I was asked to participate in the Meatless Monday Night campaign, to find good alternatives to the meat and dairy-laden meals that so many of us consume along with football. Sounds fun? Well, I am not a cook…at all. I enjoy feeding my family and food preparation is an interesting challenge, but I have had at least as many failures as successes. My kids are fierce critics. They will never let me forget the slow-cooked meal that featured chicken, olives, and mustard.
I decided to participate in this campaign because I think it should be possible, even for kitchen hacks, to produce enjoyable meat and dairy-alternative meals. As an endurance athlete, I am always looking for good protein sources that are not dependent upon meat and dairy. Finally, as an allergist, I recommend restricted diets every day and it is really good for me to get some experience with dietary “finesse.”
After scouring the internet, I found a nice recipe for crock pot pumpkin chili (from Heather@Kissmybrocolli) and modified it to my needs and, anticipated, family tastes. Here it is:
- Soy crumbles, 24 oz
- Medium onion, chopped
- Minced garlic, 1 Tbsp
- Red kidney beans, 15 oz
- Great northern beans, 15 oz
- Stewed tomatoes, 15 oz
- Tomato sauce, 15 oz
- Pumpkin purée, 15 oz
- Cumin, 1 Tbsp
- Chili powder, 2 tsp
- Garlic powder, 2 tsp
- Cinnamon, 1 ½ tsp
- Paprika, 1 tsp
- Cayenne, 1 tsp
- Silk Almondmilk, 1 cup (the secret ingredient!)
- Start by lightly browning the soy crumbles in a large skillet on medium-high heat.
- Add onions and minced garlic and continue cooking until the soy crumbles are fully browned (this is subjective, since they start brown, already)
- Add the soy crumble/onion/garlic mixture to a slow cooker and then add the other ingredients
- Give it a good stir, then cook on high for 2-3 hours
I also made rice in my fancy rice cooker. A Zojirushi. I like it because it is idiot proof.
Preparation took me about 30 minutes, because I am slow.
So, how did it turn out? Honestly, I was nervous. My kids were kind enough to mention the previous olive/mustard fiasco before digging in to the chili. But, we all loved it. Five out of five kids, my pregnant wife (which gives her a vote and a half), and me. The chili was very mildly spicy with cinnamon overtones. The Silk almond milk seemed to give it a more mellow flavor that appeared to suit everybody. I do have one daughter who is obsessed with spicy food. She did add hot sauce. Several of us topped the chili with Fritos.
This is an easily modifiable, easy to prepare, meat and dairy-free meal that is accessible to both children and adults.
Check out additional meat and dairy-free recipes from the makers of Silk products at www.silk.com/sidelinemeat.
This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.