What’s For Dinner? Slow Cooker Chili Spiked with Veggies

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I love chili on a cold winter night, coated with gooey cheese and steaming in the bowl. After I graduated from nutrition school I began to see the potential in adding more nutrition to everyday meals. Hence, “Chili Spiked with Veggies” was born. It’s the perfect marriage between comforting, warm, tasty chili and healthy veggies. Even better, you can make the whole thing in the crockpot and it only takes about 15-20 minutes (depending on how fast you chop!)

Slow Cooker Chili Spiked With Veggies

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Time: 15-20 mins Prep + 3-4 hours on high OR 6-8 hours on low in slow cooker
  • Difficulty: easy
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Equipment: Slow Cooker, 7 quart

Ingredients

  • 2-3 pounds ground beef, buffalo (grass-fed) or turkey
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 10-12 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 1/2 cup chili powder (use 1/4 cup for kids or those who don’t like a lot of “heat” to their chili)
  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1-2 tsp cayenne pepper (again, use less for less spicy flavor)
  • 2 cans (each 28oz) diced tomatoes with juices
  • 2-3 small zucchinis, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped in small pieces
  • 1-2 carrots, diced
  • 4 cups (32oz) beef, chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cans (each 14oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Serrano or jalapeño pepper, minced (optional)
  • sour cream or grated cheese and chopped green onion or chives optional for garnishing

Directions

Brown the ground meat over medium-high heat either in the slow cooker insert (if it is OK to be used on stovetop – mine is and I love this function!) or in a skillet. Season with salt and pepper while cooking. If using a high fat content meat you may want to drain off some excess fat.

Reduce heat to medium, add the garlic and yellow onions to the meat and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3-5 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, and cayenne and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices, zucchini, bell pepper, carrot, and kidney beans. Add the broth and stir to combine.

Transfer the slow cooker insert to the base, or spoon the ingredients from the skillet into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.

Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt, pepper and more spices if desired. If you want even more of a kick to your chili, add an additional Serrano or jalapeño pepper (minced) to your chili for the last 15-20 minutes of cook time. Ladle the chili into bowls and garnish with your choice of sour cream, grated cheese, green onion and/or chives.

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Broccoli Pancakes

I am SO sick of my 2 year old (almost 3 year old) NOT eating veggies! His brother eats anything raw, and some cooked veggies but this little guy is a different story. I know I’m exaggerating, he does eat some veggies…smoothies, smoothies, Popsicles….wait, maybe he doesn’t eat that much? Well, we try, and I think we are doing OK, but just “OK” in my mind isn’t going to cut it. I mean, I KNOW the importance of veggies, both long term and short term. How intake of antioxidants and immune boosting nutrients can help him, how calcium can affect long term bone health, how….well, I could go on and on. This is the age old battle with toddlers, is it not?

Tonight I decided to take a stand. I WILL figure out a way that he LIKES to eat veggies. The force was strong with me tonight. And succeed I did. With the 2 year old. The 6 year old proceeded to critique the experimental broccoli pancakes like he was one of the “super tasters” (He’s NOT).

This was how it all unfolded.


I looked in my fridge and had lots of leftovers. These were the main veggies (plus the carrots which were getting old). I was wondering what to do with them….so I decided pancakes were a good idea.


I put it all in a bowl and mixed it together.


Then I pan fried it. Who DOESN’T like pan fried anything?!?


Finished product. The picture doesn’t do it justice. It is actually really amazing. But since my 6 year old “complained” I added some shredded cheese to batch 2….AH-MAZING. These will be in their lunches tomorrow.

 

Broccoli Pancakes

makes about 8 pancakes


Ingredients

1 cup finely chopped cooked broccoli

1 cup shredded raw carrot

4 eggs, whisked

4 Tbsp coconut flour (I’m pretty sure you could do any flour)

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 cup rice (pre-cooked), the one pictured here was leftover cilantro lime rice from Make Your Own Burrito Bowls

Dash of cardamom (because I can)

Salt and pepper to taste

Coconut oil for pan frying

(1/2 – 1 cup shredded cheese is optional)
Mix everything together, smack it into balls and squish in the pan to form pancakes. Fry on low-medium for 4-5 minutes each side.

That’s it. Now you and your kids are eating veggies.
This recipe is gluten-free, nut-free and dairy-free if you omit the cheese!=

Serve cold in lunches or freeze and toast when you want some more!

What’s For Dinner? Quick & Easy Chicken Tikka Masala

Yup, it’s the timeless question heard throughout every home on a daily basis. And by timeless, I mean that there is always LESS TIME than you need in a day to accomplish everything you need to/want to and THEN you have to make dinner too? Jeez. Why do the kids have to eat every day…multiple times?!?!

I have come to really appreciate the time I USED to have in the kitchen. Now that I have two young children, I’m having to change my ways and figure out new methods of survival on a day-to-day basis. Here’s a no fail, easy, relatively quick and HEALTHY meal you can throw together on a weeknight. Even better, you can keep most of the ingredients in the freezer and the rest in your pantry so you don’t even have to go to the grocery store (with kids…this can be a challenge in itself at the end of a long day – or anytime of day). Winning!

Ingredients: broccoli, chicken thigh meat, Maya Kamal simmer sauce, brown basmati rice, coconut oil (or ghee for browning the meat).

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All three ingredients pictured above can be stored in the freezer to have readily on hand. They also thaw pretty quickly in a bowl of warm water if you forget to take them out in the morning. You can find Maya Kamal at various Whole Foods markets and various Costco warehouses (in a 3 flavor pack). I’m sure it’s found elsewhere as well. I love this simmer sauce because it has really great authentic flavor and really healthy, all natural ingredients.

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I highly recommend investing in a rice cooker if you plan on making a fair amount of meals at home. I can get the rice ready and set the timer in the morning and forget about it until it’s dinner time.

 

Method: If you don’t have a rice cooker, make sure you start the brown rice about an hour before you wan to eat. This only takes a few minutes and you don’t have to tend to it after it’s simmering. Cut the chicken into bite size or slightly larger pieces, brown in a pan with coconut oil before adding the simmer sauce. I usually let simmer about 15 minutes. Just make sure the meat is thoroughly cooked. While the chicken is simmering, steam your broccoli (I find 6-7 minutes depending on how you cut it is perfect). That’s it. Serve and enjoy.

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and yes….it is enjoyed by all ages.

DSC_0525**This meal is gluten-free

 

 

What’s For Dinner? Quinoa Pesto Pasta

Have you cut-out pasta from your meal plans because you are afraid “of all the carbs” or because you are eating gluten-free? Well get ready to make a date with this pasta recipe. Ancient Harvest Gluten Free Organic Pasta is gluten-free and naturally high in protein (all quinoa is) and therefore lower in carbs so you can enjoy a well balanced, nutritious, quick and easy meal with PASTA again!

My favorite is the “Garden Pagodas” by this brand but any of the varieties will work for this recipe.

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What’s for Dinner? Spring Quinoa Salad

Are you tired of ordering pizza, subs, or Chipotle (yes, that’s me!) as your default meal? Are you looking to eat healthier this spring but don’t want to compromise taste in the process? Are you a novice in the kitchen but want to cook more, starting with “easy” meals? Well, if you answered yes to one or all of these questions than don’t stop reading! Continue reading