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

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Make it your way–Satisfying Gluten Free Veggie Pizza

“Fingers of aroma” waft and swirl out of our thoughts, like the iconic pie sitting on the window sill cooling before it is stolen.  Sometimes–no actually most of the time-we are bombarded by relentless advertising and commercials enticing us to buy “this” or order “that”.  Enticing and tasty looking professionally photographed pizzas, burgers or sandwiches available almost anytime. These ads seem to somehow come when we are most vulnerable and make it extremely easy to pick up the phone or drive through–and in a split instant we have satiated that desire.  What if we could plan ahead?  I have a client who had been resisting the temptation, but wanted a satisfying pizza–“just pizza” he said. Over the months we have been substituting and adding  healthier and healthier options and to his credit he is down 17 lbs at last count! Even better, I decided that pizza would give him the reward for his efforts, but not sabotage them either. So I share this easy to duplicate lunch or dinner–personal pan size pizza! (Each person in the family could in fact add their own toppings of choice and create their custom and satisfying pie.)

My choice was to choose gluten free crusts.  They can be purchased at WholeGluten Free Veggie Pizza Foods. I chose one in the freezer section. On an intuitive level, I surmised it would have less preservatives than one that could hang weeks on the end cap sleeved in its adorned plastic wrapper. (Read ingredient list).

At home I decided to forgo the traditional tomato sauce, since the commercial varieties usually contain hidden sugars, and opted for a quick homemade garlic olive oil which I “painted” on the crust like an artist preparing a canvas.

I sprinkle some organic mozzarella cheese, prepared portobello mushrooms, roasted orange peppers and sliced fresh green onions.  Finishing off the pizza was easy as I sprinkled Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes, giving it a bit of zing.  The fragile fresh basil would be added after the pizza was pulled from the oven.

Satisfying, beautiful and a happy-fun creative” build it yourself” dinner ready in minutes. I control the ingredients. I limit the preservatives and I take charge of what I get to eat! A meal like this–homemade in my kitchen also brings with it a higher energetic frequency that more closely aligns with our divine nature. And, when we see this as a meal from our hearts infused with love–it simply tastes better too!  A small salad could be added as a side.  I chose to serve blanched cold asparagus spears and hummus /Thai chili dressing.

As Hippocrates said so many years ago, “let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food”. I would only add, choose carefully and mindfully and try to select things that need no labels and ingredient lists that need no chemists’ explanation.

Be well,

Cathy

Asparagus, white

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