Vegan Chili With Delicious Sides
I have many memories of making chili growing up. Whether it was with my mom or making it by myself. I remember there was this specific premade mix my family would always have on hand. It contained every spice needed and directions on how to make the perfect chilli. It seemed like we were always having chilli, makes senses because it is so easy to make. We would serve it in bowls, make chilli dogs, even chill burgers sometimes. Since I stopped eating meat, I’ve turned to canned vegetarian chili. Which isn’t terrible, but they are packed full with sodium. And if you have read my previous blogs, I don’t like adding sodium to my food. It just is something that I have never learned to do. My parents never salted their food, and as a kid you usually would just copy what your parents would do. So when I would see them pepper their food, I would do the same. Now, I never think about it. When I cook food for friends though, I remember to salt everything, because I know that everyone doesn’t have the same taste buds as me. I plan on investing in some Himalayan pink salt, that might turn me on to it.
Each week towards Thursday or Friday is when I really start to think about the meals that I want to make. The key, that I have found, with meal prepping is to be prepared. Plan out a few days before, write down each ingredient you need and which store you can purchase it from. Just be prepared! Knowing exactly what you need at the grocery store is the best thing that you can do, because it is not good to start wondering around not knowing where to go. A N Y W A Y S, side note!
I thought of this chili when I was actually at the gym. My food ideas come to me, no matter what I am doing nor where I am. When this happens it’s like I’ve had a vision and I have to immediately write it down so that I don’t forget. I have a pretty terrible memory, so if I never wrote down my ideas, then I wouldn’t even be writing this blog post right now.
I knew that I didn’t want to do just a plain old straight bean chilli. I wanted to add some colors and some protein to it, so it would keep me full until I ate my next meal. I added some sweet corn, just because I love me some corn. I’ve been on this kale kick lately where I’ve wanted to add in kale to almost everything that I put inside my mouth. Kale is high in nutrients, including being high in fiber, as well as aiding in digestion. If you are not a big fan of kale, I suggest adding it into meals where you can’t tell it’s there. Like fruit smoothies, soups, and even those meatballs I made in my last post. I also added a colorful array of beans to the chilli. Kidney, black, and cannellini all provide excellent colors so that this chilli isn’t just that average reddish-brown color.
Spices play a huge part in what makes your chili taste great. Now, I could have just bought one of those premade spice mixes, but where’s the fun in that? There’s no personalization to it. There’s now gratitude in knowing that you created that certain flavor. On top of all of that, you don’t know what could actually be in it. Companies may put fillers and certain preserving ingredients. It is just better to make this mix your own, frankly, it is just better to make your own food. So my spice mix was: chilli powder, garlic powder, turmeric, cayenne, coriander, cumin, paprika, and black pepper. This combo may seem weird, but it turned out to be this spicy, earthy, delicious chili. I am always finding ways to add turmeric and cayenne pepper to my dishes, the nutrients they provide to dishes is something that I just can’t leave out. Cayenne helps in digestion and boosts your metabolism to promote weight loss. It even helps out with migraines! (hello holistic healing!) Turmeric is a great anti-inflammatory, which is good for bloating. It is also an amazing antioxidant, and it might even help arthritis.
Put all that together and you get one amazing chili. This recipe is so simple and nutritious, that you are going to want to try. To make this even more scrumptious, I added two different sides to complete this already perfect meal. I roasted both sweet potatoes and butternut squash, but it kept them separate and added two different flavor profiles to them.
I have been craving sweets lately, and I knew I had to make a play on savory and sweet for one of my meals. For Thanksgiving, I made this delicious side dish of roasted butternut squash, brussels sprouts, pecans, and cranberries, and I wanted to recreate my own take on it. The butternut squash as delicious as it was, was not the healthiest. I covered the cubes in sweet maple syrup and cinnamon, and I knew I had to try to make it a little bit healthier. So I did, I only covered the butternut squash is melted coconut oil and cinnamon, that’s it! That is all to one addicting side dish, I can’t wait to keep making this. For the sweet potatoes, I kept it simple again. Only tossing them in olive oil and chili powder. My key for the sides was to make them taste amazing, but to still not take away the natural flavor of the vegetable. I found it pretty funny that I had chosen two very similar vegetables, I guess I was just really feelin the color orange this day.
Okay time to stop, before I ramble on more!
Let’s get to cookin’!
Category: Meal Prep
Prep time: 30 minutes Total Cooking time: roughly 3 hours
» 1 ½ cartons of low sodium vegetable stock
» 1 small white onion
» 3 cloves of garlic
» 1 can black beans
» 1 can dark kidney beans
» 1 can cannellini beans
» 4 cups kale
» 1 package Boca meatless crumbles
» 1 can low sodium diced tomatoes
» 1 can no salt added corn
» 1 tbsp chili powder
» 1 ½ tsp turmeric
» 1 ½ tsp cumin
» 1 ½ tsp paprika
» 1 ½ tsp cayenne pepper
» 1 tsp garlic powder
» 1 tsp black pepper
» 1 medium-large butternut squash
» 3 medium sized sweet potatoes
» 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
» 1 tbsp chili powder
» 1 tbsp olive oil
» 1 tbsp coconut oil
» Preheat oven to 375 ° F
» Start prepping all veggies
◦ Chop small onion into fine pieces
◦ Mince garlic
◦ Cut kale into small pieces
◦ Break down butternut squash into 1 inch cubes
◦ Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1 inch cubes
» Place a big pot onto the stove and heat to medium heat
» Once warm, add a touch of EVOO, throw in onions and meatless crumbles
» Once cooked and brown, add in garlic
» Add in all vegetable stock, use a spoon to scrape off the bits at the bottom
» Drain all beans and corn, rinse until water comes out clear
» Add all beans and then corn, stir in between each item you add in
» Throw in canned tomatoes (do not drain)
» Let cook for a little, then add in all the spices
» Cook at medium-high for 30 minutes
» Drop heat down to low let simmer for an hour
» Stir consistently, and add in any more spices if needed
» Cover and let simmer, remember to check periodically
For Roasted Veggies:
» Place cut up sweet potatoes and butternut squash into separate bags
» For sweet potatoes: add in EVOO and chili powder, shake up to make sure every piece is coated in spices
» Repeat with the butternut squash, adding in coconut oil and cinnamon
» Lay out on parchment lined baking sheets, make sure they are evenly spread out. This way they will roast not steam
» Roast both veggies for 20 minutes, check and see if they are both tender. Sweet potatoes probably took me about 25-30 minutes. But make sure to check, every oven is different.
Remember to always make sure to let your food cool completely before storing it in the fridge. The cooling process usually can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes, it really just depends on how hot the food is. Be patient with this and don’t forget to let everything cool. Once every is brought back to room temperature, divide into even portions for the week. You can also store the chili in a large tupperware, depending on what you plan on doing with it. I measured out about a cup and a half of chili per serving and still had some left over. Feel free to portion out less or more, it’s all up to your preference :)
Macro and Micro Breakdown
» 500 calories
» 27 grams protein
» 75 grams carbs
» 12 grams fat
» 18 grams fiber
» 9 grams saturated fat
» 1 grams unsaturated fat
» 467 mg of sodium
» 0 mg cholesterol
» 1820 mg potassium
I use #lifesum to track all my macros and to make sure that I am staying on track. This is not an add, I've been using this app for over a year now. It really has kept me on check to make sure I'm getting the right nutrients every day.
Hope you enjoy!
Let me know what you think :)