I want to start off by saying I am not a chef, just a woman who likes to cook homemade meals and blog about it. I primarily grew up on fast food and didn't learn how to cook a plethora of recipes that were equally flavorful and healthy until my mid-twenties. My passion for cooking traces back to middle school when I took a cooking class in 8th grade. I was lucky enough to have this as a part of my curriculum for electives. This was when I first discovered how easy it could be to cook yummy meals in the comfort of my own home. Fast forward to freshman year of college when I first became independent and I began to dabble in cooking once again, until my busy schedule and tiny budget took over and I reverted back to eating fast food every day. A few years later, I took a nutrition class to complete general education requirements and this is when I learned how unhealthy I really was. For our final project we had to track our diets and based off of our notes we had to research what vitamins we were absorbing from our intake. I learned that I was deficient in most of the essential nutrients we need as human beings which explained why my nails were so brittle and my hair took forever to grow. This was a real eye-opener for me and when I first began to take a multivitamin to supplement what I was lacking and began cooking at home more.
I'm in my late 20's now and have a beautiful kitchen and equipment that I love to cook with and am healthier than I've ever been before. I prefer eating and cooking at home because I hate how expensive restaurants are and how I feel after I eat out, but I don't deprive myself with anything extreme and indulge when I feel like it. There are a lot of small steps I take to be healthier because I believe all the little things add up on a day to day basis which I can break down in a later post.
My goal in this segment is to instill how easy it is to eat healthily (for the most part) with simple ingredients that are primarily organic at home. Since June has arrived, and we are in summer-mode, I wanted to feature a sweet and savory chili recipe that I made up myself, which would compliment the season and provide lots of protein and nutrients.
Chop sweet potatoes and carrots into bite size pieces
Heat pot slightly above the low setting and add one tablespoon of butter or olive oil
Add chopped carrots and sweet potatoes
Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of each spice over the veggies, stir, and then place the lid on top
*note : Honestly, in real life I don't measure my spices, I simply taste as I go along, so this is just an estimate. I will get better at this for my readers.
As the veggies cook on low chop the red onion, add to pot, stir, and add the lid
Chop 7 cloves of garlic and 3 jalapenos, add to pot, stir, and add lid once again
Chop tomatoes and add to pot
Add another 2 teaspoons of rosemary and thyme
And 1 teaspoon of salt, pepper, and cayenne
Stir to evenly mix all the ingredients and add the lid
Turn up heat a little (between low and medium) and wait for tomatoes to simmer and soften into more of a liquid
Add one package of lean ground turkey or beef into the simmering pot of vegetables
(Optional) If you are uncomfortable adding raw meat take a second pan and cook the meat halfway (for about 5 minutes) then add to the large pot
(Optional) If you are vegetarian, skip this step and continue to "step 6"
Open cans of organic corn and low sodium beans
Collectively add each into a single large strainer and proceed to drain in the sink (rinse lightly)
If you added the raw meat directly into the pot as I do, allow it to cook for a 5 minutes and add the drained canned corn and beans
Cook all the ingredients at medium heat for another 10 minutes or until the meat is not pink or red and looks fully cooked
(Optional) If you cooked the meat halfway in a separate pan cook the canned vegetables inside the pot for another 7 minutes
(Optional) If you are vegetarian and did not add meat, cook the canned vegetables inside the pot for another 7 minutes
Shred sharp cheddar cheese to desired amount
Serve one cup chili to a bowl and complete with cheese and avocado
*Tip: To melt cheese faster, without the microwave, add a second bowl on top of the served bowl and let sit for a few minutes
I am so excited to introduce this recipe to you all! I hope my directions are easy to follow. Since I make up most of my recipes myself I rarely measure time and ingredients so I will improve on this for more accuracy. If you have any questions regarding the steps or recipe let me know in the comments below! I would love to hear your feedback, especially if you tried the recipe yourself! Be sure to tag me in any photos or videos of your homemade Sweet and Savory Chili.