with homemade sour cream.
Garnish with fresh cut or dried herbs such as cilantro, thyme, oregano, and/or green onion.

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