It’s been a crazy month around here. (You too? I bet! How does December get to be so nutty, every single year?) Don’t get me wrong. I love it. I love holidays. I love holiday parties. I love to-do lists and adding things to them as quickly as I can check other things off.
But what I find – and what I hear from clients all the time – is that when time gets crunchy, food prep and prioritizing food choices suddenly become 700 times more difficult.
Perhaps, though, in the mayhem (or now, in the weeks following the mayhem), is when it’s most important to take care of ourselves and ensure the body is receiving everything it needs. After several indulgent weeks, it can be really beneficial to pump our systems full of good stuff: easy to break down, easy to use, nutrient-packed whole foods that can help to recalibrate everything, including that insatiable need for sugar that the holidays can create.
(Think about this: particularly if your system isn’t inundated with sugar for much of the year, the sudden influx of cookies, bars, wine, etc can send it into hyper-craving mode. To the caveperson part of your brain, it suddenly appears that sugar is everywhere, and that we should continue to seek it out until it disappears. “Hurray!” says the brain, “The sugar famine is over! Quick! Eat all the sugar! The famine could come back at any time!”)
Frustrating – until it abates, which it will!
A great remedy for sugar cravings is a meal packed with a full spectrum of nutrients. It tells the body that it has everything it needs (and that panic/ sugar pandemonium/ cravings aren’t necessary). A calm body is a body on an even-keel, and when the body is on an even keel, it more easily lets go of tension, extra weight and toxins.
Correcting imbalances with food? Yes, you can!
This Two-Bean-and-Spinach Chili is the perfect antidote to whatever ails you, including Too Little Time Syndrome and Deliciousness Deficiency. It’s extra time-efficient to make in a batch (more time for you!) and packed with SO many ingredients, the nutrient- and yumminess-factors are pretty darn high.
Plus, it’s hydrating (thanks, tomatoes!) and packed with fiber (thanks, beans!)… so your gut will be extra happy for this little gift. ;) You are welcome.
- 2 large cans tomatoes (drain one, retain liquid in the other)
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 1/2 lb crimini mushrooms, stems removed, chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 2 1/2 tbsp chili powder, divided
- 2 tbsp cumin, divided
- 2 tsp cinnamon, divided
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes or dried habanero peppers
- Salt and pepper (a few pinches to taste)
- 1 15oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 15oz can navy or white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 1/2 tbsp Worcester sauce
- 4 loosely packed cups of baby spinach
- vegan sour cream for garnish
- 1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil until glistening. Add onions and cook 3-4 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally.
- 2. Add half of each of the cumin, chili powder and cinnamon; all of the garlic powder, paprika, red pepper flakes, plus a few pinches salt and pepper. Stir to coat onions in spices and cook another minute.
- 3. Add mushrooms and continue to cook down over low heat, 10-12 minutes, until softened.
- 4. In the meantime, drain one can of tomatoes and empty it into a large soup pot. Open your second can of tomatoes and pour the whole thing, juice included, into the pot. Bring this to a slow boil over medium heat, then reduce heat to simmer.
- 5. Add both cans of beans, ensuring they’ve been thoroughly drained and rinsed.
- 6. Remove onion and mushroom mixture from heat and add it to the tomato pot.
- 7. Add Worchester sauce, remaining chili powder, cumin and cinnamon and stir thoroughly to combine.
- 8. Add remaining 1 tbsp olive oil back to your skillet and allow it to heat up.
- 9. Add spinach to skillet and sautee until wilted, about 2 minutes.
- 10. Transfer chili into serving bowls and top each portion with spinach. Add vegan sour cream if desired and serve.
- Refrigerate leftovers.