We all know from the countless scientific studies that constantly inundate us that eating vegetarian meals all or most of the time can prove extremely beneficial for us. The benefits of making this dietary change vary all the way from avoiding various lifestyle diseases to having some anti-aging effects. When I say vegetarian, I don’t mean buying processed, pre-packaged vegetarian meals; I mean eating real vegetables! You can buy them pre-cut or frozen to speed up the process, but it’s always preferable to cook from scratch so that you have control over the ingredients. By doing this, you can make sure that you have fresh, organic vegetables free from pesticides. You also avoid all the chemicals, preservatives, excess sodium and sugars in processed, pre-packaged foods.
With that in mind, I have been giving recipe makeovers to a lot of dishes we like at our home. Chili is one of those favorite fall/winter dishes which is extremely popular at our house. Cooking chili fills the entire house with its amazing aroma! Plus, if you make this in bulk you have the benefit of having plenty of leftovers for next week’s lunch 🙂 I know it’s a big transition to replace the ground meat in the chili but definitely be sure to give it a try, because it has so many nutritional benefits. Who knows – you might even like it more!
Organic Firm Tofu (1 pack) – 14 oz
Cooked Quinoa – 1 cup
Red Kidney Beans – 2 cans drained and rinsed or 3 cups cooked
Onion – 1 medium diced
Mushrooms – 6 mushrooms diced
Green Bell Pepper – 1 medium diced
Garlic – 3 cloves minced
Crushed Tomatoes – I large can 28 oz. or you can crush your own to reduce sodium
Extra Virgin Olive oil – 2 T
Cumin – 1 ½ t
Low sodium Chili seasoning – 2 T or according to your taste (to make your own chili seasoning see recipe below)
Salt – 1 ½ t or according to your taste as there is salt in the Chili Seasoning also
Cilantro (optional) – handful chopped up finely
Grated Cheddar Cheese (optional) – according to taste
- Take the tofu out of packaging, drain it and freeze it overnight.
- Next day thaw it and drain it again.
- Then put in food processor and mince it.
- If we were to do that to fresh tofu, it would become like a paste. But when done after it has been frozen, it makes granules which can then be cooked in various ways.
- Heat a large pan, and add 1T oil to it. Once oil is heated add cumin seeds to it.
- Once the cumin is crackling, add the onion, garlic, green peppers and mushrooms. Sauté for 3-4 minutes till onions are translucent. Then remove them to a bowl.
- In the same pan add remaining oil. Once it is heated, add the crumbled tofu and sauté for 3-4 minutes till turns slightly brown.
- Then add the sautéed vegetables and cooked quinoa and cooked beans to the tofu. Mix well.
- Add the crushed tomatoes and add 2 cups water or adjust according to the consistency you would like.
- Add the seasonings.
- Let it simmer for at least 30 minutes so that all the flavors come together.
- Garnish with cilantro and grated cheese and Enjoy!
Total Servings: 10
Per Serving: Calories 159 cal, Fat 2.3 g, Potassium 504 mg, Carbs 24.5 g, Fiber 6.1 g, Protein 11.1 g, Vit C 38%, Iron 18%
Homemade Chili seasoning:
1 T red chili powder
2 t ground roasted cumin
1 t dried oregano
1 t salt
1 t red chili flakes
1 t dried onion powder
½ t garlic powder