Thanks to everyone who left a comment on my last post, Eating Your Feelings. With the sadness slowly subsiding to a dull ache and life back moving back into its regular rhythm, I’m finally back to eating healthy, whole plant foods again.
Rediscovering whole plant foods
Interestingly, as my taste buds are recovering from the deluge of sugary/salty/fatty (addictive!) foods, I’m finding that I missed the taste of nutritious foods: sweet fresh fruits, crunchy vegetables, creamy baked sweet potatoes, tender beans, and chewy, satisfying whole grains.
It’s good to be back.
Luckily, I’ve had the support of my mom and my husband in getting back to a health-promoting diet. Specifically, my mom and I have embarked on a 3-week health kick together (a modified version of the adventure cleanse we did last January). We’re enjoying scrumptious green smoothies and raw foods every morning til noon, then eating low-fat whole plant foods the rest of the day.
Knowing that I have a healthy-eating buddy makes eating right much more fun—and socially acceptable. When the pressure’s on to eat unhealthy food, I just say I don’t want to let my mom down—which is true! Luckily, it’s not just my mom who’s got my back: My wonderful hubby has been pitching in, making green smoothies for me in the morning and encouraging me every step of the way.
Needless to say, I’m feeling a lot better, as is my mom, whose fractured ankle is (knock on wood) healing beautifully. While she’s still in a boot, she’s off crutches and getting around well! That said, she’s still not quite up to investment cooking, which is where I come in. With Jeff’s help, I’ve been cooking up a storm, keeping her stocked with freshly cooked beans, split pea soup, and most importantly, her delicious loaded veggie chili.
Easy, hearty chili to stock your freezer
My mom is something of a chili aficionado, and she’s been perfecting this recipe for awhile. Even my omnivore dad is a huge fan, which speaks volumes! Better still, since my mom’s not one for fussy recipes, making her chili is as easy as falling off a log: Just saute then simmer!
The result? Hearty, satisfying chili that’s loaded with plant-powered nutrition. Just check out the following daily values for a 1½-cup serving:
- 115% vitamin A
- 115% vitamin C
- 42% folate
- 23% iron
- 10% calcium
It also packs 11 grams of protein in just 220 calories! While it’s a bit higher in sodium than I’d like (20% daily value), you can improve that by using salt-free beans and low-sodium salsa.
Moreover, this recipe is scaled for investment cooking (16 servings), so you’ll have plenty in the freezer for harried weeknights. This chili is also perfect for potlucks and parties: Just serve with warm brown rice or oil-free tortilla chips and let your guests pile on their favorite Tex-Mex toppings: fresh cilantro, sweet corn, diced red onion, shredded jicama, and chopped avocado.
Here’s to getting back to vibrant health!
- 2 large or 4 medium onions
- 4 bell peppers (2 yellow, 2 orange)
- water as needed for sauteing
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed, or 1 Tbsp prepared crushed garlic
- 5 c water
- 2 large cans fire-roasted tomatoes (diced)
- 1 small can tomato paste (6 oz)
- 4 15-oz cans of beans (~7c), rinsed and drained*
- 3 16-oz bags of frozen mixed vegetables (NO lima beans)
- 1 16-oz jar mild salsa
- 4 Tbsp chili powder, plus more to taste**
- In a LARGE stockpot, saute onions and peppers together for 20-30 min, until onions are translucent and peppers are soft. Add water as needed to prevent sticking.
- Add garlic and saute 2 more minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low.
- Simmer, covered with lid ajar, for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover for the last 5-10 minutes if you like thicker chili.
**McCormick brand is my favorite