Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Clean Vegetarian Chili

So a few weeks ago I tried a cleanse and had to eat clean for 10 days. It sounded scary at first, but it wasn't too hard and I found some great recipes that kept me full and satisfied. I came across this Clean Vegetarian Chili on the Advocare 24 Day blog and it was shockingly good!

Ok I will admit when I hear something is vegetarian I immediately think it is going to be somewhat bland for some reason. Within the last 9 months or so, I have challenged myself to try and eat more vegetables and who knew I would love squash and zucchini and lots of other veggies I never thought I would ever like, let alone love!

I made this a few weeks ago on a Sunday afternoon for myself and one of my friends. We both didn't have high expectations, but we took a few bites and looked at each other and said..."wow that is really good!" The chunks of butternut squash make it really filling, and you don't really miss the meat. It is very flavorful and was very filling. I didn't get a picture, but I will repost when I do make this again and get a picture.

Clean Vegetarian Chili

·         2 teaspoons olive oil
·         1 large onion, diced
·         2 stalks celery, diced
·         2 carrots, diced
·         2 cloves garlic, chopped
·         1 bell pepper, diced
·         2 tablespoons dark chili powder
·         2 teaspoons ground cumin
·         1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
·         30 ounces of crushed tomatoes (if you use canned, go with low sodium)
·         3 (15.5 oz) cans red kidney or black beans, rinsed and drained
·         12 ounces butternut squash, peeled and diced (about 3 cups)
·         1 cup low sodium vegetable stock


NOTE: Sauteing the vegetables before adding them to the slow cooker creates a layer of flavor. Do not skip this step.

Heat the oil in a saute pan, then add the onions, carrots and celery. Saute for four minutes, until the vegetables start to soften. Add the garlic and bell pepper, stir and saute another 2 minutes.
Add the spices and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from heat.
Add the vegetables and the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for six hours. Makes 8 one-cup servings. 

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