I’m a week in and I am still motivated to continue this eating style.  For me, this is a pretty big deal.  Previously when I have tried diets, I was usually overwhelmed and very cranky by the third day.  On top of the challenge of a restrictive diet, I typically felt terrible.  After reading Eat to Live, I understand that dynamic a little better.  Just like when someone quits smoking or drinking large amounts of caffeine, the body goes through withdrawal.  Withdrawal of any kind bites.  Armed with that information, I was ready to push through the first few days, knowing that I would come out the other side stronger and healthier.

I have become used to eating less meat, saturated fat, sugar and salt.  However, I don’t really look forward to many of my meals.  I don’t dread meals but I’m not very excited either.  So, I decided to use my Texas roots and create a healthy and exciting Texas Chili. Traditionally, Texas chili does not contain beans.  In this recipe I substitute beans for smoked beef.  The smoked paprika and chipotle hot sauce add a bit of a smoky kick.

The chili recipe and guacamole recipes can stand own their own, but for this meal I use both in my version of a Texas Taco Salad.


Texas Vegetarian ChiliImage

1/2 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup chopped tomato (or diced, canned tomatoes)

1 t. oregano

1 T. chili powder-yes, a tablespoon-this is chili!

1/2 t. cumin

1/2 t. pepper

1/2 t. smoked sweet paprika (regular paprika will work)

1 cup vegetable broth

1 1/2 dark cooked dark beans (pinto, kidney, etc.)  If using canned, rinse well.

pinch of red pepper flakes

1/2-1 cup chopped mushrooms

1/2 -1 cup tomato sauce

Chipotle hot sauce, to taste


Saute the onion in a few tablespoons broth and add garlic.  Add all other ingredients, except hot sauce.  Heat through and then add hot sauce to taste.


Chili Taco Salad

Tear Romaine lettuce into bits and place on plates.  Ladle chili on top of lettuce and pour salsa around the edge of the salad.  Put one scoop of guacamole on top and sprinkle with pepper.  Heat corn taco shells for 5 minutes in the oven (yes, it’s worth the trouble).  Break the shell and arrange around the plate.



Mash two ripe avocados in a bowl.  Squeeze 1-2 t. of lime or lemon juice on top of avocados.  Stir in 1 t. of fresh garlic and 1 T. of chopped cilantro.  Add a pinch of salt.  My family likes a bit of fresh chopped jalapeno added.



Last week was stressful and it ended with a very busy weekend.  I am learning that I may not be able to continue volunteering right now.  Even a small task like teaching a Sunday night class threw off my schedule and put me behind.  Although I don’t enjoy being sick, I was grateful to stay home one day and not make the 3 hour commute.  I miss being home when I am gone.  When I am in Greeley, I can fully focus on studying and researching but I still like being home  over any other place.  So, it’s still a learning experience and hopefully I will have it figured out before too long.


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