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Sunday, July 25, 2010
Meatless Monday Chili
Recently, I've been cooking up a vegetarian storm for Meatless Mondays for our household. While we only use meat in moderation by getting a good portion of protein from plant-based sources during the rest of the week, I think it is great to dedicate a whole day to recognizing and celebrating other healthy practices - particularly as a large portion of the world is vegetarian. (Including my partner, and it's so much easier to just fix one meal!)
From the Meatless Monday website, as many of you know, the benefits of a vegetarian diet (even if only 1 day per week) include:
REDUCED RISK OF HEART DISEASE. Beans, peas, lentils, nuts and seeds contain little to no saturated fats. Reducing your intake of saturated fats can help keep your cholesterol low and reduce your risk of heart disease.
IMPROVED OVERALL QUALITY OF DIET. Consuming dry beans or peas results in higher intakes of fiber, protein, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium with lower intakes of saturated fat and total fat.
REDUCED CARBON FOOTPRINT. The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change worldwide . . . far more than transportation. And annual worldwide demand for meat continues to grow. Reining in meat consumption once a week can help slow this trend.
MINIMIZED WATER USAGE. The water needs of livestock are tremendous, far above those of vegetables or grains. An estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef. Soy tofu produced in California requires 220 gallons of water per pound.
REDUCED FOSSIL FUEL DEPENDENCE. On average, about 40 calories of fossil fuel energy go into every calorie of feed lot beef in the U.S. Compare this to the 2.2 calories of fossil fuel energy needed to produce one calorie of plant-based protein. Moderating meat consumption is a great way to cut fossil fuel demand.
Here's our favorite, easy to prepare, vegetarian family meal. Enjoy it at your next Meatless Monday!
Chili Non Carne
(From Planet Organic)
3/4 c/125g/4 1/5 oz dried pinto beans
2 tsp lemon juice
1 strip of kombu (if you have it, helps with digestion)
1TBSP olive oil
1 lg onion
2 garlic cloves
6oz/175g tempeh, cut into small cubes
1 orange or red pepper, seeded and chopped
3 1/2 c /480g/1 lb chopped canned tomatoes
1/2 tsp chili powder (more or less depending on your preference)
3/4 tsp salt
6 oz/175g grated Cheddar cheese
Put beans and lemon juice in medium saucepan, cover with warm water and leave to soak overnight.
Drain and rinse the beans. Return them to pan and add 570ml/20 fl oz/2 1/2 c water. Bring to boil over high heat and boil for 10 minutes, skimming any scum that rises to the surface. Reduce heat to low, add kombu and cook covered for 2 hours until soft.
Meanwhile, heat a lg saucepan over medium-high heat and add olive oil. When oil is hot, add the onion and cook until light browned. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for a further 2 minutes. Stir in the tempeh, orange pepper, tomatoes and chili powder.
Mash together the beans, kombu and cooking liquid and add to the tempeh mixture. Cook, covered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until well cooked and the flavours have come together.
Stir in the salt and sprinkle the chili generously with the cheddar. We love it with rice or quinoa for a totally healthy and tasty meal!