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Vegetarian Black Bean Chili and Baked Stuffed Apples for Meatless Monday!

OH the cold weather! The time of year when the heat gets turned on for the first time in a long time and an extra blanket gets thrown on the bed. Well at least that’s what I did. Clearly…I’m not coping so well to this weather change! BUT…spicy chili is the perfect cold weather fix. Hearty, filling and full of vegetables, chili is the perfect meal. Loaded with fiber, protein, cell protecting lycopene from tomatoes, you just can’t go wrong with a great big pot of vegetarian chili! Below is one of my favorite recipes, PLUS another delicious apple treat (since I’m sure I’m not the only one with bags of apples on hand!). The best part about stuffed apples, is that they taste like apple pie minus all the calories and the overload of carbs! Seconds anyone??

Vegetarian Black Bean Chili

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 to 3 carrots, chopped

2 to 3 stalks celery, chopped

1 tablespoon cumin

2 to 3 tablespoons chili powder

2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 (28 ounce) can organic crushed tomatoes

1 (14 ounce) can organic black beans, drained and rinsed

1 (14 ounce) can organic red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups vegetable broth

sea salt and pepper, to taste

avocado and cilantro, to garnish

Directions:

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed soup pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Saute onions, carrots, and celery until soft, about 5 minutes. Add cumin, chili powder, red pepper flakes and garlic, saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Deglaze the pot with tomatoes. Cook 1 minute, then stir in beans. Bring to a boil, then stir in broth. Cover and cook over medium, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste and serve topped with fresh avocado and cilantro.

Baked Stuffed Apples

Ingredients:

2 medium ripe apples
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1/3 cup golden raisins
3-4 dried apricots, chopped
2 tablespoons organic maple syrup (I love Northern Harmony, grade B)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter
*Foil

Directions:

Cut apples in half and core out the center (or keep apples whole and core out center, your preference). In a bowl, combine the walnuts, raisins, apricots, syrup and cinnamon. Spoon into apples. Drizzle lemon juice over apples and dot with butter. Feel free to add additional cinnamon. Cover with foil.

Bake in a 350 preheated oven for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking another 10-15 minutes uncovered, until just golden.

Happy Monday!

Enjoy this Fabulous day!

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