BakingAndBakingWithBailey: Spicy Vegetarian Chili

Hey guys! Sorry for the hiatus. Work and life got crazy, but we are back at it!!

This recipe is a shout out to all my fellow spoonies. For those of you who don't know, the term “Spoonie” is a reference to individuals who suffer from chronic illness. The Spoon Theory, written by Christine Miserandino, is a beautiful way for individuals with chronic illness to explain day to day life to individuals who don't experience the same limitations and symptoms. Go to www.butyoudontlooksick.com to read The Spoon Theory. It's life changing.

Spoonies often have to decide between tasks before they run out of energy, aka spoons. Cooking a meal can be a daunting and exhausting task for people who have chronic illness. This meal is a VERY simple meal, but it is extremely nutritious. While I would love to say that I feel good enough to make dry beans, slice all my veggies, and build the whole chili from scratch, but that's sometimes not a reality. So these canned options work great in a flare up.

This chili is also a vegetarian meal, which is a great option for spoonies. Some people have issues digesting meats, which is the typical ingredient in chili. More so, chronic illness patients struggle to get balanced nutrition in their diet. If you're gluten sensitive, keep reading for how to make this recipe gluten free!

The quinoa in this meal is considered a superfood. It is PACKED with carbs, fiber, protein, vitamin b6, folates, manganese, and more! It's also gluten free- but watch where you get your quinoa. Some facilities that process quinoa also process gluten products. Cross contamination can happen!!

Lentils are packed with protein- equaling nearly what a high quality meat does in protein. They are also packed with fiber! It contains a ton of potassium, folate, iron, and manganese. Plus- It's also GLUTEN FREE!

Chili beans, when canned, are often just pinto beans in seasoned water. Pinto beans are high in protein and fiber (I think I'm seeing a trend here…), and also have molybdenum, folate, copper, manganese, phosphorus, and more! Pinto beans have also been stated as a heart healthy food, helping to lower bad cholesterols. And again, they are gluten free! Just pay attention to anything used in canning to be safe. I've never seen gluten in beans but you never know.

Ingredients: 

1 large can of Hot Chili Beans

1 small can of Small Chili Beans

1 small can of Great White Northern Beans

½ of a large carton vegetable broth (save the extra for thinning your chili out if it gets thicker than your liking)

1 small can tomato sauce

1 small can tomatoes, diced

1 cup of quinoa, cooked

1 cup lentils

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tbsp Hot Chili powder

1 tbsp onion powder (or half of a yellow onion if you prefer chunky chili)

1 tsp oregano (Mexican oregano is best)

½ tsp cayenne pepper

1 tbsp of masa flour (corn starch is also fine, and would be gluten free!)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

½ tsp smoked paprika

To make this dish, throw all the ingredients into a pot or crockpot and mix well. If cooking on the stove, cook on medium low heat for 2 hours, stirring often. If in a crock pot, cook on low heat for 4-6 hours or high heat for 2-4. Make sure your lentils are cooked all the way through before serving. Adjust seasonings as preferred!
 

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