It must be hard living with a dietitian/nutritionist. My poor family has to put up with me constantly swapping healthy foods for their favorite, not so healthy ones. Well, this week I slipped in a vegetarian meal and they were not even aware. On Wednesday evening, they sat down to a hot bowl of vegetarian chili and didn’t even realize it was meatless!!! How funny is that? (Now let’s see if they are reading my blog.)
I am sharing this vegetarian chili recipe with you, not only because it is a winner in taste, but because it is also beneficial for your health and the health of the environment! A plant based diet provides lower intakes of saturated fat and cholesterol, higher intakes of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, soy products, fiber and phytochemicals. Individuals following such a diet have a lower incidence of obesity, and a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
Furthermore, a bowl of vegetarian chili is environmentally friendly! Consuming more plant based foods will reduce your carbon footprint and spare limited resources like fresh water and fossil fuel. More and more individuals are adopting vegetarian diets, even just for a day. This is what the public health campaign, backed by the John Hopkins Bloomberg School, Meatless Mondays, is all about. This movement has been successful in improving knowledge about the personal and global benefits of moderating our meat consumption.
The Frog Commissary Cookbook by Steven Poses, Anne Clark, and Becky Roller is the original source of this recipe. I have made a few modifications, primarily to decrease the sodium and the heat! (Heat is just a personal preference; I am not from Texas.)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 3/4 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped green peppers
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups low sodium tomato juice
- 3/4 cup bulger wheat with soy
- 14.5 oz. can chopped tomatoes
- 15.5 oz can undrained kidney beans (preferably Goya)
- 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions (for garnish)
Assemble ingredients. Add olive oil to a large skillet and heat on high. Add onions, celery, green peppers, carrots, garlic, mushrooms, spices, and pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes, while stirring. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes, uncovered. Thin with additional tomato juice, if necessary. Serves 8. Garnish with 1 tablespoon chopped green onion.
Nutrition Profile: 249 calories, 10 grams protein, 33 grams carbohydrate, 11 g fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 358 mg sodium, 7 grams dietary fiber
It’s not necessary to become a vegetarian to gain some of the benefits of a plant based diet. Going meatless for one day a week can decrease your saturate fat intake by 15%! It’s a simple way to cut back on saturated fat and cholesterol and do something green!!! I hope you have enjoyed this post. I would be grateful if you considered sharing the information by e-mailing it to a friend, or posting it on twitter or facebook. Thank You!
Diane Boyd, M.B.A., R.D., L.D.N.