Christmas Chili with Kale and Kidney Beans


Cooking Time

25 minutes


8 servings


2 Tbsp Olive or Grapeseed oil

1 red onion, halved and peeled

3 ribs celery (about 1 cup chopped)

3 carrot sticks, grated or chopped (about 1 cup)

1 jalapeno, sliced and seeded

1 ½ tsp chili powder

1 ½ tsp cumin

½ tsp sea salt

½ tsp fresh cracked black pepper

½ tsp crushed red chili flakes, optional

1 tsp garlic powder

1 pinch cayenne pepper

1 can fire-roasted tomatoes

1 cup water or broth

2 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 big bag baby kale, torn (or 1 large bunch cut into ribbons)

Garnish – 1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and chopped, optional


Heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven. Chop and drop onions, then celery, then carrots into the pot. Then mince and add the jalapeno. Stir well to combine and then measure in each of the spices and seasoning. Stir again.

Add the tomatoes, and then the kidney beans. Bring to a simmer and cook a few minutes until the veggies are crisp tender.

Then, mix in the kale and toss well. Simmer a few minutes more until the kale is tender (2-3 minutes for baby kale, longer for mature kale leaves).

Ladle into bowls and serve immediately & garnish with optional avocado. Or, make ahead and keep in a crockpot on low to share at an open house or potluck type gathering.


While flying home from my annual Thanksgiving yoga retreat in Nicaragua, I was inspired to combine red kidney beans with green kale into a Christmas-colored chili. (Where do I get these crazy ideas?) And, voila – first try, it came out wonderfully flavorful in less than 25 minutes. Packed in a crockpot, I toted it to the yoga studio to test it and everyone (including the meat eaters) loved it! You will, too.