A Lenten Meatless Meal: Spiced Chili

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By Rachel Firmin
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
3 15 oz. cans Low Sodium Beans of Choice
(I recommend a mixture of Kidney & Pinto)
2 15 oz. cans No Salt Added Diced Tomatoes
1 28 oz. can No Salt Added Tomato Sauce
3 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning
1 Tbsp. yellow mustard
1-2 tsp. ground cumin
    Two years ago, in observance of Lent, I participated in an all-natural Vegan fast known as The Daniel Fast. The first three days of my fast, I thought that I would starve. I had no idea how I was going to stick to the fast for 40 more days, so on day 4 of my fast, I began to research. That day, my life completely changed. I became totally fascinated with food and the way that every choice we make affects our life and our health. I began to experiment with new foods and tried to adapt and create new recipes. Some were utter failures, but some were great successes. And, with every successful recipe, my curiosity grew, my confidence grew, and my love for nutrition grew. Now, two years later, I’m majoring in Dietetics at LSU with the hope to encourage others to experiment and create a healthy relationship with food, while enjoying every meal. And trust me, this meal is very enjoyable. 
    Begin by heating 1 Tbsp. Olive oil in a large pot on medium-high heat.   When heated, add chopped onion and minced garlic and sauté about3-5 minutes, or until soft. Drain and Rinse the 3 cans of beans and add to pot. Next add in the 2 cans of diced tomatoes and Tomato sauce. Stir. Mix in all spices and cover. Allow to simmer slightly for 20-30 minutes. Reduce heat to low and serve over ½ cup brown rice with toppings of choice. My favorites include a dollop of Greek yogurt, sliced avocado, chopped onions and 1-2 Tbsp. shredded cheese. A handful of natural chips go great with this chili too! 
    Even if you aren’t observing Lent, you will love this chili. All people can benefit from alternative protein sources. The beans in this chili are a wonderful source of fiber with no cholesterol or saturated fat. Plus, it is ready in 30 minutes flat for a great busy weeknight meal.
    *Disclaimer: I am not a licensed physician or Registered Dietitian. The content of these recipes are not to be construed as medical advice or nutritional counseling. Please consult a Registered Dietitian or Doctor for further questions or before making any serious changes in your diet.