Monday, March 11, 2013

Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili

A co-worker of Malissa's has recently changed her diet, and has been looking for a good chili recipe.  Let me tell you, I don't blame her one bit for wanting one!  Before I changed my diet, I loved the taste of a can of chili regardless of how unhealthy it was.  Fortunately, for us chili lovers, I have found a recipe that, besides being extremely healthy, is the best chili I have ever eaten!  It is also very good served over brown rice, and can make great leftovers!  Double the recipe, freeze the rest, and have it always on hand as a quick meal!  Yum!

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Large onion (chopped)
1 Red bell pepper (chopped)
1 Green bell pepper (chopped)
2 Jalapeno peppers (seeded and diced)
2 Sweet potatoes (peeled and diced)
2 Garlic cloves (minced)
2 to 3 Tablespoons chili powder
1 to 2 t ground cumin
1 to 2 teaspoons crushed basil leaves
Dash of marjoram (optional)
1 bay leaf
1 Can diced tomatoes
2 Cans vegetable or chicken broth
1 Can black beans, rinsed and drained
Juice of one lime
Sea salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Crushed red peppers, to taste (optional)

Heat oil in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add onion; reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, about 10-15 minutes or until tender. Add bell peppers, jalapenos, and sweet potatoes, cook for 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute. Add chili powder and next 7 ingredients. Stir and cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes and broth. Simmer, uncovered, about 30 minutes. Stir in beans and continue to cook 10 more minutes. Remove bay leaf and stir in lime juice.  Enjoy! 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Healthy Movie Theater Popcorn

I am very excited about tonight's recipe.  Malissa and I love to watch movies together, but we have never really had a snack to eat while we watched.  Occasionally, we would pop some popcorn in the microwave, but we felt guilty if we ever put anything on it.  Then we discovered this little trick!  Now we enjoy popcorn that tastes exactly like the stuff you get at the theaters without the guilt (not to mention the unpleasant side effects).  Enjoy!

Movie Theater Popcorn

2 Tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
6 Tablespoons popcorn kernels
Any other seasonings you like

Place the coconut oil in a 14-inch wok over medium heat.  Add few kernels of popcorn. When you hear a kernel pop, pour in all of the popcorn.
Cover, turn the heat to medium-low, and cook, shaking the wok constantly, until you no longer hear the kernels popping against the lid.  Place in a bowl and Enjoy with your favorite movie!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Four Ingredient Chocolate Mousse

Alright everyone, this one is a big deal.  This is my new FAVORITE dessert!  Not only is this incredibly delicious, rich, sweet and wonderful in every way, it is also the easiest dessert we have ever made!  A must for anyone who is a chocoholic and wants to eat healthy like me.  Only 4 ingredients. period.

Four Ingredient Chocolate Mousse

1 Can coconut milk (make sure it is full fat, or for ultimate thickness, get coconut cream)
5-6 Tablespoons cacao powder (cocoa powder works if you don't have cacao, but cacao is healthier)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Natural sweetener, to taste (to preserve the thickness, use stevia, or xylitol agave will work, but will make it a little thinner)

Make sure the coconut milk is thick like mousse, if not, put it in the refrigerator for an hour or two until it thickens up (also, to make it thicker, leave out the watery part at the bottom of the can).  Mix all ingredients by hand or with a mixer in a bowl mixing it may take several minutes to thicken.  If you want it thicker, just refrigerate until it reaches desired thickness.  Enjoy!  Easy as that!

Tex-Mex Rice and Bean Polenta

    Tonight, we are going south with a tex-mex polenta pie.  This is a super fun recipe to make, and the citrus garlic avocado topper is to die for!  This recipe is also incredibly simple, especially if you have a rice cooker.  A must have for anyone that enjoys healthy tex-mex food!

Tex-Mex Polenta Pie

1 Cup vegetable broth
1 Cup water
1 Can diced tomatoes
1 Small diced onion
1 Cup brown rice
1 Tablespoon chile powder
1 Can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 Cup salsa

Polenta crust:
2 Cups water
3/4 Cup polenta
dash of salt

Avocado topper:
1 Avocado, mashed
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Combine broth, water, tomatoes, onion, rice, and chile powder in a rice cooker or saucepan.  Cook until all liquid is gone or rice is tender (about 45 min).
While that is cooking, make the polenta crust:  Bring water to a boil and whisk in the polenta and salt.  Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes until the polenta becomes semi-firm.  Dump the cooked polenta into a large pie dish and spread evenly over the bottom and sides of the dish.
After rice is cooked, stir in the black beans and Spread the filling evenly in the polenta crust.  spread salsa evenly over the top.  Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.
Meanwhile, mash the avocado and mix in a small bowl with lemon juice and garlic powder.

Slice the pie and put a dollop of avocado mixture on each slice before serving. Enjoy!