Sorry I’ve not posted for a few weeks. For the past two months I’ve been suffering from some pain in my right shoulder that radiated down into my right arm, along with some numbness and weakness in my right hand. And so working at a keyboard was a task that was, unfortunately, inflaming the condition. I’m happy to say that after easing up on keyboard typing at home, along with: acupuncture, chiropractic therapy, making major changes at workstation at my day job, working on exercises, and using a combination of Turmeric (Curcumin ia a key chemical in turmeric that reduces pain and inflammation) and Bromelain, (a protein extract derived from pineapple that reduces pain and swelling) to help reduce the inflammation — (instead of ibuprofen, which causes me stomach pain) it has all finally helped me to move toward recovering and feeling better. I’m not totally pain or numb free, but I’m getting there!
Dealing with pain is just plain hard. It makes it hard to think, to do the easiest tasks, to keep up with exercise, to eat well — all things that are important to do so your body can heal and you can get well.
These past several weeks, I’ve kept up my exercise regime; and in the food arena, I feel I’ve kept up with eating healthy. I pulled out a lot of my pre-made soups and chilies from the freezer. And to help with eating fresh, I picked up some prepackaged things like bags of prechopped coleslaw, broccoli slaw, and prewashed greens — I love the BIG $5 bag of organic kale that my local Safeway offers!
Whenever I make a smoothie, I make a triple batch and pop individual servings into the freezer. So, I kept up with that. Being prepared is always a great way for me to go, especially when I need to grab something quick before heading out the door for work or for a rehearsal like I’m doing now for Les Misérables at Cottage Theatre. That’s right! We are rehearsing for Les Mis which opens April 10! You don’t want to miss this fantastic show. Tickets, which go on sale March 10th, will sell FAST; so I’ve set up an easy link for you to click here for tickets!
So now for the fun part of this post! Here’s one of the simple meals I cooked up to help me eat up my BIG bag of kale. It’s a delicious, meatless chili with black beans, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms and of course kale. It’s so easy to make. Every ingredient is packed with nutrition, the meal leaves you completely satisfied and it’s also easy to freeze in individual servings for lunch at work or when you don’t have an hour to prepare a home-cooked meal.
Here you go:
Black Bean, Broccoli, Cauliflower Mushroom and Kale Chili
Servings 5 to 6 Prep time: 20 – 25 minutes Cook time 25 – 30 minutes
- Tamari sauce; 2 tablespoons
- Water or vegetable broth; ¼ cup (use as needed when sauteing)
- Onion; 1 medium, diced
- Mushrooms; 8 ounces, sliced
- Garlic; 1 tablespoon, minced
- Chili Powder; 2 – 3 tablespoons
- Cumin, 1 tablespoon (ground)
- Tomato Paste; 3 ounces
- Crushed tomatoes; 1 can (28 ounce)
- Black Beans; 2 cups, cooked (scratch or canned)
- Nutritional Yeast; ½ cup
- Kale; 2 cups chopped, packed
- Broccoli; 2 cups, small flowerettes (instructional video on how to cut broccoli)
- Cauliflower; 1 cup, small flowerettes
- Garnishes of your choice: grated non-dairy cheese, non-dairy sour cream, toasted pepitas, chopped green onions, sliced avocado or cilantro
In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the tamari sauce with about a tablespoon of water. Add onion and cook over medium heat until softened, add mushrooms, a bit more water and saute about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional one minute. Add chili powder and ground cumin. Stir until blended and fragrant. Add tomatoes and tomato paste, stir well and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Gently stir in the black beans, the nutrition yeast and blend with sauce. Next, add the kale and stir until it starts to wilt. Last, add the broccoli and cauliflower and cook for about 15 more minutes or until broccoli and cauliflower are tender.
Serve in bowls as is or with a favorite garnish; such as, grated non-dairy cheese, non-dairy sour cream, toasted pepitas, chopped green onions, avocado or cilantro.
This meal would also be wonderful served over ½ cup quinoa or brown rice.