Eat Your Way To Great Skin

Zinc Rich Recipe For Vegans – Adzuki Bean Chilli

adzuki bean chilli

Hearty, warming and invigorating. There is nothing like the heat of traditional Tex-mex flavours to comfort and restore the soul. This week’s recipe is a hearty vegan adzuki bean chilli.

If you were reading last week you will remember that I wrote about the importance of dietary zinc for skin health and its special role in treating acne. This is why last week’s recipe was for traditional Hungarian Beef Goulash, because grass-fed beef has one of the highest concentrations of dietary zinc.

But what if you are a vegetarian or vegan?

If you’re a strict vegetarian or vegan, there is a risk that you’re not getting enough zinc from your diet. This is partly because the highest amounts of zinc are found in red meat and shellfish. However, there is also another problem – which is that most vegetarians eat a lot of whole grains and plant proteins. These foods are high in phytic acid, which interferes with zinc absorption. If you eat this type of diet you may need up to 50% more zinc than non-vegetarians.
Good sources of zinc for vegetarians are beans, lentils and nuts. One of the highest concentrations of zinc found in a bean is found in the red Japanese adzuki bean. The adzuki bean has a nutty, slightly sweet taste, is low in calories, high in fibre and is relatively easy to digest.

Mexican Oregano – The Authentic Chilli Herb

This chilli recipe can be made as hot as you can take it (Tip: for intense heat but deep flavour try chocolate brown habenero chillies). If you can find it, use Mexican oregano rather than the standard Italian oregano. Mexican oregano has a unique, pungent flavour that really gives the authentic Tex-mex taste – it was after all the herb used in the original Jesse James chilli!

Adzuki Beans Nutritional Data

100 grams of Adzuki Beans, boiled without salt contain 7.52 grams protein, 128 calories and 7.3 grams dietary fiber. 177G zinc

How to Pre-Cook Dried Adzuki Beans

Soak 1-2 hours. Drain water and replace with fresh, cold water for cooking. Place on stove and bring to a boil in a pot with a lid. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer, tilting the lid slightly to allow steam to escape, and leave to cook for up to an hour, or until tender.

Adzuki Bean Chilli

Serves 6


1 ¾ kg cooked adzuki beans (1lb of dried beans or 4 x 15oz cans)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large onions, diced
1 dried or canned chipotle pepper
1 tablespoon chilli powder, or to taste.
1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano (substitute for European oregano if not available).
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 cans (16oz) of chopped tomatoes, undrained
5 cloves garlic, mashed
Salt and pepper, to taste

Chopped raw onion
Chopped tomato
Soured cream
Shredded lettuce


1. Drain beans in a colander.

2. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or saucepan. Add the onions and sauté over medium heat until they are soft and golden.

3. Crush the chipotle pepper if using dried, or mince if using canned.

4. Add the chipotle pepper, red chilli powder, Mexican oregano and cumin to the onions. Cook for 2 minutes.

5. Add the tomatoes and adzuki beans. Simmer for 45 minutes, adding liquid if the mixture gets too dry.

6. Add salt and pepper to taste, and more chilli if you want to up the heat.

7. Serve in bowls with warm tortillas. Garnish with chopped raw onion, chopped tomato and shredded lettuce.

Nutrients Per Serving (with 1 tortilla)
Calories: 351.1
Protein: 17.4 grams
Fat: 5.7 grams
Carbohydrate: 62.1 grams
Fibre: 20.6 grams
Vitamin A: 737.5 IU
Vitamin E: 1.3 mg/IU
Vitamin C: 25.0 mg
Calcium: 140.3 mg
Magnesium: 117.9 mg
Zinc 5.2g

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Ishtar Skinlights

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