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Flexible Fall Meals to Feed the Family!

nutrition & recipes Oct 15, 2021
Bowl of hearty chili topped with shredded cheese and green onions, accompanied by a checkered cloth on a rustic wooden table, epitomizing a warm autumn meal.

The last couple of months we have been in a bit of a recipe rut. 

I also have needed to hit the “easy” button a little more often as I get further into this pregnancy and have had some increased work responsibilities. 

A girlfriend recently hosted a party with Epicure. 

 

I was pretty skeptical about buying seasoning packets and meal shortcuts…

  • What was in them? Too much salt, preservatives? 
  • Would they taste good? Would my kids eat them?
  • Are they really a timesaver? Would they just add to our meal costs?

 

Well, since I am writing this you can probably guess I was pleasantly surprised. 

  • No weird ingredients- most are gluten and dairy-free. 
  • Yes, they are tasty, unfortunately, my kids are still picky some days. 
  • Yes and they seem to be pretty cost-effective options especially compared to takeout! 

I have also appreciated that the ingredient you need to add to finish up the meal is easy to have on hand staples. 

Many of the protein suggestions are interchangeable and adaptable for plant-based options too! 

 

Want to check out the Epicure “Easy” button? 

Hop over to my month-long party…

CLICK HERE TO JOIN

What’s the best part?

I am going to be sharing the party perks with those who participate!!

 

 

Recipes


Ultimate vegan anti-inflammatory chili- what makes this so great? Amazing flavor and it's packed with tons of antioxidants and healthy protein and fiber-rich plants! 

Butter chickpeas with basmati rice 

Choose your Own Adventure Lettuce Wraps

 

Shopping list


Produce

2lbs of onion + 1 medium onion 

1 bell pepper

Shredded carrots 

Garlic, 6 cloves

Cilantro- 1 bunch 

2 heads butter lettuce or 1 head of iceberg lettuce

Limes (optional) 

 

Dried goods

2 cans kidney beans, drained & rinsed (can substitute ½ lbs dried beans, cooked ahead per package instructions) 

4 cans garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed (can substitute 1lb dried beans, cooked ahead per package instructions) 

1/2 c. walnuts, chopped fine 

1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained with juice reserved

1 (8oz) can diced tomatoes (or just use ½ of a standard 14oz can) 

3 tbsp. tomato paste

3 tbsp. soy sauce (can substitute coconut aminos or GF Tamari)

1 t sesame oil 

1 can water chestnuts, drained 

1/4 c. avocado oil 

2/3 c. Quinoa

2 c basmati rice (consider trying a brown variety)

Sriracha (optional) 

 

Spices/seasonings 

2T dried ancho chile powder (or 1 packet of Epicure ChaChaChili) 

2T dried New Mexican chile powder  (could substitute 2T smoked paprika) 

1/2 oz. dried shiitake mushrooms, blended to powder OR 2T dried mushroom powder like Trader Joe’s Mushroom Multipurpose Umami powder 

1 T dried oregano

2 T ground cumin

Epicure Butter Chicken 1 packet

Epicure Lettuce Wraps 1 packet 

 

Refrigerated section

8oz Greek yogurt (dairy or alternative)

1T butter (vegan or could sub avocado oil) 

1lb ground meat or meat alternative of choice 

 

Prep ahead


Chopping list

Small dice

2lbs of onion + 1 medium onion 

1 bell pepper

1 can water chestnuts, drained 

Finely chop

1/2 cup walnuts 

Peel

6 cloves garlic 

 

Weekend cooking


Ultimate vegan anti-inflammatory chili 

 

Salt to taste 

2 cans kidney beans, drained & rinsed

2 cans garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed

(Or can substitute 1lb of dried beans, pre-cooked according to package instructions)  

2T dried ancho chile powder (or 1 packet of Epicure ChaChaChili) 

2T dried New Mexican chile powder  (could substitute 2T smoked paprika) 

1/2 oz. dried shiitake mushrooms, blended to powder OR 2T dried mushroom powder like Trader Joe’s Mushroom Multipurpose Umami powder (amazon link)

4 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 c. walnuts, chopped fine 

1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained with juice reserved

3 tbsp. tomato paste

6 garlic cloves, peeled

3 tbsp. soy sauce (can substitute coconut aminos or GF Tamari)

1/4 c. avocado oil

2 lb. onions, chopped fine

1 tbsp. ground cumin

7 c. water

2/3 c. Quinoa

1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro

 

  1. Preheat oven to 275F. 
  2. Process drained tomatoes, tomato paste, jalapeño(s) if using, garlic, and soy sauce in a food processor until tomatoes are finely chopped, about 45 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed.
  3. Heat ¼ c avocado oil in a now-empty Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions and 1 1/4 teaspoons salt; cook, stirring occasionally until onions begin to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Lower heat to medium and add ground chile powders, mushroom powder, and cumin; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. 
  4. Add rinsed beans, quinoa, ground walnuts, tomato mixture and reserved tomato juice, and water, and bring to boil. Cover pot and place in oven. Cook until beans flavored through about 1 1/2- 2 hours. 
  5. Remove pot from oven, stir chili well, and let stand, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Stir in cilantro and serve. (Chili can be made up to 3 days in advance.)

 

I love serving with cornbread and look forward to trying Epicure’s cheddar & jalapeño cornbread mix! 

While the chili is cooking, consider making the basmati rice ahead of time.

If you are super pressed for time during the week, the lettuce wrap filling and butter chickpeas can be made ahead too! 

 

Fun Fact: 

Letting rice, potatoes, and pasta cook and then cool before reheating to eat makes the starch more resistant. 

What does this mean? 

It will decrease its effect on raising your blood sugar levels! 



Weeknight Finishing touches! 


Butter Chickpeas with Basmati rice

2 cups basmati rice

Water

Salt 

1 package of butter chicken seasoning from Epicure 

1 large onion, chopped 

1 T butter (could substitute vegan butter or avocado oil)

14 oz can coconut milk, shaken

2 cans chickpeas, drained & rinsed 

1/2 cup crushed or diced tomatoes

1/2 cup Greek yogurt 

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

 

  1. Prep rice according to package instructions (or reheat if you prepped on the weekend) 
  2. Preheat pan on medium heat with 1 T butter or oil, cook onion until translucent, 3-5 minutes.
  3. Stir in spice packet, coconut milk, tomatoes, and chickpeas and simmer for 6-8 minutes
  4. Remove from heat and stir in yogurt prior to serving with cilantro and basmati rice. 

 

Choose your Own Adventure Lettuce wraps 

1 package of lettuce wrap seasoning from Epicure

1 T avocado oil

1 bell pepper, diced

1 cup of shredded carrot 

1T water

1 can water chestnuts, drained & chopped 

1 lb of ground meat or meat substitute of choice 

1 t sesame oil

1 t soy sauce (coconut aminos or GF tamari)

2 heads of butter or 1 head of iceberg lettuce

Optional- sriracha, cilantro, lime wedges 

 

  1. Preheat pan on medium heat with 1 T avocado oil. Add ground meat/meat substitute, water, spice packet, sesame, and soy. Cook until done. 
  2. Add bell pepper, carrots, and water chestnuts and cook for an additional 3 minutes. 
  3. Serve with lettuce leaves and optional toppings of your choice!

 

What I am I cooking up for next month?


We are trying out a few more “easy buttons” as we prepare not only for Thanksgiving and my American College of Lifestyle Medicine Certification Exam but also get even closer to the delivery of our own little turkey.

Stay tuned to learn about our first box from Thrive (link will save you 30%) and Misfit’s Market (link to save $10).

 

Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.

 

Epicure pad thai made with tofu and extra veggies!

Easy peasy taco filling- vegan taco filling that takes under 10 minutes to make!

 

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