Living a balanced life with lots of creative food, exercise and exploration!

Quick Three Bean Chili, Bulgar Salad, and Muffin Fail

on January 6, 2014

The first week of the new year has gone well! After a few days of the vegan diet, I already felt an increase in energy (despite not sleeping terribly well!) I did Zumba Thursday night, ran 3 miles at a steady pace on Friday, and 4 miles at an interval pace on Saturday.

I have a couple recipes for you guys. I’m trying to put more of a precedence on cooking in the hopes of eating out less which will mean eating healthier and cheaper!

First up, a quick, Crock Pot Chili. I read somewhere that black eyed peas are gonna be all the rage in 2014…For good reason, apparently they are “meant to bring good luck and prosperity in the new year.”  The good luck vibes go back pretty far, as the Jewish tradition of eating black-eyed peas at Rosh Hashanah dates back to the Talmud!  Perhaps the good luck can be attributed to their fabulous nutritious attributes.  They are low in calories (only 70 cal per serving), with 3 grams of protein.  So, while they have a slightly lower protein content than other beans, they are still a great source of soluble fiber.  It doesn’t stop there though, they also have a ton of potassium, zinc, and iron.  Yuuuummy.

So, I picked up some black eyed peas, red kidney beans, sweet corn and stewed tomatoes.  I had to go into work on Sunday, so I threw it all in the crock pot and let ‘er rip!  The fiance doled us both out healthy servings, having the table set when I came home 🙂 #totalwin


  • 1 can each: Black eyed peas, Dark Kidney Beans, Light Kidney Beans
  • 1 small can sweet corn (no sauce or syrup)
  • 1 can fire roasted stewed tomatoes
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes
  • 1/2 tbs each of: chili powder, cumin, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tbs each of: smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder
  • 1/2 bag of chopped baby carrots, raw

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I put it on high for 4 hours, and everything melded together beautifully.  Conor said it was one of my best chili’s 🙂

For lunches for the week, I went to my go to lunch salad recipe.  Here’s the thing, even as a vegetarian, I’m not a salad fan.  Bringing a plain lettuce salad to work for lunch is about the surest way to guarantee I’ll go out.  Maybe I just haven’t found a dressing I like.  Alas, I like these grain-based ones much better!

Basic Grain and Greens Recipe

  • Dark leafy Greens

(I prefer kale, often I lightly steam it, or spinach)

  • Grains

(I used bulgar wheat this round, but I’ve also used quinoa, amaranth, barley, freekah, and other grains!  They’re fun to play around with, you can find a good variety at Whole Foods or Trader Joes)

  • Veggies

mix your colors and cooking methods! (I like to always have an orange and green, this time I used steamed sweet potato and green beans, but you can use carrots, peppers, broccoli etc)

I also threw in some roasted beets for texture.  Just buy the canned sliced beats, drain them with a paper towel, and roast at 400 for 20 min on one side, 10-12 on the other.  Sprinkle with seasoned salt.

I season each element as I cook it.  My go to’s are garlic powder and seasoned salt.  If it’s a little dry, I add soy sauce.  I don’t have a sodium issue, and actually have really low blood pressure so sodium isn’t an issue for me (thankfully!).  For a little kick, I love me some Sriracha.  YUM.

So, I like messing with this recipe.  No matter what, you get a filling and fulfilling, protein, fiber, vitamin packed lunch that I can actually look forward to.

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The rest of my Sunday morning was spent making vegan blueberry muffins.  Now, I won’t post the recipe, they were a total fail.  They were heavy, flavorless and dry.  Boo.  I got the recipe from Forks over Knives which I totally love.  I’ll tweak it, probably mix in some regular flour or pastry flour with the whole wheat flour, add some apple sauce for moisture perhaps.  But hey, ya win some you lose some 😉

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Side note-I don’t normally use so many canned goods.  My other alternative to the chili was going to be a tofu stir fry, with plain tofu and fresh veggies.  I just didn’t have the time for the chopping/prepping amidst the trial prep, so I went with the easier option!


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