I’ve been to The Ranch in Malibu a few times.  For a challenging (but totally worthwhile) way to hit ‘reset’ both physically and emotionally, The Ranch is hard to beat.

Along with its stunning landscapes, daily hikes, yoga, spa and first-class accommodations, it’s the food which I’ve always found to be over-the-top! Which brings me to this vegan chili recipe, featured in The Ranch’s cookbook.  I’ve made it a few times now, and it’s always a hit in my household.

Loaded with healthy ingredients, it’s a bowl of savoury goodness. Served with a side salad, a piece of sourdough or some of my favourite chips (!), and you’ve got a perfect meal.  And because it’s not heavy on rice, beans or cheese like other chili recipes, you can enjoy this one without experiencing the usual bloat or digestive issues.

Relatively simple to make, if you don’t have all of the ingredients, you can skip or substitute as you wish. If you like your chili super-spicy, you can add more chili powder or jalapeno.

From the Kitchen: The Ranch’s Quinoa Chili


Serves 4-6
1 cup of red quinoa
2 cups vegetable stock, for cooking quinoa
1 cup vegetable stock, for adjusting chili wetness
2 cups dried black beans, pre-soaked
4 cloves of allspice
½ onion, sliced in half
1 stick of celery
1 stick of carrot, peeled
2-3 garlic cloves, halved
1 cup of carrots, small dice
1 cup of celery, small dice
1 cup of onion, small dice
1 cup of green bell pepper, small dice
1-2 each jalapeno, small dice
1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
½ tablespoon oregano
½ tablespoon of coriander
1 tablespoon chili powder
4 whole tomatoes, roasted
1 tablespoon liquid smoke


Cook and prepare the beans:
Place the black beans in water with the half onion, celery stick, carrot, garlic gloves and allspice cloves.
Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer.
Cook until the beans are flavourful and tender.
Strain and put aside.

Prepare the quinoa:
Cook the quinoa in 2 cups of vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, cover, then turn down to a simmer.
Cook until liquid is gone and quinoa has expanded and is tender.
Strain and set aside.
Roast tomatoes covered in 250 degree oven, until they are soft and have released their liquid. While cooling, season with liquid smoke.

Saute together:
Using a pan large enough to contain all ingredients (beans, quinoa) begin to saute the onions, carrots, celery, green pepper and jalapeno in a little bit of grape seed oil.
Add black beans, quinoa and tomatoes.
Begin adding some of the reserved vegetable stock while heating up the chili mixture.
Add enough stock to keep a ‘chili consistency’.
Add in the herbs and spices, along with salt and pepper to taste.


Serve warm with vegan cheese on top (optional).
You can also freeze any leftovers for another time.