More and more research is coming out that is supporting vegetarian diets as a healthy eating pattern for people of all ages. In America everyone is always focused on what meat they are going to have at their meals. “We’re having steak for dinner”… okay, but what else? Try to shift your focus away from the meat occasionally, and instead, consider everything else that should fill up your plate, like whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits.
The particular recipe I’m about to share with you includes two of my favorite things: sweet potatoes and black beans. Growing up I wouldn’t go near a bean, so it’s crazy to say now that they are one of my favorite foods. I don’t like to eat beans by the spoonful by any means, but I love to add them to recipes whenever I possibly can. Why? Because I’ll never forget what one of my preceptors said to me during my dietetic internship: “If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only bring one food with you, it should be beans. They are one of the healthiest foods because they provide everything you need.” Think about it. They’ve got tons of fiber, plant-based protein, and they are a great source of complex carbohydrates. They’re also loaded with vitamins and minerals, and low in fat. You really can’t go wrong. Beans, beans, the magical fruit. The song was right all along.
So, needless to say, beans are providing most of the plant-based protein in this delicious meatless chili, and if you throw some avocado on top at the end, you’ve got yourself a good dose of healthy fats as well.