How was everyone’s week? Mine was super full of coffee dates, dinner dates and wine dates and it’s not over yet. This afternoon I’ll be catching up with a girlfriend and then Mark and I are heading to a nice Christmas dinner with his co-workers. Tomorrow I have a bridal shower for my beautiful sister and then Sunday I am doing zero things with other humans. ZERO.
I’ll probably start planning/prepping for Christmas. Put the tree up, dig out the other (very few) decorations, blast Christmas music and start testing out recipes. Currently I have two photographed and now residing in my freezer to be thawed actually AT Christmas. They’re good ones. Really good ones.
This time of year, the time where I’m finding myself knee deep in baking, holiday parties, extra wine and heavier foods, I try to take better care of myself by having lighter, healthier foods prepped and ready to go in my fridge at all times. Some people find meal planning/prepping stressful during busy seasons, but I find it 100% necessary for my self care.
As much as I love the heavier holiday foods and desserts, my body starts to get REALLY sick of it really quickly if I’m not taking care of myself when I’m not at social functions. For me, that means heavily plant based (HEAVY on the veggies) foods, tons of water, whole grains and making sure I carve out enough time for stretching, walking and dancing to Christmas music.
These warm vegan chilli bowls have been a perfect addition to our veg heavy meals this past week. The base is an enormous pile of shredded red cabbage, carrots, zucchini, cucumber and chopped tomatoes all tossed with a simple cilantro lime vinaigrette. Then it’s topped with a hefty scoop of vegan mushroom bean chili, salsa and chips! IF you’re not vegan and fancy it, add cheese! We add it about half of the time and it is excellent. Other awesome toppings include avocado/guacamole, hummus, corn nuts and sour cream/greek yogurt.
Oh! Sometimes it’s also nice to add a good scoop of rice, farro, barley, etc. for extra goodness but it’s 100% not necessary. If you’ve got it, add it! If not, that’s cool too.
Happy Saturday lovelies. May your weekend be full of fun, connection and delish food!
- For the Chili:
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 pound mushrooms, chopped small
- 2 medium onions, minced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4-5 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ½-1 tsp cayenne pepper*
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 medium/large carrots, peeled and chopped small
- 2-3 cups zucchini, chopped small
- 1 6oz can tomato paste
- 1 28oz can diced tomatoes
- 3 15oz cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1-2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar or lime juice
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp brown sugar, optional
- For the vinaigrette:
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
- juice of 2 limes
- 1 tsp sugar
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp salt
- For the bowls:
- Shredded red cabbage
- Shredded carrots
- Shredded zucchini
- Sliced cucumber
- Chopped tomatoes
- Corn nuts
- Cheese/sour cream/greek yogurt *if not vegan
- Make the Chili:
- Preheat oven to 450F. Toss the mushrooms, 1 tbsp olive oil and a few pinches of salt and pepper together. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining tbsp of olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat.Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring often until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic, all of the spices and the tomato paste. Cook ,stirring often until the tomato paste has begun to brown, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the carrots, zucchini, tomatoes and kidney beans and bring to a simmer. Add ½-1 cup or so of water if the mixture is too thick. Once the mushrooms are done roasting, add them to the chili.
- Simmer for at least 30 minutes for best flavor, but preferably 3-4 hours or all day!
- Add soy sauce/tamari, red wine vinegar and salt/pepper to taste. If you want it spicier, add more cayenne or some hot sauce. Taste, add the brown sugar if necessary/desired.
- For the vinaigrette:
- Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend on high until smooth. Taste, adjust salt/sugar/coriander to taste. Add more or less cilantro to your preference.
- For the bowls:
- Toss together the shredded and chopped veggies with 1 tbsp or more of the vinaigrette per bowl. Top with as much chili as you wish and whatever toppings you desire: chips, guac, avocado, salsa, cheese, yogurt, etc. Go crazy.