Ultimate Vegan Chili – A Simple Freezer Meal!

Ultimate Vegan Chili

Chili is one of those meals that everyone loves, comforts you in time of need (like, endless Montreal winters in my case), is hearty and filling, and can be prepared in so many different ways.  I love my Spicy Bulgur Chili, but the recipe I am sharing with you today is more traditional, yet completely vegan and nutritious.  It’s packed with protein thanks to all our lovely beans and is bursting with flavour!  My husband and I love spicy food and we sometimes screw up by making things too spicy for the little guy, but in the case of this chili, the little guy thought it was great, and although it was kind of hot, he loved it. If you want it even less spicy, ease off on the chili powder. 🙂

Also, we used a vegan ‘veggie ground’ in this recipe, but it’s completely optional.  The flavours are amazing without it, as we’ve done it both ways and they are both equally good.  You can add an extra can of beans if you are not using the veggie ground.

Finally, this makes a HUGE amount of chili.  We always prepare it in our huge chili pot, and freeze, freeze, freeze! It makes amazing leftovers, and takes the stress out of figuring out what’s for dinner.  Simply reheat on the stove top whenever you’re in the mood for a big bowl of chili. Now, if you don’t want to make enough for an army, go ahead and scale down the recipe by half.  You will still end up with enough to serve about 6 people.

Ultimate Vegan Chili

Ultimate Vegan Chili
Serves 10
A delicious and warming vegan chili that is nutritious and packed with protein. A recipe large enough to freeze for those nights you just don't feel like cooking.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 5 medium onions, chopped
  3. 4 large carrots, chopped
  4. 6 celery stalks, chopped
  5. 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  6. 3 1/2 cups diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)
  7. 2 1/2 cups red kidney beans (canned/drained or dry/soaked/cooked)
  8. 2 1/2 cups black beans (canned/drained or dry/soaked/cooked)
  9. 1 1/2 cups organic corn niblets
  10. 2 packs (12oz each) meatless veggie ground (optional; can substitute with an extra can of beans of choice)
  11. 6 tablespoons chili powder
  12. 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh cilantro (plus torn leaves for topping)
  13. 2 teaspoons sea salt
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery; cook, stirring frequently, until the carrots begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the tomatoes, beans, corn, veggie ground, chili powder, cilantro and salt. Stir well and simmer over low heat, stirring occassionally.
  2. The chili will thicken and be ready in 40 minutes, but if you have time to allow it to cook longer, the flavours will be even better (approx. 1 hour, 30 minutes is great).
  3. Serve in bowls and garnish with torn cilantro leaves and a side of organic tortillas if you wish!
Notes
  1. This chili freezes very well and is excellent for leftovers (hence the huge yield!). Store in a freezer-safe glass container until ready to use. Simply reheat in a pot on the stove top over medium heat.
Love and Lentils http://loveandlentils.com/
Ultimate Vegan Chili

 Ultimate Vegan Chili

Berry Red Beet Juice

It’s no secret, we are a beet-loving family.  I grew up eating them, and we often include them in our meals in a very simple way – usually boiled and served with a drizzle of olive oil.  My son loves them so much as well, which is so awesome since we can’t deny the amazing health benefits.

Beet Juice

Beets have been used in folk remedies for centuries, and the main reason being that they are loaded with betanin, an amazing antioxidant.  Their intense, deep red colour is not only gorgeous to look at, but shows how loaded they are with antioxidants. They are a wonderful tonic for the liver, working as a purifier for the blood.  Besides all of this, they are loaded with many other minerals and vitamins and taste delicious.  They work especially well with berries in smoothies or juices, as well as citrus and greens.  I’ve made many different beet juice concoctions, but my son simply loves this one!  Beets are naturally very sweet and moist, which makes them ideal for incorporating in a variety of beet dishes, desserts, or juices.

Beet Juice

I don’t know about you, but I can barely keep my eyes open past 9:00pm and this weekend was a jam-packed party.  We celebrated two friends’ birthdays last night, and we were home in the wee hours.  I was so exhausted today and I notice that I always crave fresh juice when I’m low on energy.  The energy boost from nutritious juices always seems to amaze me.  I felt so much better after having a tall glass of my Berry Red Beet Juice today.  

So I’ll be spending the rest of my Sunday with pink-stained hands.  Have a great rest of the weekend, everyone!

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Beet Juice

Berry Red Beet Juice

Yield: 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 organic beets
  • 8 organic strawberries
  • 1 organic orange

Instructions

  1. Wash the beets, strawberries and orange.
  2. Cut the greens off the strawberries, and slice the beets and orange into quarters.
  3. Place all ingredients through your juicer.
  4. Serve and drink right away.
http://loveandlentils.com/2014/04/13/berry-red-beet-juice/

Beet Juice

Beet Juice

Beet Juice

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Sweet Lentil Salad & Greens

Happy Saturday everyone!  I am entering my Sweet Lentil Salad & Greens to the Canadian Lentils Recipe Revelations Challenge!  I encourage you to go on over and participate as well.  What better ingredient to work with, the possibilities are endless, and of course delicious and so healthy.

Sweet Lentil Salad & Greens

I love incorporating fruit in my salads, and the combination of dried cranberries and lentils give this salad a really nice sweet flavour.  The ingredient list may look long at first sight, but rest assured that it’s mostly spices which I’m sure you have in your pantry and which make this salad irresistible and addictive!  I whipped this salad up in less than 30 minutes, and had leftovers for lunches and even dinner.  It is also kid-tested and approved! 

Sweet Lentil Salad & Greens

Sweet Lentil Salad & Greens

Please come see me on Facebook and vote by ‘liking’ this recipe if you do indeed, like it! 🙂

Sweet Lentil Salad & Greens
Serves 6
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup dried green lentils, rinsed and picked over
  2. 1 medium red onion, diced
  3. 2 cups spinach, chopped
  4. 1/3 cup capers, drained
  5. 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  6. 1 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
Vinaigrette
  1. 1/3 cup cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  2. 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  3. 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  4. 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  5. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  6. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  7. 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  8. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  9. 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  10. ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  11. Pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Place lentils in a pot and cover with 3 cups of water, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer. Check on the lentils after 15 minutes and if they are al dente, they are ready. You do not want overcooked, mushy lentils.
  2. While the lentils are simmering, make the vinaigrette by placing all ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake to combine.
  3. When the lentils are cooked, remove from heat, drain and place under cold running water to stop them from continuing to cook.
  4. Place lentils in a large serving bowl. Add onion, spinach, capers, pine nuts and cranberries and toss with dressing.
  5. Serve and enjoy!
Notes
  1. Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to three days.
Love and Lentils http://loveandlentils.com/
 Sweet Lentil Salad & Greens

 

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Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad With Pear, Cranberries + Vegan Parmesan

Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad

This salad is definitely a winner.  Who says you can’t make friends with salad?  I love fresh salads for lunch or sides, and frankly the bigger the better.  I wanted a little bit of everything in here; crunch, sweetness, cheesiness, and something that can be prepared ahead of time and thrown together later.  I think we all typically boil or roast brussels sprouts, but have you ever had these amazing little greens raw?  They have a similar texture to shredded cabbage, but much more flavourful.  Shaved brussels, chewy dried cranberries, toasted almonds, fresh pear, and vegan parmesan cheese make this salad irresistible.  By the way, I just recently discovered vegan parm, and boy oh boy is it ever delicious and the easiest thing to put together.  It has officially made its way as a topping to almost anything I eat!

You don’t need any fancy tools to shave brussels, it’s actually very quick and easy to do with your kitchen knife.  The best part is, you can do this and store the brussels in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week and they will stay fresh and crunchy!

How To Shave Brussels Sprouts

Times have definitely changed from when I was a kid.  My son loves his vegetables, and yes, even brussels sprouts.  I think his new favourite way to have them is raw.  Kids like crunch, right?

So, here it is.

Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad

Makes approx. 6 side dish salads

Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad
Yields 6
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Vinaigrette
  1. 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  2. 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  3. 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  4. juice of 1 lemon
  5. 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  6. 1 teaspoon fresh herbs (I used thyme, rosemary would work great as well)
Vegan Parmesan Cheese
  1. 1 cup unsalted cashews
  2. 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  3. 1 teaspoon sea salt
Salad
  1. 5 cups shaved brussels sprouts
  2. 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  3. 1/2 cup vegan parmesan cheese
  4. 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  5. 1 pear, washed and sliced (I used red anjou)
For the Vinaigrette
  1. Directions: Place all ingredients into a mason jar, tightly secure the lid, and shake!
For the Vegan Parmesan
  1. Directions: Place all ingredients in a food processor and process for 20 seconds. I like the texture crumbly, but you can continue processing to a fine powder if you like. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
For the Salad
  1. Directions: Wash brussels sprouts and trim off ends. Slice in half from top to bottom. Thinly slice each half using a sharp knife then fluff the shreds using your fingers, separating the shreds. Place shaved brussels sprouts onto a serving dish. Top with toasted almonds, dried cranberries, sliced pear and parmesan cheese. Drizzle with vinaigrette and serve. If you want to prepare the salad ahead of time, only add the pear right before serving. Enjoy my friends!
Love and Lentils http://loveandlentils.com/
Vegan Parmesan Cheese

 

Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad

Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad

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Cauliflower ‘Risotto’

One of my favourite meals to make in the kitchen is risotto.  I actually don’t mind the laborious process, it’s quite meditative and helps slow you down.  A little splash of water, a stir, a sip of wine – so relaxing!  But it’s just not realistic on a weeknight when time is limited and there’s a lot going on (and you’ve been fighting a cold!).  I had heard about people using cauliflower as risotto, which is not only super quick, but also so much more nutritious.  It turned out so well, and unlike typical risotto which leaves you feeling a little guilty and heavy, this is incredibly satisfying, yet light and fresh.  We had our risotto with a side of roasted asparagus (chopping it and stirring it in is also an option) but you can easily adapt this risotto with ingredients you have on hand; add mushrooms,  peas, tomatoes, basil, or other veggies and herbs you may be craving.

Cauliflower 'Risotto'

Cauliflower 'Risotto'
Serves 3
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Ingredients
  1. 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  2. 5 cloves garlic, minced
  3. 2 green onions, chopped
  4. 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  5. 1 can (15 oz) white beans, rinsed and drained
  6. 1 cup vegetable broth
  7. 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
  8. 1 head of cauliflower, chopped to small rice-like pieces in a food processor
  9. 2 cups spinach, chopped
  10. 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and thyme and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until fragrant.
  2. Add beans, vegetable broth (and nutritional yeast if you are using it, it gives a slight cheesy flavour) into the pot, stir, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Using an immersion (handheld) blender, blend the ingredients to a creamy consistency.
  4. Add cauliflower and spinach, stir. Cover with a lid and allow to cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Stir, spoon into bowls and garnish with toasted pine nuts.
  6. Enjoy!
Love and Lentils http://loveandlentils.com/
Cauliflower 'Risotto'

Cauliflower 'Risotto'

 

Cauliflower 'Risotto'