My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!


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Baked Doughnuts For Everyone: From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free


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cocoa chili with a side of coconut

I am so very excited about this recipe.  It was the best chili I’ve ever made and was inspired by the “chocolate chili” from one of our favorite Ft. Collins restaurants, Tasty Harmony.   This chili has a medium spice [easily adjustable], an amazing creamy texture and a nice mellow cocoa flavor.  Chili powder + cumin pair extremely well with unsweetened cocoa powder. 

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If you can believe it, topping this with shredded coconut was delicious.  I did this for dinner last night with a dollup of plain Greek yogurt as well.  Today I got a little crazy and decided to add my cocoa-nut almond butter to the mix. 

I can’t even describe how perfect the flavors + textures were together.

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Cocoa Chili [serves 5/6]

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can mild green chilies
  • 1-2T chipotle sauce [you can find this in the Mexican aisle in a small can, it might also be labeled adobo’s very spicy!]
  • 1/4c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2t cinnamon
  • 2t cumin
  • 1/2 salt [add more if desired]
  • cracked pepper
  • 3 cans beans of choice, drained + rinsed [I used black beans, cannellini, and kidney]
  • 2, 14oz cans, diced tomatoes with liquid
  • 1.5-2c low sodium veggie broth
  • 2T safflower oil/coconut oil
  • 1.5T sucanat [or pure cane sugar]
  • 1t oregano
  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. 
  2. Sauté onion + pepper until soft, stirring occasionally. 
  3. Add garlic and stir again, cooking for about 1min.
  4. Add cocoa powder, cumin, salt, pepper, cinnamon, oregano and stir for about 1min, until fragrant.
  5. Add in tomatoes + liquid, veggie broth, green chilies and chipotle sauce [start with 1T and add more to desired spiciness].  Stir to combine.
  6. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer.  Add drained + rinsed beans and sucanat [or sugar].
  7. Simmer over med-low heat, stirring occasionally.  
  8. Let cook for about 30-45min, until desired consistency is reached.  It will thicken the longer it cooks.
  9. While cooking, taste + adjust spices accordingly.

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Served with tortilla chips + a salad on the side, this is one of the best meals I’ve had in quite some time.

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We’re headed to Denver tonight to meet up with one of Chris’s friends that is in town from back home [PA].  Tomorrow we’re headed to Vail + Breckenridge on Saturday.  I have some posts scheduled to go up tomorrow + Saturday, but won’t be able to answer comments or email, as I won’t have my computer with me.  Just a heads up!  I’ll catch up on Sunday with a full recap of the weekend.  We’re hoping for a powder day tomorrow at Vail.  Right now I have some packing to do and hopefully a sunny + windy walk with the dogs before heading out.

Have a great rest of your week!


Reader Comments (58)

Love. It.
That recipe is right up my street!!
Have a good time in Denver :)

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFreya (Brit Chick Runs)

I'll be in Breckinridge tomorrow! Snowmobiling here I come :)

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeather (Heather's Dish)

Very interesting! I don't know why I didn't think of pairing coconut with spicy chili before!

Wow! I would have never thought to top chili with coconut or almond butter! But I'll take your word for it because I'm a lover of all things sweet-n-savory! :)

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStefanie @TheNewHealthy

Oh wow, that looks delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe. I'll have to make it when the weather cools back down a little bit.

Have a fun weekend abroad!

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdana @ my little celebration

Should be a gorgeous weekend in the mountains for you!
Though I'll be spending my days in the sun by your 'former home turf' aka Wash Park

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCasey @ Insatiably Healthy

never woulda thought to top chili with nut butter! GENIUS.

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLee @ Fit Foodie Finds

Ooohhh...I just made a huge batch of chickpeas, I'm going to have to try this out. I've never put cocoa in chili before, but lovelovelove cinnamon. And a pinch of ginger too.

Have fun in Denver! I've never been there but it seems so lovely and full of gorgeous mountain views.

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlauren @ spiced plate

My friend's roommate works at Tasty Harmony, but I've never been! The next time I go to Ft. Collins I'll check it out :)

Have fun in Denver!

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKate (What Kate is Cooking)

You always have the most creative recipes! Who would have thought of cocoa chili?? It sounds fantastic!

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJusteen @ Blissful Baking

Looks delicious! We're flying from NYC to Denver tmrw--looking forward to a really fun weekend!

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commentereliz@thesweetlife

Have fun with the powder day! All our snow on the east coast is melting :(

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

Chocolate (cocoa) chili is CINCINNATI chili!!! :)

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEmily Malone

The chili looks amazing! Have a safe trip!

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)

This looks delicious! I have always been a fan of putting peanut butter on my chili and I always get weird stares when I do this. I can't wait to try this cocoa version with chocolate peanut butter. Brilliant!

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTanya @ Vegan Faith

Traveling mercies to you and Chris! This looks like panera bread's chili, except way healthier and prettier! haahaa.

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEllie@fitforthesoul

Yum!!! This sounds yummy:) Reminds me of Dreena Burton's Cocoa Coco Chili!

This does look and sound amazing!

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

Ahhhhhh, it looks and sounds SO good! I love that you put peanut butter in there too... I know HEAB's hubby makes almond butter chili that sounds great too!

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristin@purplebirdblog

I have been seeing chocolate chili recipes blowing up EVERYWHERE lately!! I need to jump on the bandwagon!

I literally just posted a nearly identical recipe last weekend! So weird. I used frozen veggies and half beans/half beef though. :)

It was the first time I'd used cocoa in my chili, and I will never go back.

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

I die. I have never had chili with nut butter before!! Adding cocoa will be my next endeavor!

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatelyn @ Chef Katelyn

Wow that sounds interesting --- but it looks really good (especially with the coconut on top) YUM :)

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlly (oatsandspice)

Wheee- I love me some warming veggie chili. I've never tried cocoa powder or sugar in my chili- must try next time i'm in the mood for this lovely bowl of comfort.
You should check out my blog when you get a chance- there *may* be something good said about you! :)

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNamaste Gurl

I definitely need to try chili after this! Looks delish :)

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKiran

You're so sweet..thanks Emilia!

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Great minds think alike!! ;) I feel the same...will always make this now!

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Yes you do!

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

AB chili?? yummm

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Someone else said that too! FUnny, I've never read her book but just got it from the library last's on my table and has yet to be opened. haha Must find more time!

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

You should probably come here and test mine out!

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Aww, have fun!!!!

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Thanks girl!! I've seen it a lot before..but made this up just playing in the kitch. SO good!!

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

You must check it out!!!!

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Aww, I do miss Wash Park...have fun!

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Ooooh, fun!!!! I've never done safe!

February 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I LOVE cocoa in my chili, I make one recipe with sweet potatoes, I love it! But the coconut sounds genius! I need to try that :)


February 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKristin (Cook, Bake, Nibble)

your recipe is exactly the kind I love !!

February 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commentera frog in the cottage

This is excellent! I added in 1/3 cup pureed pumpkin and a cup of chopped okra, poured it over spiralized zucchini and tossed some goat cheese in. Comfort food!

February 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSamantha

I'm making my Sunday shopping list right now and all the ingredients for this chili are on it! Can't wait to make it! Does it matter what kind of bell pepper? Would you recommend red or greed?

March 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAllison @ Runs A Latte

Whatever you prefer. Red is a bit sweeter. I never mind when either are used...some people have a more definite preference. I hope you like it!!

March 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I loved this! So tasty and filling. I mixed some leftover sweet potato into my leftovers the next day as my topping. Yum. thanks for the great recipes. I love your blog!

March 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

That sounds fantastic!

March 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

[...] been a sampling from my eventful weekend.  I’m currently in the middle of cooking Ashley’s Cocoa Chili. I’ve been waiting to try this all week, and now I can finally smell the amazing aromas of [...]

[...] I made Ashely’s coca chili and really enjoyed it! I even added the shredded coconut on top like she did. While I haven’t [...]

[...] not for Ashley, I wouldn’t have known that you could put cocoa powder in [...]

[...] Delicious Cocoa Chili (which I made about a month ago and am still thinking about – I might make another batch this week! It’s delicious served cold over lettuce or spinach, with coconut sprinkled on top) @ the edible perspective [...]

oh yumsies! gonna add this one to the to-make list as soon as the temperatures drop! have an awesome weekend.

September 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLauren Christine.

[...] Cocoa chili [...]

September 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMenu Plan Monday – Septe

[...] Cocoa chili - I LOVED how the cocoa added richness to the chili. DH browned some ground beef to add to his so we both won! [...]

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