Easy Slow Cooker Vegan Chili
Christmas. I love this time of year but it’s also absolutely crazy busy. Shopping, concerts, school functions, baking and cookie exchanges, decorating and hiding the Elf on a Shelf….all on top of things we normally have to do?. Urghh. I hardly have time to shower in December, never mind come home and be a gourmet chef every night.
So basically in the weeks leading up to Christmas my slow cooker is a permanent fixture on my counter and is basically the only way I cook.
As I’ve previously posted my diet is around 80% raw, however when I do cook I always try to do so at low temperatures to maintain the most nutrition possible in our food. Although all cooking changes the chemical composition of food, high heat methods like frying, barbecuing and microwaves and pasteurization or processed food,in particular, destroy important vitamins and enzymes.
We lose nearly 100% of water-soluble vitamins (Vitamins B & C) benefits and almost half of lipid-soluble vitamins like A, D, E & K. High heat also makes protein coagulated and less digestible, results in increased digestive acidity and kills 90-100% of the live enzymes that are crucial for the functioning of every metabolic function in our body.
Cooking your food by steaming helps to combat nutrient loss. This is even more so in soups and especially in the slow cooker, where all the nutrients are contained in the juice. Slow cooking is a fantastic way of getting the most nutrition possible from your food meaning more bang for your dollar and increased health! Not to mention that the slow cooker is so efficient. Just put in your food and walk away….it doesn’t get any easier.
After spending two hours at the mall to see Santa after school yesterday I was so happy to have this chili to come home to! When my kids are whining in the long line that they are hungry and thirsty, I am tempted just like every other parent to give in and get them fast food from the food court. But I don’t. Because when you pre-plan it saves you every single time. Knowing I can walk in the door with my kids and supper is ready is seriously priceless.
They are eating enough crap this time of year between school parties and sports parties and family and friend gatherings. My job is to keep them eating healthy at home.
This chili is so easy I feel silly posting “the recipe.” Maybe you are thinking I’m some sort of amazing cook or that I have some secret to making fantastic food that I’m going to share. This recipe will shatter that illusion because it’s so simple. Basically, throw canned beans, tomatoes and whatever veggies you want in a slow cooker. That’s about it. But I’ll give you a more detailed version below so you can still think of me as somewhat of a cook though 🙂
Drain and rinse 2 cans of mixed beans and 2 cans of kidney beans. Add these along with 2 cans (or 3 if you prefer a “liquidy” chili) of diced seasoned tomatoes to your slow cooker. Add 2tbsp of olive oil (I used chili from @evoolutionyeg to give my chili some spice) and season: cumin, salt/pepper, Italian, garlic and seasoning salt. Turn your slow cooker to high and cover.
Then its time for the veggies. The only thing mandatory here is adding 2 diced purple onions and approx 5-6 diced Roma tomatoes (include the juice and seeds), otherwise add whatever vegetables you feel like adding. I diced 5 celery stalks, 5 carrots, 2 green peppers, 1 each orange and yellow peppers, and about a cup each of chopped purple cabbage and spinach.
Once everything is chopped and diced (you want to minimize the time the lid is off your slow cooker) add it in with the beans and canned tomatoes and give a stir to mix. Leave on high for about 4 hours or low for 8. If your chili seems too runny add in a half cup or so of brown rice to absorb the excess fluid.
I like to serve mine topped with fresh cilantro and nutritional yeast. The kids like it with melted daiya on top.
*freezes great and stores well in a sealed glass container in the fridge for 4-5 days.
*makes a perfect dish to bring to a pot luck. Get some buns and just bring your slow cooker with your chili pre-made.
Enjoy and Merry Christmas?