Recipe: Cauliflower Chili


For those of you who are unaware, Cincinnati is chili country. We have strong opinions about chili in the Queen City. So I decided to try out my clean chili recipe on my unsuspecting neighbors at our block party last weekend. If I may brag for a moment, I won the “Best Chili” award!

So what set my chili apart? Cauliflower.

Yes, you read that right.  It can be used to make pizza dough, rice, and mashed “potatoes.”It is an excellent substitute and incredibly versatile. But even more than that, it is so good for you

Back to the block party. Everyone was shocked that my chili was meatless, vegan, and grain free, because it had so much flavor and such a wonderful meaty texture. When I revealed that cauliflower was the secret ingredient, everyone wanted the recipe.

Here’s what you need:

4 large carrots

1 large onion

6 cloves of garlic

2 bags of frozen rinsed cauliflower

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup organic cacao

2 tbsp organic cinnamon

1 tbsp bourbon smoked paprika

2 jars of organic basil marinara

Start by prepping your vegetables. Peel your carrots, peel your onion and pull out your cauliflower.


Is this amazing frozen cauliflower? I love that you can get heirloom organic varieties in the frozen food section!

Give that cauliflower a really good rinse.

Look at all this amazing color! I love it!

Look at all this amazing color! I love it!


Next you are going to pull out your food processor and pulse the carrots, onion, garlic and frozen cauliflower. Keep it chunky. We don’t want teeny tiny bits, we want this to have that wonderful mouth feel that typical chili has.

I pulse the carrots first.

I pulse the carrots first.


Pulse the onion and garlic. I used red onion because I had it on hand. Whatever onion you have on hand will work.


Add the cauliflower and keep pulsing.

Then take 1/2 cup of coconut oil and heat it up in large pot. Throw in the vegetables and sauté them until they start to soften. Add cumin, salt and white pepper to taste. Add cacao, cinnamon, and bourbon smoked paprika. The vegetables should be coated in the spices.


Your kitchen should be smelling amazing right now.

I want you to add two jars of organic basil marinara.


This is the marinara sauce I use. You can find it at Whole Foods.

Then you are going to lower the heat way down and walk away. Let this thing cook down for an hour, maybe two and let the flavors come together. Every once in a while, check it, give it a stir, make sure it isn’t burning on the bottom.

In the end, it will look like this:


Doesn’t this look amazing?

This recipe has minimal prep time, with maximum flavor. Make it this weekend and you’ll have lunch all week long.  Try it and tell me what you think!

-Dr. Norton


Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in 2016. 

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //