Recipe: 3-Bean Millet Chili & Sweet Potatoes

With temperatures below zero this week, only one thing would do. A huge pot of vegan chili.

I have made countless variations of vegan chili, it is one of my favorite (and one of the easiest) things to make. Not to mention it makes for unreal leftovers and is even better the second (and third, and forth…) day.

It’s fun playing around with various spice levels and combinations, add-ins and toppings, bases and beans, all while still knowing its going to turn out great. While I have tried quite a few “meat substitute” bases, such as quinoa, tempeh, lentils, sweet potatoes, one that I keep coming back to is millet. It’s size and texture is perfect for chili and the grain has many health benefits.

I served this particular batch up over a baked sweet potato and topped it with sliced avocado, fresh cilantro and hot sauce.

Ingredients

For the chili

  • 1 large white onion
  • 1 stalk of celery (about 6-8 ribs)
  • 1 bell pepper (I used red but feel free to use whatever color you want)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • a pinch of cayenne (to taste)
  • a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • Sea salt (to taste)
  • Two 28oz. cans of fire-roasted tomatoes (I used one can of crushed and one can of diced)
  • 2 cups of millet
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 can of white beans
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of red beans
  • 3/4 cup of frozen corn

For the potato assembly 

  • Avocado
  • Cilantro
  • Sweet potatoes

Instructions

Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Pinch holes in the sweet potatoes, wrap in foil and bake in the oven until soft (about 1-2 hours depending on size of potatoes)

Dice the onion, celery, bell pepper and jalapeño. Lightly coat a large pot with olive oil, sauté the onion, celery, bell pepper and jalapeño until soft and translucent.

Season the vegetables with the spices until fragrant.

Add the cans of tomatoes, millet and vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cover. Let simmer for about 25-30 minutes or until the millet is cooked.

Add the corn and the beans and continue to cook on low, adding water to thin out as needed.

Taste and season more to your liking.

Cut open the baked sweet potatoes and fill a half or whole potato (depending on how hungry you are) with a large ladle-full of chili. Top with slices of avocado, a sprinkle with fresh cilantro and a few dashes of hot sauce.

Recipe: Weekly Work Power Salad

For those of you who follow my @grayeatsgreen Instagram account, you have probably seen my #worklunch or #desklunch posts. This recipe is more of a “formula” and can be changed and tweaked based on what you have on hand!

I usually use curly kale as base because you can dress it ahead of time and it will hold up well in fridge for quite a few days without breaking down or getting mushy like many other lettuces.

I start by chopping up two bunches of curly kale and putting them into a huge mixing bowl.

I then make between 1.5-2 cups of a grain, some ideas are quinoa, farro, wheatberries, millet, buckwheat, brown rice, frekkah, etc. Follow the directions on cooking the grain. Wait until the grain cools and mix it in with the chopped kale.

Then I normally add a bean or legume of some sort for a protein boost; black beans, white beans, lentils, chickpeas, fava beans, etc.

Then pick your vegetables, fresh, roasted, steamed, sautéed, even fermented, it doesn’t matter! Some ideas: roasted brussels sprouts, steamed beets, raw carrots, tomatoes, celery, peppers, roasted squash or sweet potatoes, cabbage, cucumbers, the possibilities are endless! (If I add avocado I normally wait until right before serving)

Next up I usually like to added some dried fruit for a little natural sweetness; such as chopped medjool dates, chopped figs, cherries or raisins. Or chopped up fresh fruit such as a granny smith apple.

A nut or seed gives the salad a great crunch and a nice dose of healthy fat! I love adding hemp hearts, walnuts or chopped almonds.

Fresh herbs make a wonderful addition to any salad if you have them on hand; giving them a certain pop of freshness. Experiment with parsley, cilantro, dill or any herb of your choice. The possibilities are endless!

When it comes to dressing, I like to gently massage my big batch salads with a very light combination of an oil (olive, flax) and an acid (lemon juice, apple cider vinegar) along with some sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Sometimes I make a more complex dressing to add when I serve it, but with so many delicious add-ins, that’s really all you need!

Use your intuition when it comes to ingredient amounts and portion sizes, no one knows what you like and what you need better than you do. I’ve noticed that two bunches of kale along with 1.5-2 cups of grain (measured BEFORE cooking) yields about 5-8 meal sized servings. Perfect for lunch for most of the week for you and another family member and a dinner appetizer!

Batch cooking is crucial when it comes to staying healthy on the job. Keep checking back to the blog for more ideas on healthy tips for the workplace!