“Oil-Optional” Vegetable Chili with Hemp Seeds
by Rebecca Johnson, Certified Plant-Based Nutrition & Wellness Expert, The Plant Rich Life
There’s nothing like a great chili to kick-off the Fall season as the temperatures begin to cool. Although beans grow best in the winter, easily storing them for later in the year is one of their great appeals for meal budgeting and planning. Beans are a filling, comforting option for a heart healthy meal. This recipe includes the nuttiness of hemp seeds, which lower “bad” cholesterol and provide more Omega 6. Hemp seeds can be eaten as a snack, and they make a great topping for salads and stir frys.
1 quart low sodium vegetable broth
½ cup onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbls tomato paste
1 cup tomato sauce
3 tbls agave nectar
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp smoked paprika powder
1 tbls oregano, fresh and dried
1tbls thyme, fresh or dried
½ tsp Himalayan sea salt
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp black pepper
1 small celery stalk, chopped fine
7 sun dried tomato halves, chopped fine (optional)
¼ cup bell pepper, red or green
2 cups red beans
½ tsp jalapeno pepper, minced
Additional Vegetable Broth as needed
1 tsp coconut oil (optional) can be added to onion, garlic mixture if no health concerns exist.
Soak beans overnight. Rinse beans and boil in low sodium vegetable broth. Sautee onions and garlic in ½ cup vegetable broth. After five minutes, sprinkle with a dash of salt. Cook for another five minutes. Add tomato paste, tomato sauce, agave and spices, stir well. Add vegetables, then beans and simmer for 45 minutes. Add vegetable broth as needed.
After your meal masterpiece is complete, scoop the warm chili into your favorite bowl served over brown rice, quinoa or millet. You can also add chopped Swiss Chard or any dark green to balance the look and flavor. (Did you know you can roast the ribs and add them too?) Yum!
Beans have B-complex vitamins niacin and folate, magnesium, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids and soluble fiber and help to decrease inflammation.
Hemp seeds contain all 10 essential amino acids and 3 tablespoons have 11 grams of protein! Plus they have a 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 (healthy) fat. In addition, hemp seeds contain GLA (gamma linolenic acid), an especially beneficial type of omega-6 fat that helps lower LDL cholesterol and improve cholesterol ratio.
Ingredients like hemp seeds are becoming much more available in neighborhood markets. Otherwise, they can be found at any health food store and most specialty food markets.
About Rebecca Johnson
Rebecca started cooking with her chef Dad when she was 6 years old. But it wasn’t until he fell at 63 to a heart attack and she was diagnosed with a pre-cancerous condition that she discovered the connection between nutrition and health. After decades in restaurants, catering and health-related roles, she received a Certification in Plant Based Nutrition from Cornell University and became a Certified Health Minister at Hallelujah Acres.
Now, Rebecca teaches nutrition education and culinary classes in NYC public and charter schools through Plant Rich Life and plans healthy cooking classes and cooking demonstrations for Fortune 500 clients and non-profits through the event company, Celebrevents, LLC.
Plant Rich Life provides creative wellness solutions to help people transition from a low-nutrient Sad American Diet (SAD) rich in fat, sugar and animal protein to a nutrient-dense, low fat, plant protein HAPPY diet that restores and maintains health. Find recipes, nutrition information and more on Rebecca’s blog at www.phytalitycoach.com, on the Web at www.plantrichlife.com and on Facebook at The Plant Rich Life.