We are entering the third of our four week January tradition of focusing on ways to Nourish mind, body and soul. Our veg-forward menu featuring weekly vegetarian and vegan meals has been a tremendous success. Here is some of the feedback we have received:
‘We’re REALLY loving the menu this month and the vegan/veggie options in particular. ! Thanks for the diversity, the always great food and service! ‘
‘Just wanted to let you know that I LOVE the Nourish Menu! The dinners are not only finger-licking good but I feel healthy and light after! Thanks! I’m looking forward to trying more of your Nourish recipes :)’
‘We really enjoyed last night’s dinner. I have to say that you won me over with your vegetarian or vegan meals in the last few months. When I ordered sporadically, I was one of those people who usually chose the dinners that included meat, but I’ve been delighted with so many meals that I probably wouldn’t have chosen in the first place, including the vegan ones. Now, I’m thrilled to see that vegan dinners and I can’t wait to taste all of them. Thank you for all hard work you put into making such flavourful meals.’
As we move through this month of self care, I wanted to share some suggestions on how we might be able to Nourish our spirits, especially during a month of cold and snow.
Take a few moments throughout the day to enjoy a few deep breaths. Often the stress of the day can cause us to breathe shallowly, and reminding yourself to breathe can often calm the mind, the nerves, and the stomach.
Stretch, especially when first waking and before getting out of bed. Starting off the day slowly while listening to your body’s needs sets the pace for the day. Throughout the day take small stretch breaks to keep the blood flowing, and the muscles relaxed, especially if you spend most of your day sitting at a desk.
Stop and think before saying YES automatically. Our desire to please others often leads us to agree to take on more than we can manage. It’s ok to say no, especially when your plate is already full.
Laugh often. Find what makes you giggle uncontrollably and do it as often as you can. Watch comedies or hang out with people whose humour you enjoy. The health benefits are too numerous to even mention.
Declutter something – a closet, drawer or cupboard. Organizing something makes us feel good every time we go back to that place.
Call and speak to people you love or miss. Although we are more connected than ever, we often don’t take the time to settle into a good phone conversation and catch up with an old friend or family member.
Let things go. We all carry around our ‘hurts’ and at some point it’s important to let it go. Forgive, forget, and move on. If you need help, then create a ritual for letting go. Make space in your heart and soul for letting the good things in by cleaning out the garbage that you have been carrying around for way too long!
There are only two weeks left to jump on the Nourish Yourself bandwagon and enjoy these delicious meals.
Our recipe this month is a simple vegetarian chili with lots of delicious serving suggestions. We have it on this Wednesday’s menu but you might enjoy it so much you want to make a batch yourself. Vegan Chili is so easy to make because you can literally use any vegetables that you might have on hand or are in season. You can keep it warm in a crock pot which makes it the perfect dish to serve to a crowd after skiing, skating on the canal, or a long winter walk.
Red Apron’s Vegan Chili
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup onions, chopped
¾ cups carrots, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of diced red peppers
1 cup of diced zucchini
1 cup diced cauliflower
1 large can (28 ounce) can of diced tomatoes
1 small can of tomato puree
1 chipotle pepper minced (from can) or to taste
1 ½ cups of cooked kidney beans *
1 ½ cups of cooked black beans *
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
1 ½ teaspoons of dried oregano
Note: other optional vegetables include mushrooms, spinach, diced butternut or sweet potatoes, corn kernels, etc.
*Note: we use organic dried beans and soak overnight and cook till tender. They can be kept in the freezer portioned out in small bags to use. However, in a pinch you can use a good quality low salt canned bean, preferably organic.
Heat oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Saute the onions, carrots and garlic until tender. Add the remaining vegetables, and seasonings. Cook until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the tomatoes and beans. Test for flavor. If you like it spicy you can add cayenne pepper at this point. Salt to taste. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
Serving Suggestions: Set up a ‘serve yourself’ chili bar with a variety of toppings and garnishes. My list includes:
Baked sweet potato or white potato – spoon the chili over the potato and garnish for an extra hearty meal!
Chopped green onions
Sour cream or vegan coconut yogurt
Shredded cheddar cheese or vegan cheese
Crumbled corn tortilla chips
Guacamole or diced avocado
Diced spicy sausage to satisfy the meat lovers in your party
Hot dogs in buns – ladle your chili over the dog and you have chili-dogs