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‘Did She Say Walnut/Adobo/Polenta Chili?’ Yes…yes she did.

Dixie Schexnaildre

Here’s a photo-guided tour of the creation of this nutrient-powerhouse chili! PACKED WITH IRON – This is a 20-minutes or less, one-pot meal! It provides enough servings for a group function (12+ bowls!) and freezes well for future nights when you don’t feel like cooking! I eat chili year-round (it’s currently July 28 at time of preparation and 90+ degrees outside!) but, this is an incredibly comforting winter meal when you’re shivering under a blanket!

Prepare to sweat…


  • 1 c walnuts (raw)
  • 1 c fresh spinach
  • 2 c portobello mushrooms, diced
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, slivered
  • 1 small can of adobo chilies
  • any veggie combo on hand ( about 1 cup diced-especially carrots or bell peppers)
  • 1-3 jalapeños (to taste), optional, diced
  • 2 BPA-free cans of beans (I prefer 1 can of red kidney beans and 2 pinto), rinsed
  • 1 'tube' of prepared polenta (or 1 can of hominy OR 1 can or ear of corn, off the cob)
  • 1 28-oz can of stewed or diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • 1 pinch of red chili flakes (optional)
  • salt and pepper (optional)
  • 1/8 c water


  • In a large stock pot on high heat, place walnuts, spinach, onion ( no oils).
  • Allow all of the bottom bits to caramelize (brown).
  • Add the water to steam the walnuts. Add all other vegetables.
  • Layer in polenta for a nice corn flavor (you could use corn instead for variation!!).
  • Sprinkle cumin over the polenta.
  • Stir in the stewed tomatoes and beans.
  • Cook for an additional 5 minutes until everything is heated thoroughly.
  • Top with salt and pepper, vinegar and red chili flakes.

I had 3 okra on hand from our garden, so I threw those in (feel free to dump leftover carrots or other veggies you need to use up!) The complexity of the flavors is divine! Feel free to swap out vegetable list liberally to avoid wasting what you already have on hand!! I used : walnuts, spinach, mushrooms, white onion, adobo chipotle chilies, jalapeño, okra, water, stewed tomatoes, red kidney beans, pinto beans, polenta, cumin, chili flakes, salt, vinegar.