Power lunch: Mayim Bialik shares her recipe for satisfying veggie chili

    One of the things I am always asked when people want to know about eating less animal products and more vegetables is, what dishes do I recommend people try? This recipe is one of them. Veggie chili — yup, made without meat — can be delicious, and it’s an excellent source of protein plus a ton of other vitamins and minerals — which are important for all bodies no matter how you eat. Kids tend to love chili because you can dress it up with fun toppings, and this is a great example of a dish that, when cooked right, does not make you miss the meat.

    Mayim’s Veggie Chili:


    • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
    • 1/2 head garlic, peeled and minced
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 3 celery stalks, chopped
    • 3 carrots, chopped
    • 1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
    • 1 medium-size zucchini, chopped
    • 2 cups kale, chopped (optional)
    • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons chili powder
    • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
    • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
    • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 2 (14-ounce) cans tomato sauce
    • 2 (6-ounce) cans tomato paste
    • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
    • 2 (14-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
    • 2 (14-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
    • 2 (14-ounce) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1/2 (12-ounce) bag frozen corn kernels


    1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat and sauté the garlic, onion, celery, carrots, pepper, zucchini, and kale, if using, (but not the corn) just until softened, about 10 minutes.
    2. Add all the herbs, spices, and salt and cook for 5 more minutes. Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, and maple syrup and stir for 3 more minutes. Add the beans and stir for 3 minutes.
    3. Add the corn and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

    Garnish with your favorite chili toppings, like sour cream, fresh salsa, avocado, sliced jalapeño, chopped cilantro, sliced green onions, crushed corn tortilla chips, shredded cheese and hot sauce.

    Mayim Bialik is an actress, author, neuroscientist and mom. She currently stars on The Big Bang Theory, and played Blossom in the 1990s sitcom by the same name. She is the founder of Grok Nation, an online community that presents today's issues in an accessible, relatable and unapologetically nerdy way.