Meatless Half-Hour Chili

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This is a family favorite—updated a bit.  You will not miss the meat in this chili as Bulgur adds texture to the (mildly spicy) mixture of vegetables and beans.

1 Tablespoon olive oil

3-4 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

3 onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon minced jalapẽno pepper or

for less heat and more flavor substitute poblano pepper, to taste

1 carrot, graded

1 28-oz can and 1 14-oz. can organic tomatoes, chopped with their juices (I use the roasted tomatoes which are delicious, if you can find them.)

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 piece Seaweed, such as Wakame*

2 15oz. can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1/3-1/2 cup fine or medium grain bulgur

½ cup low yogurt

1/3 cup chopped scallions

¼ cup fresh cilantro or parsley

 In a Dutch oven or a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat, add spice and sauté for 1-2 minutes—(this intensives the spices) until they are fragrant.  Add onions, garlic, carrots and pepper.  Sauté for 5-7 minutes—until the onions and carrots are soft. Add tomatoes with their juice and the teaspoon of brown sugar. Toss in your Wakame. Cook for 5 minutes over high heat.  Stir in beans and bulgur, and reduce heat to low. Simmer the chili uncovered for 15 minutes, or until thickened. Serve with a dollop of yogurt, scallions and cilantro or parsley on the side.

*In traditional Chinese healing, sea vegetables correspond to the winter season and to the kidneys, adrenal glands, bladder and reproductive organs. The strengthening, balancing and cleansing properties of sea vegetables are known to help these organs as well as the hair, skin and nails. Sea vegetables (or seaweeds) provide a variety of minerals and vitamins, including calcium, iron and iodine, and can help balance hormone and thyroid levels in the body. Eating too many processed foods or foods grown in mineral-depleted soil can result in a lack of minerals in the body, leading to cravings for salty or sugary foods. Adding sea vegetables to your diet can help balance your energy levels and alleviate cravings.

Adapted from Eating Well, 1992

Turkish Tacos

Falafel with salad--dinner!

Falafel with salad–dinner!

Travel around the world without leaving home tonight for dinner. I prepare this at least once a month and am surprised when it is a new experience for my guests. It is satisfying for meat eaters and pleases the vegetarians alike.
It’s sort of like eating a taco from Turkey, only instead of ground beef or shredded chicken as the major ingredient, it is chickpeas, a.k.a. garbanzo beans. (I know falafel is certainly something odd sounding and foreign, probably where guacamole was 30+ years ago.) Isn’t it nice to grow and discover new cuisines and dishes!

For those who enjoy history, these ancient legumes date back from Turkey to somewhere around 7,000 B.C. They are a nutrient-dense food and are high in protein, fiber and other nutrients without offering a lot of calories.

This dinner makes a great alternative to the regular fare, and I find it also fun. We’re allowed fun for dinner–right? You can serve this in pita or flat bread and garnish with diced cucumber, tomatoes, chopped parsley or cilantro, hummus and/or tahini. A green salad or quinoa salad makes a fine accompaniment. Or as in the photo, make a great dinner salad and include the falalfel in any capacity you choose. Be creative –drizzle tahini and fresh lemon for dressing. (Or dip them in the tahine, the traditional sesame-seed topping.) The most important ingredient is love. I buy the falafel mix–easy, quick and fresh tasting. Please do remember to fry them in grape seed oil as it is able to withstand the heat without damaging your health. Another time saver is to use a small cookie size scoop with the squeeze-action handles!!

falafel

Be well,

Cathy

http://www.cathysilverhealth.com

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