“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”
― John Steinbeck
As a Weight Watchers leader I often encourage my members to experiment with vegetarian or Vegan recipes. Not only do those who practice a plant-based diet know how to find alternative and filling sources of protein, but often plant-based recipes use healthy spices and herbs for flavor.This chili recipe is one that I have shared with my WW members for years and I always mention, that if desired, they can always add meat. However, many of my WW friends report back that they loved the recipe without meat (and often so do their meat-loving spouses). While my husband Mike will eat meat-free meals, I often make a double or triple batch of this chili and I do sometimes add meat to his. This recipe is packed with flavor and it freezes well. Today after finishing off the pot that I made last week I added ingredients to my shopping list and I will be making a double-batch this weekend and will add many servings to my rotation of soup in the freezer. Having soup/chili on hand is essential to our meal plan and it guarantees that we always have a quick and homemade dinner or lunch in a pinch.
Not only is this chili satisfying and full of fiber and protein, but it is also easy on the pocketbook. While you can use canned beans that you purchase at the market, I suggest buying dry and cooking your own. I make the beans in bulk and freeze. One pot renders approximately fifteen cups and for WW members it comes out to a mere 2 PP per cup. While it is fantastic alone, sometimes I like to add a dollop of plant-based sour cream, chopped green onions, fresh cilantro, whole wheat pasta or quinoa, and/or a squeeze of fresh lime juice to perk up the flavor even more.
Today I had a bowl for lunch and I added a side salad with romaine lettuce, a slice of avocado, pomegranate, pickled jalapeno, avocado vinaigrette dressing, a dash of taco sauce, lime wedges, and grapefruit segments. What a perfect winter lunch.
- 3 cups of tomatoes
- 1 cup tomato juice
- 1 cup of chopped green bell pepper
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup of corn
- 3 minced cloves of garlic
- 1 cup white beans (cooked)
- 1 cup black beans (cooked)
- 1 cup kidney beans (cooked)
- 1 small can diced green chilies
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin
- 1 Tbsp ground coriander
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 1 Tbsp chili powder, (Add as much for desired heat.)
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Saute celery, onion, green pepper and garlic with olive oil. Add all ingredients to crock pot or stock pot (you may also want to add a cup of water). The longer the chili cooks, the better it will taste. If I cook via stove-top I simmer for 60 minutes. Using the slow-cooker method I cook on low for 4 hours. Season to taste (adding more chili powder or “heat” if desired).
You can also toss in other vegetables that you have on hand. Last week I added a small zucchini and in the past I have added carrots and even cabbage.
Printable list and recipe: Three Bean Vegetarian Chili
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If you are looking for healthy ways to bulk up your meals I recommend that you check out my other soup recipes.
Check back often because my goal for 2014 is to continue sharing my recipes with others who are trying to find ways to incorporate more vegetables into their meal plans. You can follow my Produce with Amy board on Pinterest and please stop by and like my Facebook page. Cheers to healthy 2014 and thriving!