Monday, May 26, 2014

Whatcha Got Cookin'?

Elliott is moving all over the place and got into Colter's kitchen things, which prompted Colter to put the chef's hat on his little brother.

A good look, yes?

They might look good cooking but they aren't so productive so let's move on to real food. Keith and I have been talking quite a bit lately about how we eat and what we eat. With a couple of things in mind – health, expense, and sustainability, with health being the biggest factor – we're looking to shake up our diet. Keith was initially curious about a Mediterranean diet, with all the heart-health benefits that it are associated with, but as we explored that a bit, traditional Mediterranean recipes don't really jive with what is available locally and seasonally. The main focus there is loads of vegetables and lots of whole grains, and more fish, less meat. That we could do. So the current meal-planning goal is to have fish once a week, one meatless meal a week, and only one meat-centered meal each week (think meatloaf or a roast). The other nights can have meat (concentrating more on chicken or turkey, or small servings of beef or pork) but should be loaded up with vegetables.

So, that's a really long way of saying we are on the lookout for new recipes that fit these goals, and I'll be sharing some of them here. First up, one my mom made when we were up to visit at Easter and we both really enjoyed, and is perfect for our meat-free days. I went ahead and made a double batch and put some in the freezer for a quick and healthy meal another day.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1-2 tsp. dried cilantro (optional)
2 c. broth (I used chicken but I'm sure vegetable would be fine, and truly meat-free)
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 - 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes, in juice
1 - 15.5 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained

Cook onion in vegetable oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in chili powder, cumin, and cilantro. Add broth and sweet potatoes; bring to a gentle boil and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Add diced tomatoes and black beans; simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.

With a nice roll on the side and a bit of sour cream on top, it was a really filling meal. Colter even devoured the sweet potatoes and beans.

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