Share This Page...

Vegan Heirloom Bean, Red Russian Kale & Wheat Berry Chili

There's a recurring annoyance in my daily life, and I feel the need to publicly vent. By some strange happenstance, Avril Lavigne and I have some striking physical similarities. Long blonde hair, petite, obnoxiously sexy in a pair of aviator shades and grey skinny're get the picture. Almost every day, someone calls shouts "Yo...Avril!" or I overhear someone whisper to their friend "Dude...she looks just like Avril Lavigne!". Well, let me tell you something, dude. Avril stole my style. I was rocking long blonde hair and aviator shades from Walgreens back in '97. 

Let's first observe the likeness:

See Avril? I, too, can glow in the sunshine at the beach. Sans make-up. So there.

I'm no conspiracy theorist, but I know exactly how this happened. Someone from Arista Records brand development team must have made a pit stop at Page's New Ages Diner in Youngstown. For those unfamiliar with Youngstown, it's not far from the Canadian border. They spotted me at a table, passed out on my breakfast plate as my friends put french fries in my ears and thought, "Now that girl is cool."

Ok...let's get serious now. 

When I review my recipes, I always wonder "why I gotta go and make things so complicated?"

I'm sorry I just couldn't resist. I'm sorry if it gets your frustrated. Life's like that.

Bad puns aside, I made a little resolution to myself that I'd attempt to post some less complex recipes. Most of the meals I cook for myself on a daily basis are simple vegetable dishes, sandwiches and soups. 

Soups are great to make in a one-woman household. They use up my "about to spoil" produce, are healthy comfort food, and freeze until ready for devouring. As the temperature creeps down to a frigid 55 degrees in Los Angeles, soup is the perfect warm-up meal.

This soup and I are more than just good friends. This is where the story end.
Heirloom Bean, Red Russian Kale and Wheat Berry Chili
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked fresh Mixed Heirloom Beans (I used Scarlet Runners and Cannellinis)
  • 2 cups Wheat Berries, cooked
  • 1 large bunch Red Russian Kale, roughly chopped
  • 1 large Onion, chopped
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 14 oz cans Diced Tomatoes
  • 6 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp Chili Powder
  • Pinch of Jamaican Allspice
  • 1 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 2 cups No Chicken or Vegetable Broth
  • 2 tsp Blue Agave Nectar (or Light Brown Sugar)
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • 1 Avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Cilantro Leaves, chopped
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat the Olive Oil until it's hot but not smoking. 

Add the Garlic, and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add in the Onion, Pepper, Jamaican Allspice, Chili Powder, Cumin, Salt and Pepper, and sauté for 5-7 minutes, until tender. Add the Canned Tomatoes, Heirloom Beans, Broth and Agave. 

Turn heat up to high and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cover. Allow to simmer for 25 minutes. 

Add Kale and Cooked Wheat Berries to the pot, and allow the Kale to wilt and the Wheat Berries to heat through for about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat, add in Lime Juice and taste for Salt and Pepper. 

Serve garnished with diced Avocado and Cilantro.


Anonymous said…
Avril Lavigne = Lame and pretentious.
JennShaggy - Awesome and rad!
Anabel said…
You're much cooler than Avril Lavigne. No way can she cook like you!

I've been stalking your blog for a while now and everything you cook looks incredible! This chili is certainly no exception; it looks perfect for the ridiculously cold weather we're currently experiencing up here in Canada.
Chris said…
Avril ain't that bad, but she certainly doesn't have her own incredible food blog like someone I know.
The best thing about these one-pot dinner soups is that the process is always the same: sweat the onions, throw in garlic and then toss in everything else. Super simple!
Laci said…
I just found your blog and the first (most recent post) made me get an immetiate impreession... you're pretty funny, and a cool cruelty free girl! I love the Avril comparison... that pic. of you is really pretty! =)
miss v said…
at least you don't have raccoon eyes... and even if you did, i bet they'd look sooo much better on you. :)

i'm still on a kale standoff, but when i finally give (and it's just around the corner), i have a mess of kale recipes to try. :)
Sophia Lee said…
lol! avril has nothing to you! she definitely doesn't eat as well as you, anyway! thanks for the recipe, btw, it looks freaking delicious.
janelle said…
You're soooo much prettier than Avril. Sorry she ripped off your style. :(
Jenn Shagrin said…
Thank you so much! You made me blush :)
There wasn't a link attached to your post, so I'm going hope you read this.
jd said…
Oh puh-leeze! You are SO much cuter than Avril!

And, as "uncomplicated" as this recipe may be (thanks a lot for getting that song in my head BTW!), it still looks/sounds absolutely fantastic!
tofufreak said…
i'll choose you over avril any day :)

chili looks super yummy! :)
Adriana said…
One pot... Bravo.
Ooh, yum! I may even people able to follow this one, haha.
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said…
damn that shit looks dank! kale is the best.
Anonymous said…
I made this chili tonight, and it was delicious! Didn't change a thing, but did serve it with some savory cornbread--not vegan but wonderful. Corn scones would have been good, and could be made vegan.
I almost ate my computer when I saw this photo YUM> So fresh and gorgeous looking.