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Cocoa-infused Chili Cheez Fries

Free of gluten, eggs, dairy, meat, nuts, and added sugars. A mouth-watering new take on an old artery-clogging favorite....

When middle school students are asked their favorite foods, one can guess that fries will often come up in conversation. This tasty side dish has historically been off limits when eating heart-healthy. In this mouth-watering, unique twist on chili cheese fries, we traded in the greatest offenders to the heart and added in extra heart protectors. And then we added a little more cocoa, just for good measure.

Hope the whole family will enjoy this scrumptious new take on Chili Cheez Fries!

Cocoa-Infused Chili Cheez Fries

Prep time: 60 minutes

Serves: 10-12


  • 1t olive oil

  • 1 large onion, chopped (1c)

  • 2 carrots, diced

  • 2 celery stalks, diced

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 pounds fresh tomatoes (skinned)

  • 1t cumin

  • 1/8t cinnamon

  • 2T cocoa powder

  • 1-2T chili powder

  • 1t dried oregano

  • 3c vegetarian broth

  • 1c green lentils, rinsed

  • 3/4c quinoa, rinsed

  • 1T honey

  • 1 can each of black and kidney beans

  • 1/4c of fresh chopped cilantro

  • Potatoes

  • Olive oil

  • Daiya Cheddar style cheez


1.) Preheat oven to 350F. Wash potatoes well. Cut into wedges and coat in olive oil. Roast for 40-45 minutes or until lightly browned.

2.) Heat olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, cook for 10 minutes. Add carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, cumin, cinnamon, cocoa, chili, and oregano. Add broth and bring to a light boil. Lower heat and cook covered for 6-8 minutes.

3.) Add rinsed quinoa and lentils. Increase heat briefly to bring to a light boil. Reduce heat and simmer lightly for 30-40 minutes.

4.) Stir in black beans, kidney beans, and cilantro.

5.) Line a large pie pan or serving dish with the roasted potatoes. Top with cocoa-infused chili and vegan cheez.

6.) Enjoy without the guilt (or indigestion)!

This recipe was created as a part of the Jefferson Middle School, Fall 2017 class. Made possible through sponsorship by the San Gabriel Educational Foundation with generous support from the San Gabriel Valley Medical Center Foundation Fund.

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