Going meatless, with meals like this delicious vegetable chili, for one day a week not only helps your budget, but also helps you incorporate extra servings of heart-healthy foods and fiber-rich vegetables. Try out this delicious recipe on a cold winter day – your heart will thank you!
1 tbsp olive oil
2 medium red onions, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 large carrots, chopped
1/2 can (about 1 cup) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 can (about 1 cup) white beans, rinsed and drained
2 red, yellow or orange peppers (capsicum), chopped
1 jar (about 2 cups) low-sodium organic tomato sauce, or make your own
1-2 tsp chili powder
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp dried or fresh basil
2 tbsp dried or fresh oregano
4 – 5 handfuls chopped kale (Tuscan cabbage), about 5 leaves
cilantro, for garnish (optional)
- Heat oil in large pot over medium heat.
- After 2-3 minutes, add onions and garlic, stirring for 3-5 minutes or until browned.
- Add carrots, peppers, beans, tomato sauce, chili powder, salt, pepper, basil, and oregano then raise to medium/high heat until boiling.
- After about 4-5 minutes, stir the mixture and lower the heat to simmer/low and let the soup cook, stirring every 5-10 minutes for about 45 minutes.
- Add kale to the soup, stirring every few minutes for about 5 minutes (less or more if you want the kale more or less cooked).
- Serve and enjoy!
– If you’re buying jarred tomatoes or tomato sauce try to make sure it doesn’t contain added sugar- you’d be surprised how many do!
– Add a half teaspoon of cinnamon to your chili- it helps stabilize blood sugar levels and could help lower lipid levels, including LDL cholesterol and triglycerides 
– Top with whole milk greek yogurt instead of sour cream for extra protein or some sliced avocado for heart healthy fat
– Try leaving off the cheese- It’ll still be delicious! If you can’t live without it, try a really sharp cheddar- you’ll naturally use less because it packs such a flavor punch.
– Always use fresh herbs and lots of them (this recipe calls for basil, oregano, and cilantro)- herbs are nutritional powerhouses!