Meatless Monday: Hearty Vegan Chili

Meatless Monday: Hearty Vegan Chili

Happy Monday, friends! I hope you had a wonderful weekend! My mom, sister and I had a girls “staycation” weekend in Detroit and it was the best!

  • Friday morning, my sister and I had manicures and pedicures together and then went to a few of my favorite stops around Grosse Pointe, including Trader Joe’s and The Better Health Market to stock up on some goodies for the weekend. Friday night, my mom, sister and I went to Maru Sushi in downtown Detroit — SO good!
  • Saturday morning, we had the most relaxing spa day at IMMERSE Spa at the MGM Grand in Detroit. In the afternoon, we met up with my aunt and cousins for lunch at Townhouse Detroit, explored the holiday pop up markets in Cadillac Square and had a shake from Shake Shack.
  • Sunday, we spent the morning taking in the Monet exhibition the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) and then saw The Bodyguard at the Fisher Theater. We ended the weekend by having this chili recipe around my dining room table, and it was the perfect way to conclude our fun-filled weekend around The D!

For Meatless Monday today, I wanted to share an incredibly easy and hearty vegan chili. Chili is one of my go-to recipes in the winter because it warms me up and is such a comforting food (especially in frigid temps!). Chili so simple to make — anything that lets me throw a bunch of ingredients in a pot and call it a day is my kind of meal. Plus, the fact that you can customize it to your taste and dietary preferences is a win-win-win.

For today’s recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium sweet potato, diced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 TBS garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 TBS chili powder
  • 4 TBS cumin
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cans of black beans
  • 1 can of sweet corn
  • 3 cans of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups of shredded carrots
  • 1 poblano pepper, diced (optional)
  • A few dashes of hot sauce (I live for Cholula hot sauce…life changing), optional.

Directions:

  • In a large pot over medium heat, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until garlic is fragrant and onions are soft and translucent — about five minutes.
  • Add salt, garlic powder, black pepper, chili powder, cumin and diced sweet potato and cook until potato is soft — about 5-7 minutes.
  • Next, add your vegetable broth, quinoa, black beans, corn, tomatoes, carrots, poblano pepper (optional) and a few dashes of hot sauce (optional). Bring your mixture to a low boil on medium heat. Stir, then reduce to a simmer.
  • Cover and cook for 30 minutes. Check for taste and add any additional spices as needed. Your chili should be fragrant, the quinoa should be cooked and your mixture soft and thick. The great thing about chili: the longer you let it cook, the more flavorful your final product will be.  I gave my chili another stir, covered it back up and let it simmer on the stove for an hour.
  • Serve with chips, avocado or whatever other toppings you desire!

Enjoy!

Do you have any favorite chili recipes? Please share them in the comments below! : )

Be Well,

2560x1440-white-solid-color-background

Taco Tuesday: Buffalo Chickpea Tacos with Ranch Dressing

Taco Tuesday: Buffalo Chickpea Tacos with Ranch Dressing

It’s Tuesday, friends, so you know what that means: #TacoTuesday!

Guys, I am so excited to share this taco recipe with you because it combines two of my favorite things: tacos and a recipe from my pals at Well Vegan. If you’re new to my blog, I am a huge fan of my Frugal Vegan cookbook.  Kate and Katie share tactical ways to live a healthy vegan lifestyle without breaking the bank with 99 affordable and delicious plant-based recipes. Also within the book, they teach you how to stay away from pricey perishables and special ingredients, while still enjoying nutritious, exciting food at every single meal. A win-win. And even if you’re not vegan, you’ll still benefit from the information in this book!

Last week, the Well Vegan girls shared a Buffalo Crispy Tender Tacos with Vegan Ranch recipe that I just knew I had recreate for this week’s taco Tuesday. And this vegan ranch, you guys…oh my god. I truly don’t know the last time I had ranch dressing, but this dressing…tastes better than I have ever remembered store-bought ranch dressing to taste. Like, I wanted to drink this dressing it was so good. I know, I know the thought of drinking ranch dressing is gross, but it was seriously that good. #noshame

For my non-vegan friends, I also wanted to give you a healthy ranch recipe from my friend Steph of The Steph Gordon Blog! Steph and I went to college together and we share a mutual love for a great sweat sesh in the gym and living a healthy lifestyle. Steph is a momma to two sweet littles and she, her husband and girls follow a paleo lifestyle. On her blog, Steph shares drool-worthy recipes and awesome tips for following a paleo lifestyle. Pop on over to her blog to give her content a browse, and make sure you check out this ranch dressing recipe!

Now for our tacos!

Ingredients:

For the buffalo sauce

  • 1/4 cup hot sauce
  • 2 tsp vegan butter or olive oil
  • 1 tsp agave or maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

For the tacos

For the vegan ranch dressing

  • 1/4 cup vegan mayo
  • 1 TBS non-dairy milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Almond milk…I’m currently experimenting with making my own almond milk, so stay tuned for that recipe!)
  • 1/2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar (I used Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar)
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill (the original recipe calls for 1/4 tsp, but I love dill so I added more!)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • Salt and peper to taste

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  • Pour your chickpeas from the can into small strainer and rinse under cold running water.
  • After your chickpeas are rinsed, grab two bowls — we’re going to remove the skin or shell from the chickpeas. This task will take about 5 – 10 minutes depending on how many helpers you have in the kitchen. If you have kiddos, this is an easy way for them to help contribute to the meal! 🙂 Simply pinch the end of a chickpea and it will easily slide out of it’s skin. Place the skin in one bowl and the “naked” chickpea in the other. Repeat until all chickpeas are done. The lack of skin or shell helps the chickpeas to crisp up better in the oven.

IMG_8458

  • Once your chickpeas are all set, drizzle them with 1 tsp of olive oil, toss to coat and then pour them onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Pop into the oven for 40 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  • Next up, make your buffalo sauce. I just threw all of the ingredients into my Magic Bullet, but if you have more time than I did, the Well Vegan girls suggest making this on the stovetop.
  • While your chickpeas are still baking, prepare your ranch dressing. Again, I just tossed everything into my Magic Bullet to combine – super easy (or lazy, whatever!).
  • After your 40 minutes are up, check your chickpeas for preferred crispness. At this point, mine were pretty crispy, so I mixed them with my buffalo sauce and popped them back in the oven for about 10 more minutes so they could cook with the sauce for a little bit.
  • Once your chickpeas are cooked to your liking, you’re ready to assemble your tacos!
  • Place a tortilla on a plate and add your romaine, avocado, chickpeas and a few dollops of your ranch dressing.  Other toppings for consideration: pico de gallo (I meant to include this when I made my tacos, but I honestly forgot!), cilantro, olives, etc.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!

 

IMG_8538

What are your favorite way to make tacos? I’d love for you to share in the comments! <3

Be Well,

2560x1440-white-solid-color-background

 

 

Meatless Monday: Loaded Sweet Potatoes

Meatless Monday: Loaded Sweet Potatoes

Happy Meatless Monday, friends!

I love sharing #MeatlessMonday recipes, and this one is definitely one of my go-to’s. Aside from the yummy flavors of this recipe, these loaded sweet potatoes are not only easy to make, they’re filling, nutritious and best of all, inexpensive. Plus, loaded sweet potatoes are so easy to change and customize, you can rotate them into your weekly meals without much effort.

Ingredients:

  • Two sweet potatoes (organic, if possible)
  • 1 can of sweet corn
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 avocado, diced (optional, for serving)
  • 1 TBS fresh cilantro (optional, for serving)
  • Salsa for serving

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  • Under cold running water, wash / scrub your sweet potatoes. Since we’re going to be leaving the skin on, I recommend buying organic sweet potatoes if possible, but if not, just make sure that you’re scrubbing the skin really well to wash off any pesticides.
  • Once washed, place your sweet potatoes on to a foil-lined baking sheet. Use a fork to poke a few holes over the surface of each potato.

IMG_8453.jpg

  • When your oven is up to temp, pop your potatoes into the oven and set a timer for 1 hour.
  • While your potatoes are baking, pour your corn into a strainer and give it a good rinse under cold water. Once rinsed, pour into a large mixing bowl. Do the same with your black beans and add them to your corn.
  • Dice up your red bell pepper and add to corn and bean mixture. Stir everything to combine.
  • Next up, drizzle 1 TBS of olive oil over peppers, beans and corn and stir to combine, making sure the oil is evenly distributed.
  • Add your garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper to pepper, beans and corn mixture.
  • Give everything a good stir and then pour mixture onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Make sure to spread the mixture out over your baking sheet so that everything has room to cook.
  • At the 20 minute mark on your timer, pop your veggies and beans into the oven.
  • At the 10 minute mark on your timer, take your veggies + beans out to give everything a stir to ensure even cooking.
  • When your timer is up, pull everything out of the oven. Set veggies and beans aside. Let sweet potatoes cool for a few minutes until they’re safe to handle. Totally normal if your potatoes are oozing. : )
  • Slice sweet potatoes in half length-wise and check the middle with a fork. If you can easily scrape the flesh in the middle, your potatoes are done! If they’re still a little tough, put them back in the oven for 10 minutes.
  • Once your potatoes are cooked, scrape the inside flesh a little bit with a fork to make room for corn, beans and peppers. You will definitely leftovers of this mixture! Add it to a salad for lunch or use as a sided dish for another meal later in the week!
  • Scoop some of the mixture into each half of the potato and top with diced avocado, cilantro and salsa. Other additional topping ideas: sour cream (if you’re not vegan), diced jalapeño, olives, pico de gallo, etc.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!

 

IMG_8541.JPG

What are your favorite ways to make sweet potatoes? : )

Be Well,

2560x1440-white-solid-color-background

Taco Tuesday: Roasted Lentils Edition

Taco Tuesday: Roasted Lentils Edition

Happy Tuesday, loves!

If you’ve followed me for some time now (@bewellwithmb), you know that #tacotuesday is a weekly staple in our household. And, especially on nights like tonight when I’m not getting home until after 9PM, I really appreciate how easy tacos are to throw together for a quick and healthy dinner (as if there isn’t already enough to love about taco tuesday!).

Tonight, I just whipped together some homemade guacamole (avocado, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, s+p to taste) onto a Food for Life Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain Tortilla, with organic romaine, shredded carrots and pico de gallo from Trader Joe’s.

For my protein source, I’m really excited to give these Roasted Lentils from SimpleSuppleFoods a try! I stumbled upon them in Whole Foods today while searching for a quick source of protein that I could throw into these tacos.  1/4 cup of these guys contains 9g of protein and 5g of fiber (20% of our daily recommended intake). And, I love that they are made locally here in Michigan! I took a little taste test before assembling my tacos and oh my goodness: I LOVE all of the flavor that these little guys pack and talk about yummy crunch! These will definitely be a repeat purchase!

Finally, I topped my tacos with another Trader Joe’s favorite, their salsa.

Super easy and it took me 10 minutes total!

IMG_8331.JPG

Now, I’m going to go enjoy my tacos and hang out with my boys. <3

I hope you have a wonderful rest of your evening!

Be Well,

2560x1440-white-solid-color-background

Last Minute NYE Recipe: Homemade Guacamole + Sweet Potato Chips

Last Minute NYE Recipe: Homemade Guacamole + Sweet Potato Chips

If there is one thing I could eat every day for the rest of my life, it’s guacamole. I’m obsessed: the creaminess of the avocado, the tang of the lime juice, the bite from the red onion and refreshing taste of the cilantro make me a big fan of this nutrient-dense dip.

Avocado is an awesome source of healthy fats and is great for promoting healthy skin, heart health and lowering cholesterol. Sweet potatoes aid in digestion, reduce inflammation in the body and help promote the health of our skin. Pair some guacamole with sweet potato chips, and you’ve got a total snack game-changer.

I love guac because it comes together really quickly and easily, so I wanted to share this recipe in case you needed last minute recipe inspiration or ideas for any NYE parties you may be hosting or attending tonight!  Check out the recipes below and have a great + safe NYE. <3

Guacamole

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium avocados
  • Juice of 1 lime (if you’re not a big fan of citrus, you can just use 1/2 of a lime)
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced
  • 2 TBS fresh cilantro, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded and diced (optional)

Instructions:

  • Cut your avocados in half length-wise, separate the two halves and remove pit.
  • Scoop out avocado flesh into a bowl and add salt and pepper.
  • Using the back of a fork, mash the avocado so that you have a relatively smooth consistency with some smaller chunks of avocado.
  • Add lime juice, red onion and cilantro (and jalapeño if using) and stir until all ingredients are combined.
  • Taste test, adding salt and pepper or other seasoning as needed.

Sweet Potato Chips

Ingredients:

  • 1 organic sweet potato
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt or pink himalayan salt (optional)

Instructions:

If you’ve followed my other posts, you’ll know that I LOVE making sweet potato chips and that I swear by this sweet potato chip recipe from Minimalist Baker. She has everything down to a science and these chips always come out perfectly crisp and yummy!

I will warn you that this recipe does take a little time / patience, but they are totally worth it – I promise.

  • Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.
  • Thoroughly rinse and dry your sweet potato and slice it as uniformly thin as possible (I used my mandolin and it worked perfectly. If you don’t have one, just use a very sharp knife to get the slices as thin and consistent in size as you can).
  • Toss slices in 1 TBS of olive oil to lightly coat, then sprinkle with salt. Lay out in a single layer (overlapping a little bit is fine as they’ll shrink in size as they cook) on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for about 2 hours (this is the patience part), flipping the chips once at the halfway point to ensure even cooking.
  • Remove the chips once they’re crisp and golden brown. It’s okay if some of them feel a little tender in the middle — take them out and let them rest for at least 10 minutes to continue to crisp up.
  • Serve immediately with guacamole

IMG_6958

Enjoy!

Be Well,

2560x1440-white-solid-color-background

Plant Powered Protein Day 9: Peas // Avocado Pea Toast

Plant Powered Protein Day 9: Peas // Avocado Pea Toast

If peas were on your “refuse to eat” list as a kid, I hope you’ll reconsider them as an adult because they are amazing.

Seriously? Amazing? They’re just…peas.

Maybe so, but check it:

  • Protein: Green peas are one of the best sources of plant-based protein. 1 cup of peas provides nearly 10g of protein.
  • Fiber: Yup, we’re bringing up fiber again. 1 cup of peas gives you nearly 9g of fiber which you know is great for our digestive systems and weight management. The fiber and protein content in peas also help to control blood sugar levels.
  • B-Vitamins: Folate, vitamins B6 and B12 are abundant in peas, which help to create red blood cells and in turn, carry nutrients and oxygen to our cells.
  • Vitamin C: While your first instinct when you get a cold might be to reach for an orange or orange juice, know that 1 cup of peas gives us 97% of our daily recommended intake of vitamin C.
  • Vitamins and minerals: Peas are a really rich source of other essential minerals like calcium, iron, copper, manganese as well as vitamins K and A (great for our eye health).

 

Peas are super easy to add to soups (split pea soup is a favorite of mine), stir fry dishes, pastas, salads and more. For my fellow #AvocadoToast lovers out there, this recipe is for you:

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of bread (I am using sprouted grain Ezekiel bread)
  • 1/2 cup peas (if frozen, prepare according to package instructions)
  • 1/2 avocado, cubed
  • Juice of 1 small lime
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Salt + pepper to taste
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Chia + hemp seeds (optional)

Instructions:

  • Toast your bread, set aside.
  • Place peas, lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper into a bowl. Using a fork, mash the peas and mix ingredients together.
  • Add avocado and stir to combine, mashing some of the avocado pieces.
  • Scoop mixture onto toast and sprinkle with red pepper flakes and chia + hemp seeds.

Enjoy!

Be Well,

2560x1440-white-solid-color-background

 

Plant Powered Protein Day 8: Black Beans // Chipotle-Inspired Burrito Bowl

Plant Powered Protein Day 8: Black Beans // Chipotle-Inspired Burrito Bowl

Day 8 of our #PlantPoweredProtein series brings us to black beans. Black beans are another food that I genuinely love because of their versatility in recipes. From black bean burgers to soups to stews to brownies (yes, brownies!), I love how easy black beans are to cook with, and their extremely mild flavor make them a great addition to almost any recipe. A few other reasons to consider adding black beans into your diet:

  • Protein: A 1 cup serving of black beans gives us 15 grams of protein or ~30% of our recommended daily intake.
  • Fiber: A 1 cup serving of black beans also gives us 15 grams of fiber, providing more than 50% of the recommended daily intake! Due to their high fiber content, black beans are filling, but their combination of complex carbohydrates and protein also helps fill us up. As Dr. Axe puts it, “The macronutrients found in beans, including fiber, work together to give us a feeling of satiety after eating.”
  • Aiding in digestive issues: With their high levels of fiber and protein, black beans are great at helping regulate our digestive systems by helping food move through the digestive tract. They also take longer for our bodies to digest than meat, leaving us fuller, longer. Lastly, because they’re smaller in size as compared to other beans, they’re more likely to be easier to digest.
  • Blood sugar control: Because black beans are relatively easy to digest and take our bodies longer to digest, they’re also great a helping us regulate our blood sugar levels, making it less likely that our blood sugar will peak and then crash.
  • Improved heart heat: Black beans reduce inflammation and are exceptionally high in soluble fiber, which helps flight heart disease. As fiber removes waste from the body, it helps to reduce inflammation, keeping arteries clear from the build up of dangerous plague.

If you’re like me and love Chipotle, I always enjoy trying to recreate their burrito bowls at home. So today, we’re going to do just that! This is an adaptation of FabLunch’s DIY Chipotle Burrito Bowl.

Ingredients:

Cilantro lime Rice:

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 TBS fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 TBS lime juice

Garlic Beans:

  • 1 can of organic black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder

Vegetables:

  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Toppings:

  • Fresh salsa (whatever your favorite may be)
  • Guacamole

Instructions:

  • Cook rice according to package instructions. Before water starts to boil, add salt. Once rice is cooked, placed into a large mixing bowl and add lime juice and cilantro. Mix well.
  • Combine all ingredients for garlic beans in small pot over medium heat for five minutes.
  • Slice peppers and onion into strips.
  • Add olive oil to skillet. Once oil begins to shimmer, add onions and sauté over medium – high heat for 3 – 5 minutes.
  • Add peppers to onions and cook for additional five minutes.
  • Add salt and pepper and continue to cook until vegetables are soft.
  • For serving, divide rice, beans and veggies into two servings and top with desired toppings!

Enjoy!

What are your favorite ways to incorporate black beans into your diet?

Be Well,

2560x1440-white-solid-color-background