Easy Warm Thy Bones In The Winter Have No Time To Cook During The Christmas Rush Black Bean Squash Lentil Slow Cooker Chili with a Side of Corn Bread and Colorful Torillas.
Now that the Christmas season is here each day gets shorter and busier, more shopping, more traffic and more long lines, less time at home and more challenging for me or anyone who is trying to stick to a healthy eating diet. It can be difficult when your stomach is growling as you walk by the pizza café and smell the aroma of grease, garlic and sauce and seeing the glowing round pizza with all its delicious toppings spinning around slowly in the brightly lit display stand calling out to you. The convenient all you can eat Chinese buffet on the way to the next department store or no time to stop, simply drive up to a window and order a complete meal on the go. This time of year it is too easy to fall off a healthy plan no time for the gym and not time for cooking.
So, while sitting at a red light in my car, I have the radio on not really listening to it thinking of what I need to get at the store, I take a sip of my water and put it back in my cup holder and then reach for my snack out of my lunch cooler. I set the container on my lap, pull the cover off and with my fork eat a piece of broccoli. The light turns green and I continue eating my potatoes, broccoli and beans. It is a busy Saturday after Thanksgiving and I am running around catching those big sales. Being an athlete and always having new goals, this is not unusual to bring meals, snacks, and water with me everywhere I go. I have had smoothies, wraps, salads, and other munchies, complete with utensils and napkins on the road and while driving. Well I have to admit this practice may be something that the police may frown upon if pulled over…. “But officer I have to get my macros in today”. I figure it is better than stopping at a drive through window or grabbing one of those little samples of some food like product stuck to a tooth pick on a tray that someone is handing out in the food court in the mall.
Now, while I continue to drive around, I am finishing up my afternoon snack trying not to get crumbs on the seat and putting the container back in my bag, I hear that most annoying Christmas song, and you know the one that is only tolerable for the first 15 seconds, the one that is also a book, a play and a movie. The 12 days of Christmas. Over the years there have been many versions of this so I decided to come up with my own version of the song that pretty much relates to my training routine as an athlete, so here is goes……….and just picture yourself singing it!
On the first day of Christmas my Trainer gave to me….A new meal plan and workout routine to make me strong and lean
And there you have it my version of the 12 days of Christmas just for fun. One of my favorite kitchen cooking gadgets during this time of year is my crock pot. There are hundreds of healthy recipes for winter time soups and stews. This recipe for a black bean lentil chili is not only is simple and quick to make but has an explosion of flavor, is filling that meets all my required nutritional needs. This chili and other recipes can be made over night or in the morning while you are out shopping for that perfect gift and will it be ready by the time you come home. Even if you are not in training, this is a delicious meal that is warm and hearty on a cold winter night over some rice or pasta with a side of sweet and savory sage corn muffins. I am not sure about eating this while driving; although I am sure it can be done without the rice otherwise you will probably have rice all over your car by the time you are done. You could put the chili and rice in a wrap with avocado and vegan cheese wrapped in foil. Delish! If you try this, message me and let me know how it works out.
Black Bean Lentil Chili
Yields: One full crock pot. My husband and I have this for dinner for the week.
Time: Prep – 30 min cook 3-4 hours on high or 5-6 on low in crock pot.
2 cans black beans drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups dry lentils
½ cup diced butternut squash
1 onion chopped
1 can tomato paste
4 cloves garlic
1 28 oz can fire roasted chopped canned tomatoes
6 cups vegetable broth (or water)
2 tbsp. olive oil
¼ cup nutritional yeast
Fresh parsley / cilantro
Salt / pepper to taste
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp chili powder
Sage Corn Muffins
Yields: 12 small muffin
Time: 45 minutes total
1 cup soy milk (or other non dairy milk. Almond milk will give muffins a more sweet flavor)
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ cup fine ground corn meal (non GMO)
½ cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp. chopped fresh sage or 1 tbsp. dry sage
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. maple syrup
3 tbsp. organic apple sauce unsweetened
¼ cup melted coconut oil