The new year is such a fun time, full of reflection, goal setting, and change. I love it… maybe a little too much. I often set a crazy amount of goals for myself, none of which gets accomplished to any great extent. I’ve always been an overly ambitious learner!
For those of you who don’t know, I’m a teacher. A dual language teacher, to be specific. A teacher who really, really loves what she does and thinks she is interested in moving into administration (I.e be a principal). I started getting the masters degree required in November, and this year will be a full year of study. I’m loving the learning part of it so far, but fitting everything into my schedule is incredibly difficult. Throughout November, my workouts were much less frequent, I had less energy for cooking, and I started relying more on processed food, which made me feel a little worse as the month went on.
This year, as I fight the battle of work-life balance, I’m going to work on cooking more meals that freeze well, or make great leftovers. I’ll find a way to become more efficient to make sure that my health still comes first. Because what’s more important? The effects that good health via plant based diet have on you whole experience is profound. It’s the best thing I can do for myself in this stressful point of time.
Most people struggle with the same predicament – work life balance and eating a healthy diet. Checkout the Plant Based Meal Plans page to download free plant based vegan dinner recipes in this delicious winter meal plan for 2! Seriously a huge time saver for people like me who love to cook and eat well on a schedule and a budget.
This meal makes 6 portions if you count leftovers, or a dinner for two and leftovers for YOU all week for lunch. The protein in this meal is phenomenal and left me feeling satisfied for several hours after eating. Avocado is a great addition as well, as I’m often craving fat in the afternoon. Baked sweet potato fries don’t keep well, but soggy day old microwaved fries were still very enjoyable to my work lunch self. I might double the chili next time and freeze half – it would be a great dinner a couple months from now!
More plant based vegan dinner recipes you’ll love:
Chili Baked Sweet Potato FriesPrint Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt, divided
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 4 dried chipotle peppers
- 1 large can (28 ounces) or 2 small cans (15 ounces each) diced tomatoes*, with their juices
- 1 can (15 ounces each) butter beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cans (15 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnishing
- 3-4 scallions, chopped, for garnish
- 1 to 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 1 avocado, sliced
- Lime wedges
- 4 medium sweet potatoes
In a small pot, place dried chipotle chili's and cover with water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, still covered. Remove from heat and drain, reserving rehydrated peppers and 1 cup liquid.
Scrub sweet potatoes. Slice into "fries" - long thin, as-equal-as-you-can sticks. Mine were about 1/4 -1/2 inch thick and wide.
Heat a large pot over medium heat.
Dice onions, bell pepper, carrots and celery. Add to the large pot, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 7 to 10 minutes.
Remove tough stems from rehydrated peppers, as well as seeds to reflect your desired level of spice. Place garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika (again adding to reflect your desired spice level) and oregano into a blender with the rehydrated peppers. Blend, add in the reserved liquid, and continue to blend into a paste. Add paste to large pot with vegetables.
Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 1 minute.
Add the diced tomatoes and their juices, the drained butter and pinto beans, vegetable broth and wine. Stir to combine, bring to a boil. Lower heat to rapid simmer. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes.
After adding tomatoes, beans, etc. Preheat the oven to 450F. Place baking sheet in the oven during preheating.
Once preheated, remove hot baking sheet from oven. Add sweet potatoes and toss in olive oil. Salt and pepper. Bake for 30- 40 minutes until crisped and dark brown.
When liquid in chili is largely reduced, blend the chili briefly with an immersion blender until it is a thicker consistency. You don't want to blend it entirely, just enough to thicken it.
Slice the avocado, pull the cilantro leaves, and cut the lime into wedges. Squeeze a little lime over the avocado and salt.
Mix in the vinegar to taste. Salt and pepper to taste. Top with sweet potato fries, cilantro, scallions, avocado, more cilantro and a squeeze of lime.