Plant-Based Plan: Week 3- 5-Bean Chili (vegan, gluten-free, soy-free)

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Baby, it’s COLD outside! It’s shaping up to be a winter for the record books, and everyone and their mother is thinking of how they would trade ANYTHING to be on a beach right now working on their suntan (with plenty of SPF of course!). While that sounds like a pretty tempting aspiration, it’s days like today that make me happy to live in the midwest. It may be -12 degrees out, and my car battery may have froze, leaving me stranded for the time being, but I’m in my bed under 4 or 5 blankets, cuddling with my kitten and savoring a big bowl of steel-cut oats and blueberries while I write to you all. Hello SNOW DAY! If I lived in Hawaii or Mexico or LA, the ever-elusive-but-joyfully-decadent-when-it-happens snow day would be non-existent. I don’t think I could give days like this up! How have you been spending your snow days? (assuming of course that you’re not essential emergency staff and assuming you live in the CLE like I do!)

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I planned my food out again this week. Three weeks in a row; I think this is becoming a habit and I’m not upset about it! Actually, I’m really proud of myself. I’ve been sticking to my budget (5$ over this week on groceries but that’s not bad!) and I’ve been prepping all my meals from scratch! It’s good to praise yourself and give yourself credit when it’s due, and I am really happy with how well I have been following through with this plan.
Last semester, I lived of Clif Bars and pita bread from the BRB cafe (@ CWRU). Three weeks into this semester, I haven’t had to buy a thing from the cafe! Unless coffee counts. You all know I’m very anti-caffeine, but between 40+ hours at work and 30+ hours spent on campus, Starbucks and I have been getting pretty chummy.

Okay, let’s get to the FOOD! I’ve been trying to come up with new and creative “pre-packaged” meals that aren’t REALLY pre-packaged. Sorry, no juice this week. It just wasn’t in my budget, and though the old Kate would have just gone over her budget and rationalized it, Present Kate is trying to be better than that! Next week there will be some yummy juice recipes though, I promise!

Sunday after work, I ran up to Giant Eagle (I wish Earth Fare had FuelPerks) and did my grocery shop for the week. When I got out of my car though, a bitter gust of wind ripped my list from my hands! I had to do the whole shop from memory, so that may have contributed to being a few dollars over budget. I did all my food prep Sunday night and thought of my friend @allisoninwellnessland since she always has her “Sunday Food Prep” posts! Two big recipes: I made a big bowl of salsa chickpea salad to make lettuce wraps with, and at the same time I had a huge pot of chili simmering (hot chili and a little nutritional yeast is sounding really delicious right now!). The chili fit perfectly into 5 small mason jars and perfectly encompassed my “pre-packaged” food goal! Still trying to figure out how to pack the lettuce wraps, but since today’s a snow day, I get to enjoy them from home and their logistics have become a non-issue today.

Okay. You want this chili recipe? You ready to warm your bones? I know I am! use whatever beans you have on hand. This is a loose recipe, so add in or omit as you see fit! Go where the flow takes you!

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Obviously Bran-approved! Cats love nutritional yeast!

5-Bean Chili (vegan, gluten-free, soy-free)

  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 small carrots, grated
  • 1 zucchini, grated
  • 3 small tomatoes, diced
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • ½ tbsp chili powder
  • 1 cup water
  • cayenne pepper to taste (if you like your chili to have a little kick!)

If you’ve got a slow cooker/crock pot, then 1) just throw everything in there on low for 4 hours and 2) when can I borrow it? For everyone else out there using their stove, start by sauteing the vegetables and spices. Add in everything else after about 7 or 8 minutes and cook on low-medium for about an hour. Stir occasionally.
I know some people like corn, but I am not one of those people. Feel free to add in anywhere from ½ to 1 cup of corn if that’s something you’re thinking needs to be a part of your chili-devouring experience. Also, if you are a non-dairy consumer like I am, feel free to throw some Daiya cheddar shreds on top, or be like me and dump a pound of nutritional yeast into the bowl! I love nutritional yeast. So much. I could talk about it all day every day! some chives would be good in there too. When pulling out my individual jar to reheat, I filled the empty mason jar about a third of the way full with water and added it to the chili since it was a little thick. This also helped me get all the stuff stuck to the sides of the jar into the bowl!

Until next time, be healthy, be happy, and happy juicing!

14 Popular Juice Recipes

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2 posts in one day… I’m a wild woman!  I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while, and I’ve had a few readers requesting these juicer recipes for a couple months now.  Being my uber-productive self, I finished one of my deadlines early this afternoon (I believe Starbucks may have contributed), and what better study break is there than blogging?  I know this blog is for “The Juice Junky” in all of us, but my new-found discovery of plant-based vegan recipes and holistic health practices can sometimes overshadow the juicing aspect you all come here for!  

I have compiled a list of the 14 most popular juice recipes to share with you.  Keep in mind, these are the most common recipes that I use myself, but there are obviously thousands of recipes that others may see as more popular than the ones listed here.  Also to keep in mind for those new to the juicing practice, these recipes are only a guideline.  Don’t be like “I have everything but the apple for this recipe so I guess I can’t make that one…”  Feel free to mix and match!  Once you get the hang of this crazy awesome world of juicing, you may move away from the recipes (I know I definitely have)  and follow the general 80/20 rule while creating your own delicious concoctions!  

The 80/20 Rule: You are not only allowed to make up your own juice recipes, you are encouraged to!  Like I said before, you may not have all the ingredients for a specific recipe, but that doesn’t mean you can’t sub out apples for oranges or cucumber for celery, or even just omit an ingredient altogether (I can’t handle juicing radishes, no matter how many times I try!  I leave those suckers out of any recipe calling for them).  This brings us to the 80/20 rule: When creating your own juice recipes, the general guideline is to make your creation ~80% vegetables (preferably greens!) and ~20% fruits. You can ALWAYS up the vegetable percentage!

Fruit juice is okay in moderation (I mentioned making apple juice in my previous post), but it’s something that should be done as a “once-in-a-while-treat” basis.  When fructose (fancy word for fruit sugar) is consumed without being coupled with fiber (fiber is removed during the juicing process) there is nothing from stopping the fructose from flooding the liver in one heavy hit.  Eating an apple is okay, because the fiber combats the fructose and acts as a sort of “time-release” mechanism.  Drinking apple juice, there is no fiber, so the digestive system is hit with all that fructose at once, which can be detrimental in high doses.  I can go into detail on this in a later post if you’d like; just comment below and let me know!

Okay, enough science junk.  I’m the one in school, not you.  Time for the yummy part of juicing!  Without further ado, I give you my list of the 14 most popular juices in my kitchen! That’s one new juice a day for two weeks! Please share your juice recipes and experiments in the comment section below!

Heavy Metal Detox

  • 1/2 pineapple core
  • 1 small Granny Smith Apple
  • 1 Lemon (peeled of not organic)
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1 small head of Romaine
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 bunch mint
  • 1/2 bunch kale

When the liver detoxifies, it sends those toxins to the intestines with the intention of getting them out of the body.  Many heavy metals going through this process end up being reabsorbed into the bloodstream repetitively.  Cilantro binds to these metals in the body and carries them through the intestinal tract so they are excreted once and for all, and don’t get reabsorbed, or stay in risky places like the brain.

ABC (a.k.a Fruit Punch)

  • 2 apples
  • 2 beets
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 pear (optional)

Ultimate Beet

  • 1 beet
  • 2 carrots
  • 5 strawberries
  • 1 cup grapes
  • 1 apple

Mean Green (Original)

  • 2 small apples
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 inch ginger root
  • 1/2-1 bunch kale
  • 1/2 lemon (peeled if not organic)
  • 4 stalks celery

Carrot Cucumber

  • 4-6 carrots
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/2 beet
  • 1/2 lemon (peeled if not organic)
  • 1 inch ginger root

Flu-Buster (I swear by this!)

  • 1 lemon
  • 2 inches ginger root
  • 4-6 whole cloves garlic

JUST SHOOT IT!  You will feel instantly invigorated; I promise!  Shoot it even when you’re not sick.  When your throat is sore though, this shot will coat it and you will feel improvement within minutes.

Cucumber Beet

  • 1 cucumber
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 beet
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 handful parsley
  • 1/2 lemon (peeled if not organic)

Simple Cucumber Love

  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 lemon (peeled if  not organic)

Cucumber Apple

  • 2 stalks fennel
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1/2 Granny Smith apple
  • 1 handful mint
  • 1 inch ginger root

Perfect Skin

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 parsnip
  • 3 carrots
  • 1/2 lemon (peeled if not organic)
  • 1/2 bell pepper (I prefer yellow, but red or green work too!  Purple is not my favorite)

Operation Detox

  • 1 tomato
  • 5 spears asparagus
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/2 lemon

Hangover Cure

  • 1 bunch dandelion greens
  • 4 carrots
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1/2 lemon (peeled if not organic)

Mango Salsa (my favorite “dinner” on a juice cleanse!)

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 mango (pitted)
  • 2 scallions
  • 1/2 jalapeno (discard seeds)
  • 1/2 yellow pepper
  • 1/2 lime (peeled if not organic)

Greens on Greens on Greens (my personal concoction)

  • 1 bunch celery (~10-11 stalks)
  • 1/2-1 bunch kale
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/2 lemon (peeled if not organic)
  • 2 inches ginger root

When all else fails, there is this awesome infographic from CrazySexyJuice.com to help guide new juicers on their own juice-creation journey.  Definitely check this website out; Kris Carr is amazing and she is a true inspiration to anyone looking to improve their health through nutrition.

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Again, please feel free to comment and tell me about your favorite juice concoctions and kitchen experiments!

Happy Juicing!

Day 6 – Excuses

So I just want to start off by saying that today is cold, rainy, and all over gross out.  Not really inspirational weather for my mood.  I’m not hungry necessarily, but I am craving something warm.  Like soup.  mmmmm.  But Mean Green will have to suffice for now.  Only 9 more days to go.  I got this.  Ethan came home in so much pain the other night (his stomach was on fire) and made a bowl of rice.  He told me that he is going to continue the 15 days with me, but just eat one “real” meal a day.  I can live with that.  The rice smelled soooo freaking good, though, I wanted to punch him in the face.  I settled for a hug instead.  So far, what’s getting me through the days is looking up vegan or other healthy recipes on Pinterest to make when I’m done. I mean, Pinterest takes over my life anyways, so why not lose myself by looking up something useful, right? That’s what I did during my last fast, but I never actually followed through.  I just fell back into the microwavable dinner routine and landed right back where I started.  This time, I made a list of all the stuff I plan on making, and even am making an ingredient sheet so I know what to buy.  Things like vegan, gluten-free spinach/artichoke dip, ratatouille, black bean burgers, and sweet potato cauliflower soup.  It’s gonna be soooo good!  I’m also craving my mom’s broccoli soup like no other, and Hurray, cause it’s vegan!  Water-based broth, ancine di peppe noodles, broccoli of course, and lots of spices.  Ugh, my mouth is watering now, and it’s not because of this Mean Green sitting in front of me.

Anyways, on to business.  I’m sure you all noticed the picture above.  I went grocery shopping this morning and was absolutely shocked (and elated) when the total came to $24.99 for alllllll of this food!  4 grocery bags later, I’m unloading my prizes in the kitchen and Ethan’s getting ready to stick it all through the juicer and I yell “No! You have to wait for me to take a picture! This is so much food!”  At first, I was impressed with myself, but then I realized, I didn’t make the prices; produce is just this cheap! I have enough fruits and veggies here to make 4 Mean Green juices, a bruschetta juice, cranberry apple juice, and I still had veggies left over for tomorrow!  That’s 52 grams of protein and 144 ounces of yummy, healthy goodness for under $25.  Isn’t the expense argument one of the top guns in the arsenal of the junk-food junky?  Not anymore.  Clearly, the argument that “healthy food costs way too much” no longer holds water (or juice!), so what’s your excuse now?……….. I’ll wait.

Day 3 of 15

 

To everyone our there questioning the nutrients consumed during a juice fast, I’ll point you to Exhibit A.  That group of greens was just ONE of 4 “meals” I drank today.  In fact, this was breakfast.  I don’t know about all of you, but I don’t usually wake up in the morning and think to myself “I’m starving, so I should probably go wolf down a bundle of kale, 2 apples, half a lemon, a whole cucumber, a hunk of ginger, and 4 stalks of celery.”  Could you eat all this in one sitting?  I’ll put my money on no.  Maybe I could go for the two apples, or possibly half that cucumber, but there’s no way I could down this group of veggies in one sitting.  And kale?  I know it’s a “super food”, but have you tried it raw and all by its lonesome?  Not my cup o’ tea.   Ginger? I like it in stuff, but by itself?  My mouth would burn for days if I ate that huge hunk.  Taking all these foods and blending them together into a neat, compact 24 oz. juice to drink on the way to work is starting to sound like a pretty good idea, isn’t it? Plus, the darker/greener the food, the healthier it is, and just look at this gorgeous green masterpiece!

I’m telling you, this whole “green drink in the morning” thing really works.  I know I’m on a juice fast and I have to drink it, but I swear that about 15 minutes after drinking it, I was ready to kill it this morning at work, and I didn’t even think about my next meal until 5 hours later.  I felt unstoppable!

So I feel like the recipe for this concoction is pretty self explanatory, given the picture above, but I’ll post it below, too! You’ll need:

  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 apples
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 1″ ginger root
  • 8 large kale leaves

Happy juicing everybody! Let me know what you think!