Heat 2 tablespoons of oil or water in a medium-sized sauce pot. Add the onions and peppers. Saute on a low-medium heat until soft (about 10 minutes).
Add garlic, spicy pepper flakes, and cumin. Cook for 2 minutes until garlic turns golden. Add optional vegan beef. Cook for two more minutes until meat is browned.
Add cup of water, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, and kidney beans. Stir until well combined. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes or until desired thickness is reached. Add salt and pepper to taste. Optional: Top with vegan cheese.