I told my Grandma the other day that I have been a vegetarian since February! She was shocked and then asked me, well what do you eat then? I think that some people have the misconception that if you don’t eat meat, then there is not much else to chose from. This idea is very wrong, being vegetarian actually will give you more options to explore foods you may not have every tried before. How many fruits have you never tried before? I’m sure you have had the typical bananas, apples, oranges, but have tried pomegranates, papayas, varieties of pears, mangos, passion fruit, star fruit, mangosteen, kumquat or dragon fruit? How many different vegetables have you tried before? Probably, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, but what about purple tomatoes, purple carrots, purple sweet potatoes, romanescu broccoli, leeks or purple cauliflower. Why types of grains are you used to, just wheat pasta? Have you tried millet, barley, buckwheat, amaranth, bulgar, quinoa, sorghum, spelt or teff? What about beans and legumes? You are probably familiar with baked beans and peanuts, but what about black beans, red beans, edamame, lentils, soy nuts, indian peas. There is adventure in trying new foods! It is also very good for your body to have more variety.
Being vegetarian leaves more room in your diet for fruits, vegetables and plant protein instead of artery clogging, cholesterol containing meat products such as bacon and hamburgers. If a vegetarian chooses healthy options, FREE of damaging trans fat, refined carbohydrates, and FULL of vegetables, fruits, healthy fats and whole grains then they are doing a wealth of good for their bodies. Do your kids know what chicken nuggets and that hamburger on their plate REALLY IS? Do they know that an animal was killed, and it is the muscle of the animal they are eating, DO YOU?!? I think it is important to know yourself and share with your kids where food comes from. I always ask myself this. If I had a cow, chicken or pig out back, could I kill it myself, cut it up, and cook it up for dinner myself tonight? If that is a HECK NO (which mine is), then you probably shouldn’t be buying it at the store. Just because it is no longer in the shape of an animal, doesn’t mean it isn’t still one! There are plenty of other options for protein out there that doesn’t need to come from animals!
If you made this chili for your devout carnivore boyfriend/husband just tell them you made regular Chili, they will never know that you substituted the meat for something that has very similar texture and taste! How do I know this? Well, up until this past February I was a carnivore myself!
Here is the recipe you MUST try!
“Don’t Tell your Boyfriend It’s Vegan” Chili!
- Chop 1/2 vidalia onion and place into a large saucepan with 1 tablespoon of water. cook for 3 minutes on medium heat.
- Add one packet of Nueva Cocina taco seasoning to the onions (this does have a high sodium content for the whole package, but this will be distributed for the whole batch which is about 20 servings)
- Once the onions and seasoning are cooked (about 5 minutes) add approx. 4 cups of water
- Then rinse and drain 4-5 cans of beans. You can use my suggestions.
- Then add one jar of tomato sauce, such as Nature’s Basket Roasted Garlic, or Tomato and Basil. Look at label to make sure your tomato sauce does not have cheese or milk in it! You can also add fresh chopped tomatoes in.
- Then add the meatless ground to pot
- Cook on medium for about 20 minutes and simmer on low after until ready to serve.
- Serve with freshly shopped scallions on top and Enjoy (and you won’t even miss the meat!)