Thursday, October 2, 2014

Vegan Chili Featuring #TolerantFoods & #BeyondMeat

When I embarked on my health and fitness journey 3 years ago, I took a plant based diet approach.  I was suffering from indigestion caused by meats and dairy.  After my second year, (as my workouts increased and intensified) I felt the need to start incorporating more animal protein in to my diet.

I hate putting labels on my diet...  Please note that I am not claiming to be a vegan nor a vegetarian by any means, but do prefer veggies over meats. We have been incorporating more plant based diets in to our meal planning.    We still consume eggs, fish and goat cheese daily.  We also love the way a plant based diet makes us feels. 

 I have been loving experimenting in my kitchen again with things I have learned from Indian inspired meals.  I organized a weekly menu to make it simple and everyone in the house knows what to expect for meals.  

On Sundays, I make some sort of vegetable based soup. We typically  have someone over for football so, soups serves as a light dinner after indulging in all of those chips and guac.   Am I right! ;o)

I recently made a vegan chili using my new three favorite grocery finds...  Beyond Meat beef-less crumbles and Tolerant Red Lentil Pasta.

I heard about these two from Megan Roosevelt, the Healthy Grocery Girl on YouTube.  Meghan is a registered dietitian and a super entertaining "youtuber" among other things.   I love her teaching approach and her energy.  You should check her out.

And...  cumin seeds!
I picked these up on my Asian Pacific Market haul, such a delight to cook with! Whole spices bring so much flavor to recipes.  Love, love, love! 

Anyway...  On to the recipe!

Vegan Chili
1 cup of dry lentils (should make about 2 cups after soaking)
1 medium onion
1 tbsp of minced garlic
2 tbsp of MCT oil (or olive oil)
4 carrots (diced)
4 celery stalks (diced)
1 jalapeno (optional, no seeds)
1 medium size zucchini (diced)
1 1/2 cup of Beyond Meat beef-less crumbles
1 cup of Tolerant penne pasta 
1 12 once can of crushed tomatoes
3 cups of water (or veggie broth)
4 cups of kale
1 tbsp of sea salt
1 tbsp of cumin seeds
2 tbsp of chili powder
1/8 tsp. of powder stevia
1/2 tbsp of taco seasoning

cilantro, onion and avocado for garnish

The morning before... In a large bowl place 1 cup of dry lentils and 2 cups of water and refrigerate overnight.  This process is to soak your lentils.  Feel free to replace the lentils with two cans of your favorite no salt added beans. 

On cooking day...  Bring a soup pot to medium heat. Once your pot has been preheated, add in your cumin seeds and toast them for about 2 minutes.  After your cumin seeds are toasted and their glorious smell takes over your house, add in your oil, onion, garlic, celery, carrots and jalapeno and cook until onions are translucent.  Add in your zucchini, lentils, chili powder, taco seasoning, pasta and meat substitute to the pot and stir well to avoid the mixture from sticking to your pan.  Cook and stir mixture for about 5 minutes.

Add in your , crushed tomatoes, water, stevia and salt to the pot and give it a good stir.  Cover your pot with a lid and continue to let your soup cook for 20-30 minutes at low heat.  After your soup is done cooking, remove from heat and add in your kale.  Continue to stir your soup until kale is fully wilted.  

Stir, serve and enjoy!

Feel free to add in cilantro, avocado and diced onion over top for a delicious garnish.
I hope you give this one a try.

Have a lovely weekend!

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