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Too hot? How about some cool Raw Chili?


No, it’s not too hot here. At least--not at this moment. But this chili would be a fabulous way to have a cool, refreshing meal without heating up the kitchen. And a bonus? It’s raw, so you’re not cooking out all of those amazing nutrients.

This is sort of a cross between a gazpacho and a chili. My first taste impression was “Oh nice, it’s like gazpacho!” But then you get hit with the spices--the allspice, pumpkin pie spice (yes, really!), chili powder and cumin lend subtle flavors that don’t overwhelm, but make your taste buds say “Hey, that’s good! What the heck are we tasting?”

Yes, they really will say that. And so will anyone you serve this to!  Oh, also? The garlic isn't strong at all--I don't know how, but seriously, it isn't!  This would make a wonderful meal to enjoy on the deck this summer with guests. And yes, it’s raw, but I’m all about integrating, so pass around the corn chips to have along with this. And don’t forget the ice cold beer, either!

So let’s look at the recipe. It may seem like a lot of ingredients, but when you really look at it, nothing is out of the ordinary. Maybe tomatillos? But I can find them right at the regular old grocery store. The raw nuts and pumpkin seeds? Look at your local Trader Joe’s (yes, they have raw nuts-very reasonably priced) or natural foods store in the bulk section. If you can’t find raw, I’m not going to hunt you down and haunt your dreams about it. Use what you can find! But please, if you can, use organic vegetables in this. The recipe is from Melissa Davison of Terra Bella Cafe in CA.

Next, you might be thinking there’s a lot of prep work. There isn’t. You only have to dice the 2 peppers, 2 garlic cloves, and the mango. The rest is done in the food processor. If you don’t have one of those, try your blender, but you may want to split it up into a couple of batches. And remember, don’t process the crap out if it, leave some tasty bits in there.

This makes a lot! My husband and I each had a pretty good sized bowl, plus he had seconds and took some for lunch today--and we still have quite a bit left. So feel free to cut this in half if you like. But it’s so good, you may be thinking, “Damn--I shouldn’t have cut this in half--I want more!” ;)

And don’t forget--it’s Meatless Monday!


Sweet Melissa’s Autumn Chi-lee
slightly adapted
from Melissa Davison, by way of
The Raw 50-by Carol Alt
serves 8

1 cup raw pine nuts
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced (use a yellow or orange one of you prefer)
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced finely (leave seeds and membranes in if you want the heat)
 juice of 2 limes
6 medium garlic cloves, 2 minced-the rest left whole
1/4 cup cold pressed extra virgin olive oil (I used grape seed oil)
3 green onions, both white and green parts chopped
1 tsp ground allspice
4 cups chopped ripe tomatoes (I used 4 medium tomatoes, quartered)
3 tomatillos, quartered
1 medium mango, roughly chopped
1 tsp salt
4 tsp chili seasoning (not chile powder, but the seasoned chili powder)
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp cumin

In a medium bowl, mix the pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, bell pepper, jalapeno, lime juice, the 2 minced garlic cloves, oil, green onions and allspice. Stir all of this together, cover, and set aside for one hour at room temp.

While the other things are sitting and doing their marinating and flavor-melding thing, get out your food processor.

Pulse the remaining ingredients, including those 4 extra garlic cloves. Don't liquefy it, just pulse it until it's still got a few smallish bits in it.
Let that sit for an hour as well.

After the hour is up (and trust me, it tastes good at first, but after that hour, it's even better) mix the two together and serve.


By the way, I haven’t talked about Carol Alt’s book, The Raw 50. But I am really enjoying it. And yes, it’s the same Carol Alt you all probably know--the model and actress. It’s full of easy to do recipes--ten of each breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks. It also has a lot of good information if you’re thinking about trying a raw diet.

I hope you’ll give this one a try while it’s still warm out there--it’s very refreshing. And if it’s cool where you are, you can still enjoy this one--just gently heat it until it’s warm to the touch.



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Reader Comments (21)

I am so going to make this one. I actually have everything to make it just not the time...Spare some? Maybe next week I will make Meatless Monday!!!

August 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJudy

Interesting. To me I'm thinking you could almost serve it like a salsa as an appetizer.

August 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkat

Looking like the weather cooperated for your shoot!

I am making quinoa tonight and reading your recipe has given me a couple extra ideas I need to incorporate into my dish especially pine nuts.

August 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

I first thought this would be too odd, but then when I clicked over here and saw the recipe and your photos... YUM! This looks fantastic!

August 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKristen

I am going to make a variation of this-minus the nuts and seeds:) It looks FANTASTIC! Gave you a stumble!!

August 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMaria

I think this sounds fantastic! I can't wait to make this.

August 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKristina

Thanks, guys!

August 10, 2009 | Registered CommenterElle

Thanks! This looks terrific, I hope to be able to try it this weekend. Pictures are wonderful too!

August 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTheresa

Looks so good. I love using pine nuts and would never of thought to put it in this. Love your photos!

August 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLyndsey

Up close & delicious Elle. Yes it's hot here, too hot! Would love a refreshing bowl of this right now! YUM!!

August 11, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdeeba

Hi Elle ~
Well, you had me at pumpkin pie spice, and then when you mentioned mango too, this became a must do! Of all the raw food books I have bought and borrowed I have somehow managed to overlook Carol Alt. From memory I did once read she also ate raw meat, which intrigued me. Good to know you're enjoying her book though - I will from now on keep an eye open for it.
I'll look forward to trying out this dish!
~ Emily.

August 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

Wow - sounds unusual but good! xxx

August 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Curious Cat

Delish looking Elle! I have made this before also...awesome!

August 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPam Striker

This looks delicious Elle! I am so going to make this soon! It is going in my recipe pile! :)

Fabulous fabulous fabulous!!!

August 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJeena

That looks like an awesome summer dish. I can see myself on the deck with a beer in hand scooping up some of that tasty mix on my chip. I bet I could even get the kids to try it if there are chips involved ;-)

This raw food thing sounds like perfect summery food.

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpassion4eating

I hate to sound like everyone else, but I am printing this one out too. I am slowly converting over to raw & vegan way of life. Might be impossible with a caveman living in my house, but I think I can.
this chili looks sooooo good. you took awesome 'food porn' pics.

August 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdawn

Yum! That looks flippin' awesome!

August 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

thanks everyone! :)

August 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElle

Elle - can't seem to locate mangos... any ideas on a possible substitute? Would LOVE to try this!!!

August 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSusie R

Hi Susie! I'd suggest, after checking (a wonderful resource for substitutes or just learning about an ingredient) papaya, nectarine, or peach.

The chili is amazing, and I do hope you get to try it! Thanks for stopping by!

August 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterElle

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