Quick & Easy White Bean Chili

It’s okay if you indulged this weekend – and it’s also OK if you didn’t do any food prep for the week! Many people feel guilty, on top of feeling overwhelmed, when it comes to making food decisions during the week, but feeling guilt for not thinking ahead will never help your current situation. While I recommend prepping in whatever ways you can over the weekend, there’s a variety of reasons that sometimes it just might not be feasible. So, today I’m sharing a quick white bean chili that you can make with items you likely already have at home.

Ways to feel less stressed if you’re not prepared for the week:

  • Consider if you have leftovers from the weekend and how they can become meals for today and tomorrow. Remember, a well balanced meal will ideally include protein, starch, veggies and fat. So, even if all you have is leftover wings, adding a frozen veggie and slice of whole grain toast can suffice for dinner!
  • Throw together breakfast from convenience foods like an RxBar and an apple, or store bought already hard-boiled eggs with crackers and a banana.
  • Multi-task by making something for later or tomorrow while prepping your current meal. Ex: while making breakfast, can you boil a pot of water that can cook rice or another grain while you’re getting ready for work?
  • Use your slow cooker! On Friday I shared a new soup post and there are some slow cooker options there.
  • Throw together an easy vegetarian chili for dinner tonight – and double the recipe so you can have it for lunch again tomorrow!

Life’s Busy. Nourish Accordingly.

We have some busy lives… and I know more than ever now as a working mom who still exercises regularly and finds time for family, friends, and travel, that we need convenience. This does not mean we have to sacrifice great tasting and nutrient dense foods though – it actually means we should want even more nutrient density in our meals to help us have the energy we need to {try to} do it all.

I am not above the cinnamon bun I had as an afternoon snack, but I do know that my veggie egg muffins and leftover buckwheat pancakes this morning gave me the energy and protein I needed to feel great teaching 3 college classes in a row even after a night that Cooper didn’t quite feel like sleeping. The KIND bar I had between classes 2-3 ensured I could lecture that 3rd section without my attention drawing to a rumbling in my belly for lunch. Having this fiber and nutrient rich white bean chili for lunch today helped my body and brain power through work during the afternoon without feeling fatigued.

Not to mention, other than the cinnamon bun, all of these options provided me with protein. This will not only to help me continue to recover from exercise this past weekend {my abs are admittedly still sore from what I did Saturday}, but also to support tons of other functions of protein like hormone & enzyme creation, regulation of fluid balance, and maintaining my brain function, other tissues and metabolism.

You Probably Have Most of These Ingredients Right Now.

So, have I sold you yet? Open up that pantry and grab some beans – if you don’t have white beans, I’m sure any other beans would work here, too. If you don’t have quinoa, how about rice or quick cook farro? No red bell pepper? How about jarred roasted red? No frozen spinach or corn, make due with what you have! It’s the broth and seasonings you’ll want to pay attention to sticking to so that you can get the flavor you’re craving.

Quick & Easy White Bean Chili

Vegan, Gluten Free
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1.5 tbsp cooking oil
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large celery stalk, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • Optional: 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 2 Cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cans of any variety white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups of frozen spinach
  • 1/2 cup of frozen corn
  • 1.5 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2/3 cup nutritional yeast (can also add cheese after cooking)

Directions:

  • Heat oil over low-medium in a stockpot before adding garlic and jalapeño if you chose to use one.
  • After about 1 minute, add the carrot, celery and bell pepper. Stir, over and let cook for about 3 minutes.
  • Add the quinoa and broth. Stir and cover before bringing to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Add beans, spinach, corn, chili powder, cumin, and oregano, stir, and let cook an additional 5 minutes.
  • Turn off heat and stir in nutritional yeast. Serve and enjoy!

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