Monday, 6 February 2017

Vegan Four Bean and Vegetable Chilli

Vegan Four Bean and Vegetable Chilli There is nothing that I love more than homemade cooking, I love cooking from scratch and using fresh ingredients. I like taking the time to prep the ingredients and creating a hearty, delicious and filling meal. I try to be as healthy as I can where possible, as I am on a journey to become a healthier me, so I try to use less processed food. It is all about carbs (don't be scared of them), protein, vegetables and healthy fats! This is an absolutely meat-free dish, seeing as I am vegan, there will always be no-meat dishes on my blog and I will always find a meat free alternative, as they taste just as good and in my opinion, are a lot better for you in terms of protein content.

I decided that I was going to make a bean and vegetable chilli recipe. I usually make this using meat-free mince, but I wanted to bulk up my meal using fresh vegetables and pulses that I had spare in my cupboard. As we all know, some fresh produce does not keep for too long, so you have to try and use it up and I find this easiest when I am bulk cooking my meals throughout the week, such as stews and soups; winter warmer favourites! This time round, I fancied something plant-based with a bit of a kick and using an ingredient I didn't think to use in this recipe before.

Ingredients.
Low calorie cooking spray.
2/3 carrots, finely chopped.
1 bell pepper of any colour, finely chopped.
1 large onion, finely chopped.
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped.
1 tin of mixed beans (mine was a three bean mix).
1 tin of kidney beans.
400g of chopped tomatoes or passata.
200ml of vegetable stock.
1 tsp of dried mixed herbs.
1 tsp of ground cumin.
1 tsp of ground cinnamon.
1 tsp of chilli powder.
Salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Cooked white or brown rice.

Method.
  1. Prep your food by finely chopping all of your fresh ingredients into finely chopped chunks.
  2. Make sure that you have drained all your mixed beans before putting them into the chilli, as this will make it extra starchy.
  3. Spray a large frying pan or pot (I used a cooking pot for my chilli) with low calorie cooking spay and place over a medium heat.
  4. Add in the onion, garlic, carrots and pepper (I chose green) and stir-fry your vegetables for 2 - 3 minutes, or until tender.
  5. Throw in your dried herbs, ground cumin, cinnamon, chilli powder, tomatoes and stock and bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce the heat, cover and allow to cook gently for 10 - 12 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  7. Stir in the mixed beans and cook through for 2 - 3 minutes or until the food is piping hot throughout.
  8. Season well with salt and peppe to taste.
  9. Serve with cooked rice and then tuck in!
*This recipe is suitable for freezing!

I adapted this recipe from Slimming World, as not all of their recipes are vegan friendly, but I do like to get creative and put a twist on their recipes for myself. So to say that this recipe is absolutely speedy, great for an SP day if eaten without rice and no syns whatsoever. 100% healthy, guilt free and very filling. You can even go up for seconds, without feeling like you've eaten too much (if you're a big foodie like me).

The ingredient I never though to use in a chilli before is Cinnamon, it definitely ups the chilli game by massive amounts. It is not too overpowering and it definitely gives this recipe the spicy kick that it needs. I have made chill con carnes in the past and they never tasted as good as this recipe, so cinnamon is definitely an ingredient you need to add to your store cupboard staples!

What are some of your favourite healthy or Slimming World style dishes to make?

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Late To Start New Years Resolutions?

New Years Resolutions and Future Goals and Aims New Years Resolutions and Future Goals and Aims Well it is definitely safe to say that 2017 is well underway and it does not seem like 5 minutes ago that everyone was celebrating Christmas with their loved ones or bringing in the New Year partying or having a nice cosy quiet night in with food and a bottle of wine (or whichever beverage people chose to drink that night). I know it is very cliché to say 'New Year, new me', but, I feel as though 2017 is going to be the year where great things happen. I've been saying to people at work that I feel like I have a positive omen over me and I can genuinely say that I am the happiest I have been in a long time and I hope that it does not change anytime soon.

We are now in February and I feel as though the start of this year has been really steady. Although I have a lot of plans coming up this year (including Orlando Florida), this year seems to want to take it's sweet time moving forward. I feel like we have been in January for almost forever and I'm quite excited for it to be a new month. I have started this year with a bang, I'm nearly already a third way through my first module of University, it has been nearly 6 months since I started working as a Digital CSA for Argos, I am now out of serious debt, I have moved out of my family home and I can honestly say I have met the love of my life too.

There are a few things I would like to do this year & I don't think it is too late to ever start!

Living unapologetically
I am not going to live life with any regrets (easier said than done, if you suffer with anxiety like myself), but I am quite tired of saying sorry for stupid things or being made to feel like I have to say sorry, like I have done something bad, when I haven't. From now on, I will only say sorry if I need to and ignore the times I don't. It is about time I stopped caring about what people think and just focus on myself as a priority.

Healthy eating
This is one of those topics that can be seen as a taboo subject because of body-shaming and losing weight is seen in a bad light, which isn't the case at all for me. For as long as I've known, I have always been fat and I have always been the bigger friend. I have always hated how I looked in the mirror and at times I do cry about the way I look. It affects me both emotionally and physically, but I don't often show my emotions towards this. Healthy eating and losing weight has always been on the agenda for 2017 and I have 38lbs to go until I reach my target and my goal is for September.

Being consistent
I do not want to be half arsed anymore and want to push myself. If and when I do say I am going to do something, that I should just do it and not procrastinate as much as I do. I need a lot more motivation and I need that drive inside me that is willing to push me to my limit, which can be applied to everyday life and that could be just getting out of bed in the morning!

Self care
It is definitely okay sometimes to be selfish when it comes to yourself. It is not bad to be able to focus on you and not have to worry about anyone else, because it can become quite exhausting and stressful especially when you have enough on your plate at the time. I do not want to get to the point where I don't care at all and I will always provide support where needed, but I want to invest more time in myself without excluding everyone else in the process, if that makes any sense?

Balance
I have missed blogging a hell of a lot and I have missed being able to manage all my social medias and interact with others in regards to blog content and in general. Now that I work full time, have a boyfriend, share a house with my bestfriend, owning two pets, doing University and throwing a blog and social media into the mix can seem like a massive nightmare. I want to be able to create a healthy balance between them all, even if it does feel there is not enough hours in the day or enough days in the week!

Goal focus
I have to remember how far I have come in life and be super proud of myself, because life has been a massive rollercoaster and I'm quit impressed that I have come out from the other side smiling. I have definitely had my boat load of life lessons, but I need to remember to focus on the end goals and what I really want to achieve. I may not have reached my destination yet, but I will get there eventually and I will work hard until I am there.

Do you have anything you are working towards or New Years Resolutions you want to stick to?

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