It was funny, because I had been planning to go vegan for the entire month.
Why go vegan for February? Well, I’ve been wanting to do an elimination diet to see if it would help my skin, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do that. I’ll have to try to cut out wheat/gluten another time.
For my month-long challenge, I’m doing my very best to cut out milk, butter, cheese and eggs. Since I eat a mostly vegetarian diet, it shouldn’t be difficult to skip the meat. I’ll also be trying to steer clear of packaged vegan meals, though I do have some Kashi meals on hand just in case! I know myself and at some point I’ll be caught off-guard. And, like Morgan, I’ll be staying away from meat alternatives as best I can. Since I’ll be doing this all month, it may be a little more difficult, but I’m up to the challenge!
In preparation, I’ve been scouring cookbooks and websites for recipes, trying to plan ahead so it wouldn’t be too difficult. I’ve got stacks of recipes for the month and I’m excited to share them with you. I’m hoping to post 2 recipes I try each week and at the end of the month, I’ll do a little roundup on how it went.
But, come Day 1, I didn’t have time to make the meal I had planned, but I did have enough time to whip up this black bean and quinoa chili from Fat Free Vegan just before leaving. It’s simple, quick and super healthy. The quinoa adds protein and the beans make this a filling meal. (Find more quinaa recipes here.)
Black bean and quinoa chili
Adapted from Fat Free Vegan
1 cup rinsed and drained quinoa
2 cups water
1 large onion, diced (I used a few tbsp. dried minced onion)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 cup chopped celery
1 tomatoes, cored and diced
Two 16-oz. cans black beans, drained
One 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 Tbs. chili powder (or more to taste)
1 Tbs. dried parsley (2 Tbs. fresh)
1 Tbs. dried oregano
2 tsp. ground cumin (or more to taste)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
Combine quinoa and water in saucepan, cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until liquid is absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a large, non-stick pan; add onion, bell pepper, celery and sauté 7 minutes over medium heat. Stir in fresh tomatoes; sauté 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in beans, canned tomatoes, and seasonings; cook about 25 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in quinoa; cook 5 minutes more.
Makes 8 servings.