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Sweet Action Chili

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We get a lot of emails from readers that ask about why it took years for Dan and I to move friends to the wedded bliss we know today. I find it really hard to explain really. I often joke that we were just dumb or lie and say that I don’t know but here’s the truth.

Our careers took us to separate cities and for a long time we were never single at the same time. I always feel a bit guilty about dating/hurting anyone during the years when we should have been dating each other. Because even though we never really did anything “improper”, our hearts were elsewhere*. And that sucks – for us and them. Everyone involved just wasn’t getting what they wanted. There was even a time when, I won’t go into details, but I actually thought I would never speak to Dan again. I tried to focus on my life in a new city and career and he moved on with his but then I was in LA for work and I saw something I knew he’d like. So I texted him a picture and after a few weeks we were back to where we had left off. We were in love.

Now what does this have to do with chili?

Well, chili is one of the easiest recipes to veganize and so there are so many pretty incredible vegan chili recipes out there. So it’s hard to see why you should care about a new one. But this one is special. There are sweet peppers and quinoa in there with the beans and tomatoes. There’s also sweet potatoes and orange zest. We named the recipe after Brooklyn’s own Sixpoint Brewery Sweet Action Beer. This is a vegan-friendly cream ale that has hints of citrus if you have to replace it with your favorite local brew.

Sixpoint Sweet Action is one of the first beers we shared when we moved into our home in Brooklyn. Whenever I think back to that window of time when Dan and I weren’t friends and I was facing a life without Dan – well I think about how things could have gone differently but didn’t and needless to say I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I think about how many text messages are out there and how sending one saved us… well it makes that beer, our brownstone home, our cats, our book, this vat of chili you’re about to make… well it makes it – dare I say – sweeter.

Share this chili with someone you love**.


Sweet Action Chili

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Red Onion, diced
2 Medium-Sized Sweet Potatoes, diced
1 Clove Garlic, minced
2 1/2 Cups Better Than Bouillon – Vegan Beef Broth, made per instructions on the package (you might need a little more if your chili reduces too much)
1 Can Sixpoint Sweet Action Beer or Cream Ale/IPA with a citrus flavor
1 14oz Can Diced Tomatoes
1 Tablespoon Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acids
Dash of Liquid Smoke
1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
3 Small Sweet Peppers, sliced
1 Small Jalapeño, sliced
1 14oz Can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1 14oz Can Lentils, rinsed and drained
1/3 Cup Frozen Corn
1 teaspoon Orange Peel, grated
2 teaspoons Cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons Onion Powder
2 Tablespoons Quinoa, uncooked
1 Small Roma Tomato, diced
1/4 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1 teaspoon Oregano
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (you might want to add more or less depending on how hot you want it to be)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Daiya Vegan Pepperjack  Cheese, shredded (optional)

Heat your Oil and Onions in a Dutch oven or large stew pot over a medium heat until your Onions are tender. Then toss in the remaining ingredients and mix. Cover and let simmer over a low heat for about an hour. Check on your chili often and stir to keep anything from sticking to the sides. If it reduces too much add more Broth.

Make sure your Quinoa is tender before you serve with a pinch of Vegan Pepperjack on top.

*There was a mix CD that was made with Wilco’s We’re Just Friends and The Pixie’s Here Comes Your Man on it that in retrospect was made in a lucid moment that should have really started it all but it still took like another year. Yeah I guess we were dumb.

**I had to laugh when I read this post. I am seriously attempting to find romance in beans & beer. I guess it’s true – you never know where you’ll find love.

3 thoughts on “Sweet Action Chili”

  • Thank you for the reminder that one thoughtful text message can bridge the distance between two people who are meant to be, but are experiencing separation. I’m going to remember this.

  • I’ve been going through the back log of your posts and just came across this one. You have a wonderful way with words (as well as food) and it brought tears to my eyes, because the story of my husband and I is not dissimilar. I know exactly what you mean when you say thinking about the time when I thought I might lose his friendship and then having the reality of him being my best friend now… it’s just the best. Thank you so much for the amazing recipes (I have been cooking up a storm today!) and your awesome blog.

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