Vegetarian Chilli

Ahhh Autumn. The colour of the landscape starts to change as the leaves get ready to fall. The duration of daylight becomes noticeably shorter and the temperature cools considerably. And, in the kitchen I start to look for more comforting warm and satisfying meals.

One of our favourites for the cooler weather is Vegetarian Chilli.

It might look like a mighty long list of ingredients but this chilli is really 14 minutes of prep and you can sit back and relax while waiting for the magic to happen and the flavours to develop in the pot.

I’ve served this on it’s own (it is a complete meal!) or with steamed vegetables, or as a filler for tacos and nachos, or in a bowl with brown rice and avocado….. once you master this chilli there is no going back.

1 tbs coconut oil

1 large onion, finely diced

2 large carrots finely diced

2 celery sticks finely diced

1 thumb sized piece fresh ginger

3 garlic cloves

1 red chilli (optional)

1 tbs ground coriander

1 tbs ground cumin

1 tsp chilli powder (optional)

1 tsp smoked paprika

250g quinoa rinsed

250g brown lentils rinsed

2 tins diced tomatoes

1L vegetable stock

1 tin kidney beans

1. Melt the coconut oil in a large casserole over a medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery and ginger for 4–5 minutes until just tender. Stir in the garlic, red chilli, coriander and cumin seeds, chilli powder and paprika and fry for a further 2–3 minutes.

2. Add the quinoa, lentils, plum tomatoes and vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, season with salt and pepper and simmer gently for 45 minutes, or until the grains are tender and cooked through. Keep adding liquid if required until the grains are tender.

3. Add the kidney beans and cook for a further 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning and cover with a lid until ready to serve.

5. Serve the chilli in bowls, topped with avocado slices, corn and lime wedges. Or, if the kids prefer serve in taco’s with greens and sour cream.

Enjoy

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Healthy Thai Green Curry

I NEVER want my clients eating a boring, monotonous diet. Eating the same mundane food day in and day out is only going to intensify those cravings and lead you back to square one.

Life is about flavour. It’s about enjoying your meals.

This Thai Green Curry recipe is a great way to spice up your weekday meals while still eating healthy.

Green curry paste is usually spicy. You can substitute for yellow paste which is a bit more mild.

If you’re feeding kids that don’t like chilli, you can always sprinkle the chilli on your own dish when you serve.

Here’s what you need: 
2 tbsp coconut oil 
2 tbsp green curry paste 
1 onion, chopped 
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup broccoli, chopped
1 cup chopped spinach
1 cup green beans
1 red capsicum, cut into strips 
3 carrots, sliced
1 zucchini, chopped 
1 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp black pepper 
1/2 tsp chili flakes 
1 tbsp coconut sugar 
1 can full fat coconut milk 
1/2 lime 
4 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)

Directions: 
1. In a heated pan, add 1 tbsp coconut oil. Add in the curry paste and fry for 1 minute. 
2. Add in chopped onion and cook for approximately 5 minutes (until translucent) 
3. Add in garlic and the other tbsp of coconut oil. Then add in all of your vegetables. Add in the  salt, pepper, chili flakes, coconut sugar and stir everything together. Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes.
4. Add in the coconut milk and let simmer for 5 minutes. Squeeze in lime and remove from the stove top. 
5. Add the basil on top. I served mine with baked tofu and brown rice! 

Plant Based Diet

What does “plant-based diet” mean? Is it the same thing as being vegetarian or vegan?

What Does Following a Plant-Based Diet Mean Exactly?

Some people use the term ‘plant-based diet’ as a synonym for the vegan diet. Others may use the term in a broader way that includes all vegetarian diets, and I’ve also seen people use ‘plant-based’ to mean diets which are composed mostly, but not entirely, of plant foods.

The main idea is to make plant-based foods the central part of your meals.

Think vegetables as the main part of your meal, with a little grains or complex carbs and some protein (plant or animal depending on how strict you decide to be).

So, rather than thinking ‘We’re having steak and 3 veg for dinner’ think we’re having veggies and some steak on the side.

A plant-based diet emphasizes foods like fruits, vegetables, and beans, and limits foods like meats, dairy, and eggs. From there, more restrictions could be put in place depending on how strict you want to be. It may completely eliminate foods from animals or just limit intake depending on the individual’s interpretation.

That means meat and seafood don’t necessarily need to be off-limits — you might just decide to cut down on how frequently you eat those items.

In my Plant Based cooking workshops for both adults and kids I use only plant based ingredients to cater for vegans.

https://eatinginmind.com.au/plant-based-cooking-workshop-for-kids/

https://eatinginmind.com.au/plant-based-cooking-workshop-for-adults/

Current Research

Most people who adopt this way of eating do it for the potential health benefits. There have been many cardiac benefits linked to Plant Based diets, like reduced cholesterol. Some studies suggest that eating a plant-based diet may improve fertility, and it also may reduce your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

One study linked diets rich in healthy plant foods (such as nuts, whole grains, fruits, veggies, and oils) with a significantly lower risk of heart disease.

Another study found it can also help prevent and treat type 2 diabetes, and it cites research that suggests this diet may help reduce the risk of other chronic illnesses, including cancer.

What to Eat and Drink

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Beans
  • Lentils

What to Limit (or Avoid Entirely, Depending on How Strict You Decide to Be)

  • Dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt)
  • Meat and poultry (like chicken, beef, and pork)
  • Processed animal meats, such as sausages and hot dogs
  • All animal products (including eggs, dairy, and meat if you’re following a vegan diet)

Scientifically proven benefits of a Plant Based Diet

A diet that promotes whole foods and plant-based ingredients can reduce the likelihood that you’ll need medication, lower your risk of obesity and high blood pressure, and maybe even help prevent or manage type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

A plant-based diet can also help you manage your weight and may lead to weight loss if you follow it in a healthy way. Most people also start to feel like they have more energy.

To set yourself up for success your grocery list should mainly list fresh vegetables and fruit, beans, and plant-based proteins to make sure you have plenty of options to reach for when you get hungry.

Are there any potential disadvantages of a Plant Based Diet?

Simply sticking with plant-based foods doesn’t set you up for good health.

Particular attention will need to be paid to the quality of the foods you’re consuming, because there are plenty of unhealthy foods that qualify as plant-based, such as potato chips and french fries. In fact, a visit to the vegan markets can prove this theory as there were plenty of battered and deep fried options!

Choosing unhealthy plant-based foods can increase your risk of weight gain and health conditions such as heart disease.

Also, if you decide to take the plant based diet to the next level and go vegan (completely off all animal products) you will need to keep an eye on your B12 and choline levels. Vitamin B12 is found primarily in animal sources, and the two best sources of choline are egg yolks and liver.  

So, instead of a diet centred on meat and dairy, the starring roles are played by vegetables, fruit, and whole grains. It’s an approach to eating and lifestyle that has been shown to have significant health benefits, including weight loss and disease prevention.