Try a meatless meal this week

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Why not try a meatless dish this week?  If you have had trouble finding meat at the grocery store, you can prepare a dish using alternative ingredients.  You don’t need to eat meat to get protein.

Plants are a good source of non-animal protein and there are many benefits to eating meatless once or twice a week.  These include reducing risk of lifestyle induced diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and some cancers.  Meatless proteins are also less expensive and are budget friendly.

There is also an environmental benefit to eating less meat.  These include reducing greenhouse gasses, its impact on the environment, as well as improving animal welfare.  Eating meatless a few times a week can be a beneficial change, so give it a try!

Some plant sources of protein:

  • Beans, peas, lentils: Such as black beans, Anasazi beans, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), red lentils
  • Whole grains: Such as quinoa, oats, buckwheat, amaranth, brown and wild rice (paired with beans)
  • Nuts and seeds:  Such as almonds, peanuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, nut butters
  • Soy products: Such as tofu, tempeh, edamame, soymilk
  • Vegetables (these have small amounts of protein): Such as broccoli, kale, mushrooms

Three Bean Chili

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups black beans (or 1 15.5 oz. can)
  • 2 cups kidney beans (or 1 15.5 oz. can)
  • 2 cups pinto beans (or 1 15.5 oz. can)
  • Water or broth (chicken, beef or vegetable) as needed to desired consistency
  • Sour cream, shredded Cheddar cheese, fresh cilantro leaves (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a heavy 6-quart pot over medium heat. Cook onion, bell peppers, jalapeno, garlic, and salt, stirring frequently, until tender, for approximately 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in chili powder, cumin, oregano and tomatoes, simmer over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add beans to mixture and simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for approximately 20 minutes.
  4. Add water or broth as needed for desired consistency.
  5. Top each serving with plain Greek yogurt, cheese, and/or cilantro.

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