Chocolate Chili

Hi, my name is Hannah and I am a chocoholic.

Actually, let me amend that: I am of the opinion that chocolate is a food group. And yes, I am also a nutrition coach. If you share this belief, and revel in the glory of the Cocoa Bean, then this chili is for you, my friend. I made a double batch this week because grass fed beef was on sale at my local market (shout out to Farmer Joe’s in Oakland’s Dimond district!), and also because leftovers are the best way to give gifts to your future self. 

Inspired by this brilliant recipe from Melissa Joulwan, here’s how I made beef and vegetables into molten chocolate goodness:


Chocolate Chili


  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 3 bunches organic kale
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces) kidney beans
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice (or Trader Joe’s pumpkin pie seasoning, which is what i used because I didn’t have allspice!)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 can (28 ounces) fire-roasted, chopped tomatoes 
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) beef broth
  • 1 cup water 


  1. Assemble all your ingredients. Wash kale and rip leaves away from stems. Dice your onions, mince your garlic. 
  2. Measure your spices. In a small bowl, crush the oregano between your palms to release its flavor, then add the chili powder, cumin, cocoa, allspice, and salt. Combine with a fork.
  3. Get your beef broth pre-measured, and open the can of tomatoes and tomato paste. Now you’re ready to rock. 


  1. Heat a large, deep pot over medium-high heat, then add the coconut oil. When the oil is melted, add onions, stir with a wooden spoon and cook until they’re translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and as soon as it’s fragrant, about 30 seconds, crumble the ground meat into the pan with your hands, mixing with the wooden spoon to combine. Continue to cook the meat, stirring often, until it’s no longer pink. Watch this part closely, you want to cook until it’s JUST no longer pink. If you go too long it will toughen up, and you want velvety smooth delectable chili, not tough chew-it-for-days chili amiright?
  2. Add the spice mixture to the pot, stirring like you mean it. Add tomato paste and stir until combined, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes with their juice, beef broth, and water to the pot. Stir well. Add shredded kale, stir to make sure all greens are submerged. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Set a timer for 90mins, and simmer uncovered for at least two hours. Seriously, set a timer and don’t skip out on the simmering - it builds the floor depth. Meanwhile, open your kidney beans and drain and rinse thoroughly. When the timer goes off, add the kidney beans and simmer for 20 more minutes. 
  4. Top with chopped scallions, cilantro and a dollop of full fat greek yogurt. Add a dash or two of hot sauce if you like it spicy. 

Remember, life is too short to eat boring tasteless food just because it's "healthy." Your meals can and should be delicious AND support your health goals. I promise to keep feeding you inspiration via this blog, and if you need help or have a question, leave a comment or reach out to me directly.