Recently I was invited to teach a wellness workshop for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Virginia. Now, for someone that usually teaches to college students, I saw 2 VERY challenging components to this presentation.
Challenge #1: Get young children excited about wellness and yoga.
Since it was early in the New Year I decided to give a presentation about why resolutions may or may not be a good thing. You can check that presentation out for yourself and let me know how you think it went…
As far as yoga, most of the kids were actually excited about trying it, but I had a secret weapon in my back pocket that was sure to impress!
Did you know I taught yoga to the Texas A&M University basketball, swimming and even football teams?? YEP! I reserve those big guns for when I really need it. And, as luck would have it, the one slightly less impressed young man in attendance just came from a basketball game. I WIN!
Challenge #2: Get young children excited about a vegan meal.
The menu was already set to be a vegan chili and I was so excited the organization chose something vegan. Teaching our children to eat at least a few meals meatless helps lessen their impact on the environment and promotes health eating habits (I teach adults how to do this too in The MiMo Method). And, in case you missed the memo sent out in the mid 1990s, you CAN eat enough protein and hit all your macronutrient goals with a vegan diet.
You know me, though, I wanted full control over the recipe so I found myself in the kitchen whipping up a child-friendly, vegan chili!
As I prepared for my “Top Chef” elimination challenge (please oh please tell me you do this in your head too or I’m going to feel REAL weird), I got very excited about sneaking as many veggies as I could into a yummy chili.
Some tricks I used:
I processed the onions in a food processor to make a paste. In general, onions are among the most hated of all vegetables, but kids really truly don’t typically mind the subtle flavor of a sweet onion. (I know, because I hated onions as a kid and am still VERY VERY VERY picky about how they are treated.)
I diced the rest of the veggies to be the consistency of ground meat. That means REALLY REALLY small!
I made sure the beans were ALL THE WAY DONE. Test about 5 beans from various places in the crock pot and they should be mushy before serving.
Here is the recipe we used (there is an alternate recipe on my instagram highlights!)
In a large crockpot combine:
Generous pour olive oil
1 finely diced yellow, red or orange bell pepper
½ onion finely diced
10 mushrooms cut up teensy tiny
1 cup dry red beans soaked overnight
1 cup pinto beans soaked and drained
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp coarse salt
3 tbsp italian seasoning
3 tbsp chili powder
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp red curry powder
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp + 1 tsp soy sauce
1tbsp Apple juice
1 dash lemon juice
1 large can tomatoes + can of water
1 can of tomato paste
Cook on low for at LEAST 8 hours.
So, how did it turn out??
In the words of one 11 year old “I really like it can I have some more?”