Vegetarian Borracho Beans

These beans are one of the things I don’t mind doing ahead of time and letting cook for hours. It’s well worth the wait for fresh beans, especially this one, because of the broth that comes with it.

There is an advantage to cooking your own beans. When they are soaking you can do things to help breakdown the sugar that is usually the culprit for creating gas. One thing is to let the beans soak overnight and make sure to drain and rinse off the beans before cooking them. I’ve heard you should drain and rinse every 3 hours, but if you are sleeping I wouldn’t worry about it too much. I’ve also heard you can add a piece of carrot in when you are soaking them.

This recipe calls for a light beer, preferably a Mexican beer, but it doesn’t necessarily need it. Borracho does mean “drunk” which is why these are called borracho beans, or drunken beans. The beer does add a really good flavor and the alcohol cooks out. However, if you don’t have beer or find that you can’t have beer at all because of an allergy, it does add flavor, but it isn’t going to make or break this recipe. Just replace the amount of beer with extra vegetable broth or another savory liquid to add flavor.

Vegetarian Borracho Beans

  • Servings: Makes 6-8 cups
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups dry pinto beans
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 chicken or “chicken” bouillon or add a few cups of vegetable broth instead of water
  • 1 12oz can Mexican beer
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1-2 tomatoes, chopped
  • Salt and Pepper, if desired after cooking


Bean Soaking/Preparation
– You can soak the beans overnight. Cover with water and let sit covered on the counter overnight. Before cooking, rinse and add new water.
– You can also soak them for 3 hours, rinse, repeat for another 3 hours, rinse and then cook.
– Another method is to cover with water, let it boil. Turn off heat and let it sit for 2 hours. Rinse, add fresh water and start cooking.

Directions

  1. Drain the beans and rinse them. Add to a large pot. Add all chopped vegetables, bouillon, and cilantro. Add fresh water until the water is a few inches higher than the beans.
  2. Let beans come to a boil uncovered. Turn down to a simmer, cover and cook for 1 hour.
  3. Add beer or any additional water/broth, and cover and cook for another hour.
  4. Add salt to taste if needed. Turn off heat and serve.

Nutrition Information

1/2 Cup Serving

108 calories | 0.48 g total fat | 0.17 polyunsaturated fat | 0.1 g monounsaturated fat | 0.1 g saturated fat | 0 g trans fat | 0 g cholesterol | 3 mg sodium (unless adding salt) | 19.12 g carbohydrates | 6.1 g fiber | 0.9 g sugar | 6.15 g protein

Simple 3-Ingredient Kale Salad

This is one of my favorite go-to lunches when I’m running around! 3 simple ingredients. That’s it! Using avocado as a dressing is something I learned from Engine 2. It makes perfect sense. Especially with kale. It’s so rough and hearty that massaging in the avocado into the leaves isn’t going to hurt it one bit and it’s easier to eat. I also love this salad because it’s great for inflammation.

Avocado

Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats (good fats) which have been shown to lower inflammation. Monounsaturated fats have been shown to reduce insulin resistance and regulate blood sugar levels because of this. They also contain vitamin E, vitamin C, manganese, selenium, and zinc which is beneficial to help soothe inflammation.

Kale

Kale has a 1:1 ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which is a combo that is balanced so that it is anti-inflammatory. It’s high in antioxidants like beta carotene which is fat-soluble. Which means that it is broke down by fat. So the fat in the avocado in this salad will help break down and be better absorbed into your body. They work hand and hand.

Red Onions

Red onions are high in an antioxidant called Quercetin. You might have heard me talk about this before. It works as an anti-histamine so it’s one of the foods that is great for allergy sufferers. Along with that among other things, not just an allergic response, but it helps with inflammation in the body.

Here is my simple 3-ingredient kale salad that I use for lunch for busy weeks.

Simple 3-Ingredient Kale Salad

  • Servings: 3-4 Large Servings or 6-8 Side Servings
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Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch curly kale, leaves torn into bite size peices
  • 1 medium avocado, pitted
  • 1 small red onion, about 1 cup
  • Optional
  • Juice of 1 large Lemon
  • Salt and Pepper, if desired

Directions

  1. Put washed and torn kale in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Take the flesh of the avocado and add to the bowl. I usually will cut the avocado into small pieces before adding. With your hands, press the avocado into the kale. Since kale is so hardy and rough, it can take being mashed. Massage the avocado into the kale until all the avocado is incorporated and kale is a little softer.
  3. Add chopped red onion and toss.
  4. Add lemon juice and salt and pepper if desired. I usually have these on hand always so I don’t see it as extra ingredients.
  5. Serve immediately, or later that day. It will keep in the fridge for a few hours.

Nutritional Information

For 4 Large Servings with Lemon Juice

139 Calories | 8 g total fat | 1.3 g polyunsaturated fat | 4.9 g monounsaturated fat | 1 g saturated fat | 0 g trans fats | 0 mg cholesterol | 43 mg sodium | 15.5 g carbohydrates | 7 g fiber | 3.6 g sugar | 5.5 g protein | 434% Vitamin A | 175% Vitamin C | 799% Vitamin K | 16% Calcium | 21% Magnesium | 10% Iron | 16% Potassium

Lemon Dill Brown Rice

Brown rice is one of those things you put with anything and has become a staple in my house for a long time. Here is one we use for lighter meals, perfect for spring and summer, to go with fish, salads, and grilled anything! It’s good to become creative with rice if you are not having anything over it since it can be bland and can get boring especially with how much we use it. Adding fresh herbs, garlic, onion, juices like tomato, etc. can really bring on the flavor! Let’s look at why brown rice is so nutritious.

Brown Rice
  • Good Source of Magnesium – Vital for Heart, Muscle, and Bone Health
  • Good Source of Manganese – Trace Mineral Needed for Vital Functions
    • Nutrient Absorption
    • Production of Digestive Enzymes
    • Bone Development
    • Formation of Blood-Clotting Factors
    • Immune Health
  • High Fiber – Weight Management, Good Bowel Health, Lowers Blood Sugar, and more.

 

Lemon Dill Brown Rice

  • Servings: 4-1 cup Servings
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Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp butter or olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt, optional
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill

Directions

  1. Add butter or oil to a medium pan on medium heat. Heat through for a minute. Add in garlic, broth, and salt. Bring heat to high and cover until boiling.
  2. Add in rice and reduce the heat to low or medium-low for it to simmer, not boil. Cover and let simmer for 20-30 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat.
  3. Add lemon zest and dill. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information

291 calories | 8.5 g fat | 1.3 g polyunsaturated fat | 5.6 g monounsaturated fat | 1.3 g saturated fat | 0 mg cholesterol | 950 mg sodium | 48.5 g carbohydrates | 3.6 g fiber | 2.8 g total sugar | 5.1 g protein | 22% Vitamin A | 27% Magnesium | 16% Zinc | 100% Manganese

Baby Kale & Quinoa Salad

This is one of my favorite lunch recipes! It’s simple and easy to prep.  It’s packed with flavor and easily digestible energy sources to keep you going without the slump of the mid-afternoon. Plus every bite is a mouthful of nutrient dense, high fiber foods. Let’s look at a few nutritious components of this salad.

Quinoa

Per 1 Cup

  • 8 grams of Protein
  • 5 grams Fiber
  • 15% RDA of Iron
  • 13% RDA of Zinc
  • Contains a small amount of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Baby Kale

I enjoy baby kale since it’s easier to chew and can have a sweeter, milder taste than regular curly kale, but pretty much has the same nutritious benefits. So if you want raw kale in your salad, use baby kale next time to see how you like it.

Per 1 Cup

  • 3 grams of Protein
  • 2 grams of Fiber
  • 134% DV of Vitamin C
  • 206% DV of Vitamin K
  • Loaded with powerful Antioxidants

So dig in and enjoy!

Baby Kale & Quinoa Salad

  • Servings: 4 Servings
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp honey or agave
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 2 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 15oz can (1 1/2 c) garbanzo beans
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 5 oz pkg of baby kale

Directions

  1. In a small pot, add quinoa and broth and simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. Turn off heat and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, make the dressing. Whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, and mustard. Pour into medium size mixing bowl.
  3. Add the cranberries, shallot, parsley, and garbanzo beans to the medium bowl and mix with the dressing.
  4. Once quinoa is cooled, add to the dressing mixture and combine together.
  5. To serve, take a handful of baby kale and top it with about 1 cup of the quinoa mixture and eat immediately!
  6. To store, keep the quinoa mixture separate from the baby kale until ready to eat.

Nutritional Information

449 Calories | 9.6 g Fat | 1.1 g saturated fat | 0 g Trans Fats | 0 mg Cholesterol | 315 mg Sodium | 72 g Carbohydrates | 13.6 g Fiber | 9.6 g Total Sugar | 18.2 g Protein

Macro Sources

65% Carbohydrates | 19% Fat | 16% Protein

Dietary Servings per Portion
  • 0.4 Fruit
  • 2.1 Grain
  • 0.6 Meat Alternative
  • 2.5 Vegetables
Meal Prep

If you are wanting to have this salad for lunches throughout the week, here is how I pack mine. Keep the baby kale separate from the quinoa mixture since it will wilt the leaves, and store in the fridge! As you can see, I have sophisticated meal prep skills. : )

 

Black Bean Salad (Corn Free)

I love black beans. And being able to have them simply with other vegetables and flavors is always a good thing. Here is a simple recipe that is easy, low calorie, low fat, high protein, delicious and easy to make as a side, a snack, or meal prep for lunches. I’ve also used this as a topping for a bed of greens as a green salad or a topping for tacos. The list goes on!

Black Beans

1 Cup Cooked Black Beans

  • 14.5 g Protein
  • 0.7 g Fat
  • 40 g Carbohydrates
  • 16.6 g Fiber | Weight Management & Intestinal Health + Healthy Cholesterol Levels
  • 28% Daily Value (DV) Iron | Healthier Blood
  • 27% DV Magnesium | Healthy Bones
  • 16% DV Potassium | Healthy Blood Pressure
  • 16% DV Zinc | Healthy Immune System
  • 36% DV Folate | Healthy Reproduction of Cells

Then you add in the antioxidant benefits of red bell pepper and red onion and you have a powerhouse of nutrients in a few bites.

Black Bean Salad (Corn Free)


Ingredients

  • 2 cans of black beans
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients together in a large bowl and mix together.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to eat. Let it sit for at least 10-15 minutes after mixing before eating.

Nutritional Information

Per serving

108 calories | 0.5 g total fat | 0.1 g saturated fat | 0 g trans fats | 0 mg cholesterol | 409 mg sodium | 19.3 g carbohydrates | 7.7 g fiber | 0.7 g sugar | 6.7 g protein

Macro Sources

71% Carbohydrates | 4% Fat | 25% Protein

Dietary Servings per Portion
  • 0.6 Meat Alternative
  • 1.2 Vegetables

Greek Chickpea Salad or Pita Filling

This is a great recipe to add to your meal prep for lunches. I always look for lunches that won’t “bring me down” come the mid-afternoon slump. Sometimes you just can’t avoid it, but I do notice that whatever I eat for lunch can directly effect it. Easily digestible carbohydrates and raw food always keeps me running! Not all people are the same, but for me this recipe truly does the trick for busy days. Whether I have it as is, a bean salad, or I have it in a whole wheat pita – this is something I keep in mind for lunches.

Let’s talk a little about why this recipe is nutritious.

Chickpeas
  • High in Fiber – Good for Weight Management and Bowel Health
  • Can Help to Reduce LDL (bad) Cholesterol
  • Omega-3 Fats – Reduce Inflammation
  • Good Source of Protein
  • Rich in Minerals for Bone Health
Low-Fat Yogurt
  • Good Bacteria for Gut Health & Immune Health
    • Relieves bloating and cramping
    • Combats bacteria in the stomach and intestines that can cause infection.
    • Helps prevent yeast infections by balancing pH levels
Cucumbers
  • Promotes Detoxification by Helping the Liver
  • Balances pH in Body
  • Balances Blood Sugar
    • A hormone in cucumbers helps the pancreas to utilize insulin
  • High in Vitamins & Minerals for Eye, Bone, Teeth, and Nail Health

Meal Prep Tip

If you are making this in advance, make sure to pat dry the chopped cucumber and tomatoes before adding them to the bowl. This will dry up excess water/juice so that the salad doesn’t become watered down the next day or two when you eat it.

Greek Chickpea Salad or Pita Filling

  • Servings: 4 Servings
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Ingredients

  • 2 cans chickpeas or garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed, and patted dry
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • 1/4 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened plain yogurt
  • juice from 1 lemon, about 1/4 cup
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh dill, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper, if desired
  • whole wheat pitas, if using

Directions

  1. Take the chickpeas, cucumber, red onion, and cherry tomatoes and stir together.
  2. In a small bowl make the yogurt sauce. Combine the yogurt, lemon juice, fresh dill, and garlic and combine.
  3. Add the yogurt sauce to the chickpea mixture and taste. If desired, add salt and pepper.
  4. Serve immediately as a bean salad, in pitas, or store for later.

Nutritional Information

349 calories | 5.5 g total fat | 0.5 g saturated fat | 2.1 g polyunsaturated fat | 1.1 g monounsaturated fat | 0 g trans fat | 1.2 mg cholesterol | 484 mg sodium | 56 g carbohydrates | 15.5 g fiber | 11.2 g sugar | 19.1 g protein

Macros

64% Carbohydrates | 14% Fat | 22% Protein

Dietary Servings per Portion
  • 0.3 Fruit
  • 1.2 Meat Alternative
  • 0.2 Milk Alternative
  • 2.8 Vegetables

Fire Roasted Tomato & Feta Brown Rice

We have brown rice a lot of times with our meals as a healthy whole food carb that’s loaded with fiber. But let’s be honest, brown rice can get boring. This is one of the ways to mix it up and add some flavor that can still go with a basic veggie and protein. I use canned tomatoes a lot so before going into the recipe, let’s talk about them for a minute.

 

Canned Tomatoes: What to Know When Buying & Using

There is only a few things I will buy in canned form and that usually consists of beans and tomatoes. With that being said, there are some “dos and don’ts” to canned food. Consider some of these the next time you are at the store.

  1. No Salt Added: You can always add salt later if needed, but you control how much and the type of salt that it is. Buying tomato products on the regular that are the “no-salt added” variety if available is a better way to go.
  2. BPA Free Liners: BPA (Bisphenol-A) is a chemical used to coat the lining of cans or plastic products. Children are the most susceptible to the effects. Some of them include malformation of organs in children, increased risk of mental disabilities in babies, and different forms of reproductive harm. More and more products are becoming BPA-free, but to make sure they will have it on the label somewhere claiming they are “BPA-Free”. Since tomatoes are especially acidic, the BPA in the liner (if present) can leech even more so in tomatoes and other acidic canned foods.
  3. Botulism: This is caused by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. The bacteria love low-acidic foods (tomatoes being less likely because of this, but it has happened) and can survive in preserved foods with no oxygen and can thrive in 40 degrees – 120 degrees F. The toxin produced by this bacteria is deadly. How to know what’s safe to buy or consume?
    • Avoid Cans that are dented, leaky, rusty, or swollen.
    • Discard any contents if they are foamy, cloudy, or foul-smelling upon opening.
    • Store in pantry and always use the “use by” date.
    • Once opened, never store in the can. They were not designed for refrigeration. Transfer to a refrigerator-safe container and store up to 4 days.

With that being said, canned tomatoes are an excellent resource and something I always keep on hand, especially with how much I use them. If you are new to cooking and buying groceries, the canned tomato section might be overwhelming. There are whole tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, fire-roasted tomatoes, and then the flavored tomatoes. Tomatoes with green chilies, tomatoes with Italian spices, and the list keeps going. For this recipe, I use fire-roasted tomatoes. Diced tomatoes can work if you can’t find fire-roasted, but it won’t have the same flavor. So be careful when picking out what type of canned tomato product you are choosing. Too many times I’ve come home with slightly the wrong product.

If you are looking to change up your rice side dish with a different flavor, then try this recipe!

 

Fire Roasted Tomato & Feta Brown Rice

  • Servings: 6-8 1/2 cup servings
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 1 14oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes, drained
  • 4 cups vegetable broth, low sodium
  • 1 cup low fat feta crumbles
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and Pepper if desired

Directions

  1. In a medium sauce pan, add the vegetable broth and canned tomatoes. Once the broth starts boiling, add in the rice. Cover and turn the heat down to a low simmer.
  2. In about 40 minutes most of the moisture should be absorbed. It might take a few extra minutes. Stir and turn off heat. Add in the feta crumbles and the lemon juice. Mix together and taste before adding the salt.
  3. Serve immediately and enjoy!

VEGAN: To make it vegan, the recipe tastes great without the feta. It just adds an extra tang to the dish.

NO SALT: Usually I don’t add extra salt to this at the end. With the acidity in the tomatoes and then the fresh lemon juice at the end, you usually don’t need to add any salt to it, which makes this a great flavorful side dish that is heart healthy. Good balance of sodium and potassium.


Nutrition Information

227 calories | 3.8 g total fat | 3.1 g saturated fat | 2.9 g polyunsaturated fat | 6.6 g monounsaturated fat | 0 g trans fat | 16.6 mg cholesterol | 400 mg sodium | 42 g carbohydrates | 3.5 g fiber | 3.3 g sugars | 6.8 g protein

Macro Sources

73% Carbohydrates | 15% Fat | 12% Protein

Dietary Servings per Portion
  • 0.1 Fruit
  • 1.5 Grain
  • 0.4 Milk Alternatives

2019 Healthy Habit 3: Adding More Whole Foods In Your Diet

I don’t know about you, but for me during the winter it’s easier for me to eat more processed, pick up and go type foods. I want more baked goods, more foods with refined flours and sugar and less of fruits and vegetables. There is a balance with everything, but at the beginning of the new year I like to try to get this part of my diet back in order. The reason?

Photo by Lukas Budimaier on Unsplash
More Nutrient Value

As many of you may know, processing foods strips the food of vital nutrients and can lessen the nutritional value. This can be any type of food preparation. Exposing it to oxygen, light, heat or water during cooking will lessen the nutrient value. There is always some nutrient loss when preparing food in general.

However, HIGHLY processed foods are foods that contain:

  • Preservatives (to prevent rotting)
  • Colors
  • Added Flavors
  • Usually is high in added sugars (like high fructose corn syrup)
  • Usually high in refined grains (which is stripped of fiber and nutrients)

These foods add calories with little to no nutritional value. Because of the artificial ingredients, high in sugar, and using highly processed and refined ingredients, it’s lower in nutritional value. They are more calorie dense than nutrient dense.

Eating whole foods like raw fruits, vegetables, and whole grains like whole wheat, brown rice, quinoa, barley, oats, etc. starts getting your diet and nutrition level back to a healthier level. More nutritional value, the better your body will work with you. Then later on when you want to make a big change, your diet is already on the right path.

Photo by oldskool photography on Unsplash
Fiber

I talk about fiber a lot in my recipe and nutrition posts but it truly is an important part of your overall health. We already talked about how much water is an important part of health, nutrition, and your digestive process. Fiber is almost just as simple and covers a wide range of benefits as well. There are two types of fiber. Below is what they both help with and then later is where to find those types of fibers in foods.

Soluble Fiber

  • Increases the feeling of being full and satisfied
  • Lowers blood cholesterol by helping to bind with bile
  • Slows glucose absorption
  • Helps with weight management
  • Lowers risk of heart disease
  • Improves blood glucose tolerance and lowers risk of diabetes
  • Lowers risk of colon and rectal cancer

Food Sources of Soluble Fiber

Barley, rye, oats, oat bran, apples, citrus fruit, legumes, seaweed, broccoli, carrots, corn, potatoes, seeds and more.

Insoluble Fiber

  • Softens stools and aids in intestinal motility
  • Increases feelings of fullness
  • Reduce risk of constipation, hemorrhoids, appendicitis, diverticulitis, etc.
  • Lowers rick of colon and rectal cancer
  • Helps with weight management

Food Sources of Insoluble Fiber

Wheat bran, whole grains, brown rice, fruits, legumes, cabbage, brussels sprouts, carrots, nuts, seeds, and more.

Bottom Line

Whole foods adds nutrients and fiber to your diet. Although processed foods are starting to add fiber more and more to their products, remember they will still have less nutritional value and usually more added sugars than eating whole foods. Not to mention process foods have food additives and that there is more of a chance it will contain allergens or be processed in a factory that also processes food allergens.

If you are wanting to start to change your diet for the healthier, start with introducing or getting back to eating mainly whole foods.

Easy Way to Start: 
  • Have a piece of fruit, not canned, with breakfast
  • Have at least 1/2, if not 1/3, of your plate consisting of vegetables and whole grains or natural starches with your protein of choice
    • Salad and a baked potato
    • Roasted carrots and brown rice
    • Broccoli and a baked sweet potato
  • Have 1 of your servings of protein a day be a plant based source for added fiber
    • Lentils
    • Beans
    • Nuts and Seeds
  • Keep in mind to have some sort of raw fruit or vegetable at every meal

Whatever might work for you, remember that having nutrient and fiber dense foods will help with your nutrition, digestive health and can help lower the risk of some major diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Getting your diet habits back on track with adding and increasing your whole foods will help when you are ready to make a full diet change later if you are not fully ready to do so. What are you waiting for?

Chloe Coscarelli’s Barley Bliss Casserole

I know I have posted a few of Chef Chloe’s recipes, but these are truly some of the recipes I make at home all the time. This is a nutritious comfort dish. Yes those can exist! It’s full of vegetables, fiber, and whole grains and once it’s done, it comes out creamy and delicious! Let’s talk about barley for a moment and why it’s good for you.

Note that if you are trying to be gluten-free barley is one of the grains that does contain gluten.

Barley
For One Cup Cooked Barley:
  • 10 grams of Fiber
  • 7 grams of Protein
  • 20% Magnesium
  • 18% Niacin (B3)
  • 9% Zinc
What Barley Helps With:
  • Digestion
  • Weight Loss
  • Control Blood Sugar
  • Provides Antioxidants
  • Good for Heart Health

Then the added benefits of the vegetables, red kidney beans, and nutritional yeast that is in this recipe, it’s no doubt why it’s one of my favorites! I eat this with a salad for dinner and make either chicken or pork chops for the rest of my family as a meal. This does take some time in the oven so it’s better to make in fall or winter. Like I said before, this has become one of my healthy comfort foods. It’s creamy, flavorful, and the barley is gives it a great texture!

Barley Bliss Casserole by Chloe Coscarelli

  • Servings: 12 1-cup side servings, 6 2-cup main dish servings
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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and diced
  • 8 ounces baby bella or crimini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 15-ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1.5 cups pearled barley
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2.5 cups soy, almond, or rice milk
  • 2 cups water

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat and saute onions, green peppers, and mushrooms until soft and lightly browned.
  3. Add garlic powder, thyme, salt, and pepper and let cook a few more minutes.
  4. Transfer vegetables to a 9″ x 13″ pan. Gently stir in tomatoes, beans, barley, nutritional yeast, non-dairy milk, and water. The pan will be very full.
  5. Cover pan with foil and carefully place in the oven. Let cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, and then remove the foil.
  6. Let bake, uncovered, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for 20 to 30 minutes more, or until barley is cooked and most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information

For 1 cup serving:

211 calories | 3.75 g total fat | 0.6 g polyunsaturated fat | 0.4 g monounsaturated fat | 0.8 g saturated fat | 0 g trans fats | 0 mg cholesterol | 904 mg sodium | 36 g carbohydrates | 6.7 g fiber | 6 g sugar| 10 g protein | 185% folate (folic acid) | 283% Thiamin (B1) | 211% Riboflavin (B2) | 129% Niacin (B3) | 12% Calcium | 20% Magnesium | 15% Iron | 23% Zinc

Chipotle Black Bean Chili

The chipotle chili in adobo sauce is something you don’t want to miss out on. It adds a smokey flavor and the smell while it’s cooking is one of those things you want to permeate the house. It’s something I keep in mind for busy days or weeks. Freezer and slow-cooker options are below as well as some of the health benefits.

 

Black Beans
  • High in Fiber
  • Good Source of Magnesium
  • Good Source of Iron
  • High in Flavonoids – which has antioxidant abilities
  • Helps Lower Cholesterol
  • Aids Digestion
  • Controls Blood Sugar
My Favorite Bean:

Like other beans, black beans have a sugar that our body has a hard time breaking down. Hence the bloating and musical notes which are the unpleasant side effects beans are known for. However, black beans have less of this sugar than other beans. It shouldn’t put you in as much discomfort (or embarrassment) as other beans will. It’s a win win for everyone at the table.

Quinoa
  • High in Fiber
  • Low in Fat
  • High in Minerals
  • Complete Plant Based Protein

Although you do not need to consume complete proteins to get the amount of protein you need throughout the day, it is good to know the sources of them. Being plant-based and soy-free, quinoa is something I regularly have in my kitchen.

Lean Ground Meat Option

You can add a lean meat like ground turkey or a lean ground beef if you feel that you need it. By using lean meats it has less unhealthy fats, less cholesterol and overall better for your heart health when compared to average ground meats. Whatever option you decide, just make sure it’s lean. The only advantage that ground turkey has is that it does have a fat-free version you can find and beef does not.

However, my family members eat this without meat and is completely full and satisfied. This would be a great “Meatless Monday” meal if you are just starting to dive into vegetarian meals and plant proteins. It won’t disappoint.

Meal Prep & Slow Cooker Options
  • Meal Prep | Freeze all uncooked ingredients before putting it in the slow cooker for 6-8 hours.
  • Slow Cooker | Set on low for 6-8 hours. Add an extra cup of water or broth.
  • For families of 2-4 people, this will make more than one dinner. You can freeze 1/2 of it or when prepping, make 2 separate meals. 1 to have one week and another for the next week.

Chipotle Black Bean Chili

  • Servings: 10 Servings, 1 1/2 cup per serving
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked black quinoa, rinsed OR 2 lbs. ground turkey, uncooked
  • 2 cups vegetable broth, if using quinoa
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes with juice
  • 2 (19 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 large chipotle chili in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • salt and pepper, if desired
  • cilantro & limes for serving

Directions

  1. Bring vegetable broth to boil and add quinoa. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook for about 15-20 minutes. Once cooked, turn off heat and set aside. If using turkey, cook the turkey and crumble it. Once it’s cooked, turn off heat and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add in the garlic, chili powder, and cumin. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes with juice, drained black beans, green and red bell pepper, zucchini, chipotle chili, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to simmer and cover for 20 minutes.
  3. Stir in the quinoa and corn and cook for about 5 minutes more.
  4. You can let it simmer on low for a few hours. Adding water or broth if needed. Or you can serve with cilantro and limes.

Crock Pot Directions Add all ingredients to the crock pot, stir and set on low for 6-8 hours. If you can, you might want to stir the chili about 1/2 way and add vegetable broth if needed. I usually will add an extra cup of broth or water to the recipe when it’s going to be in the crock pot, especially for 8 hours.

Nutritional Information

Chipotle Black Bean Chili with Quinoa: 

205 calories | 3.4 g total fat | 1 g saturated fat | 2.0 g polyunsaturated fat | 3.6 g monounsaturated fat | 0 mg cholesterol | 363 mg sodium | 35 g carbohydrates | 8.4 g fiber | 3.2 g sugar | 8.6 g protein

Macro Sources

68% Carbohydrates | 15% Fat | 17% Protein

Dietary Servings per Portion
  • 0.8 Grain
  • 0.3 Meat Alternative
  • 2.5 Vegetables