Updated: Oct 9, 2017
Mondays suck. There’s no way around it. And now I am telling you not to eat meat on Monday!? Are you mad? Hey! Don’t fault me for the fact that no other day of the week had a good ring to “Meatless”. Plus, it doesn’t have to be the whole day, just a meal. AND, I didn’t invent it. Meatless Mondays were born out of a desire to get Americans to conserve natural resources that are thought to contribute to global warming. I am pro-environment and all, but I have since learned a much more compelling reason to cut back on meat.
A very dear friend of mine guest lectured at my office a couple years back and I was blown away by the information he had to offer. He is a brilliant colleague so he had my full attention. He explained that in the 8 hours following Meat consumption (or any animal product for that matter), the body initiates a low-grade state of inflammation. Not such a big deal, but the standard American diet involves some sort of animal byproduct at pretty much every meal. There’s no chance for the body to ever come down from the inflammatory state. Yikes, now THAT could become a problem.
So, should we cut out meat? Heck no! Meat still does provide essential amino acids as well as other nutrients that are difficult to come by elsewhere. The take home point from his lecture was that we need to give our bodies a break from this inflammatory state. Solution: keep the meat or animal product consumption to ONCE a day instead of at every meal. Now that’s not so bad, now is it?! I think that’s doable. Sure, if you can take a whole day without meat even better, but let’s not get carried away.
So, without further ado, here is your recipe for Meatless Monday…
VEGAN PUMPKIN CHILI
You heard it folks; Vegan Chili. And guess what? Its the best chili I have ever had. Of course if you wanted to, you could add cheese or a ground meat of some sorts. I have to say it was mighty tasty and really held its own! My husband devoured it!
VEGAN PUMPKIN CHILI
INGREDIENTS: Click HERE to download and print recipe.
1/2 Onion, Chopped
1 Clove Garlic
3 Tbs. Vegan Butter
2 Cans Kidney Beans
1 Can Great Northern Beans
1 Can Pinto Beans
1/3 Bag Frozen Corn
1/2 of Small Pumpkin
1 Can Crushed Tomatoes
1 Can Tomato Paste
2.5 Cups Vegetable Broth
1 Tbs. Cocoa Powder
1 Tbs. + 1 Tsp. Chili Powder
1.5 Tbs Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp Cumin
1/8 Tsp Nutmeg
1/16 Tsp All Spice
Salt to Taste
1. Prep a pumpkin ahead of time by boiling a large pot of water. Boil for about 20 minutes. You can either cook until completely soft or boil just long enough to soften the skin and chop into squares. The easiest is boiling till completely soft, spooning out the center and scooping the pumpkin off the skin.
2. Heat vegan butter on low to medium heat until melted, add the chopped onions. When translucent, rinse the beans and add to the pot. Cool for about 2-3 minutes
3. Add the garlic and spices and stir, cook for 1 min.
4. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium and add the can of crushed tomatoes and the half of pumpkin. Let cook for about 5 minutes
5. Add the Can of tomato paste and stir thoroughly. Turn to low heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. You can let cook longer to really let the flavors absorb, but if your in a hurry it should taste just fine after 20 minutes!
Click HERE to download and print recipe.