I’m determined to start my week of right. I sat down this morning determined to do up a proper meal plan for the week and complete my grocery list. I was quickly interrupted by the kids and then my husband and so much for my meal plan. I ventured to the grocery store without it.
I am going to admit that I am a perfectionist. I have a vision in my head of the perfect meal plan. The perfect plan has taken into account the entire family’s schedule for the week. It is interesting and varied, provides excessive amounts of vegetables and each meal can be made either ahead of time or within 30 minutes. (Or at least our Nanny can pull a meal together quickly with her limited cooking abilities – so I don’t have to when I get home from work.) Oh – and also the perfect meal plan, is neatly typed or written out by hand on fancy paper. No scribbles. Colour coded and highlighted.
So after returning from the store and purchasing my usual assortment of healthy and some marginally healthy stuff, I realized that I actually did have some sort of plan. I had managed to scribble on a piece of paper before I left the house – chilli, stuffed pasta, chickpea curry and veggie burgers. Not only did I have a plan, but I also managed to purchase what I needed to make these meals during the week.
Over the last few weeks I have been following a vegan diet. My meal plan is not completely vegan. Our stuffed pasta will be filled with cheese and the pre-made veggie burgers I usually buy have some cheese in the mix. But for me, I will have leftovers from last week to eat up and my chili is vegan. So I can make do.
I rarely follow any kind of recipe for chili. Chili is usually part of a fridge clean out. I call this my shopping day veggie chili, not because I just return home with all this beautiful fresh produce to use, but because I need to make room in the crisper for the beautiful fresh stuff I just bought. So in go the half used vegetables, the limp celery and the extra kale I bought last week thinking I would be a bit more ambitious.

Shopping Day Very Veggie Chili

In a large sauce pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil and add:

  • 1/2 large red onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 large fat carrot shredded
  • 2 stalks celery
  • Pinch of salt or dash of tamari

Cook vegetables until well softened, about 8 minutes. Then add

  • 2 tbsps tomato paste

Cook tomato paste slightly, stirring into vegetables. Add spices.

  • 1 Tbsp chili paste
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Heat spices briefly then add

  • 1 28oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 16oz can kidney beans
  • 1 16oz can black beans

Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until mixture is saucy and veggies are tender, about 15- 20 minutes. Stir in:

  • 1 cup frozen soy or Lima beans
  • handful of each fresh parsley and cilantro
  • 6- 8 leaves of kale, leafy parts only, chopped

Remove chill from heat and let sit covered for 10-15 minutes until kale is soft and beans are warmed through.
Serve over baked potatoes, with crusty bread or with corn chips. I’m really digging these brown rice wraps I recently purchased from Food for Life. Filled with chili, they make a great lunch wrap.