I told you that I had a pepper to use today! I’m in a spicy mood!
How is it possible that the weekend is almost over already? It just started! It has been a rainy and gloomy weekend, which has discouraged me from sticking my nose out the door very much. It’s more fun to just hang out in my kitchen where umbrellas aren’t usually necessary.
Today, I tried to sleep late, but was not successful. I did enjoy some quality time in my warm bed with my current book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Hunger finally roused me from my comfy spot, and I had one of my Very Strawberry Almond Butter Snack Bars, some yogurt with Fiber One and a cup of cherry and blueberry tea mixed with So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk. I saw the coconut milk yesterday, and decided to give it a try after hearing it mentioned around here in blogland. I liked it! It was definitely creamier than my usual almond milk, and it made for a nice tea latte. At only 50 calories and 5 grams of fat per serving, I think I’ll be enjoying it in my tea in the days to come.
After breakfast, I decided to get busy preparing lunch. Think about food much, Sweetie Pie? NO! Not at all! I was reading Mara’s blog the other day, and she mentioned some chili made with bulgur. I love bulgur, and I love chili. The concept had been bouncing around in my head all week, and I decided to see what I had in the fridge/pantry and come up with my own version. Chili is such a perfect big batch food for me to take in my lunches! This recipe is super easy, and super good. Here’s my recipe:
“Big Batch” Bulgur Chili
1 tsp. olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed or thinly sliced
2 red bell peppers, chopped (other colors would be fine, but I love the sweet reds)
1 medium sized jalapeno, seeds removed and finely chopped
2 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp. salt
28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
Water to fill the 28 ounce tomato can
1 10 ounce can of Ro-tel
1 15 ounce can of fat free refried beans (I used Trader Joe’s fat free refried black beans with jalapeno)
1 15 ounce can of dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup of canned pumpkin
1 cup of uncooked bulgur (I used the Hodgson Mill bulgur with soy for an extra punch of protein)
Heat oil in a large pot. Add the onion, carrot and garlic and saute for 7 minutes. Add the bell pepper and jalapeno and saute for 5 more minutes. Stir in the chili powder, cumin and salt. Add the can of crushed tomatoes, and then fill the can with water. Add the water and the remaining ingredients to the pot. Stir well. Make sure that your refried beans get broken up. I only mention it because mine were trying their best to maintain the can shape. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
This makes 8 unofficial 3 point servings.
I had a bowl for lunch, and was so struck by the creamy and hearty texture. You can’t taste the pumpkin, of course, but it definitely contributes to the thick and rib sticking consistency of the chili. I didn’t miss my usual ground beef at all. My lunch bag is going to be a happy place this week!
I love plain bulgur, which would work fine in this recipe, but I’m such a fan of Hodgson Mill’s Bulgur Wheat with Soy. It has a slightly chewy texture that I really like, and it’s a good way to get a bit of a protein punch. Each 1/4 cup of the dry stuff packs 10 grams!
I love it for breakfast with honey and almonds or with stir fried veggies. I’m such a fan!
Later in the afternoon, I decided to try one of the Oikos yogurts I picked up yesterday using a coupon provided by Kristina at Stonyfield Farm. I usually just buy plain Greek yogurt, and add my own sweetener, but I couldn’t resist trying the little cup of Oikos with honey.
It had that thick and creamy texture that I love with the added bonus of sweet honey. There was a lot of honey, but, as you know, I’m not one to complain about sweet things!
Of course, I like Greek yogurt because it’s yummy, but also because it’s such a good source of protein. I’ve really been trying to focus on getting more protein into my diet, since I’m a regular at strength training, and so I’ve been paying more attention to the amount of protein in certain foods. This little cup packed 13 grams of protein along with 120 calories and 0 grams of fat! I will also add that it is 2 points according to the Weight Watchers calculator. It was good to the last drop!
I usually buy plain Greek yogurt and add my own sweetener, but I think that the convenience factor of this little cup might cause a few of these to land in my cart each week. I believe in being prepared, and that often means having things that I can grab in a hurry. I’m hoping to find the blueberry flavor at my local store the next time I go. They didn’t have any yesterday, but I’m on the hunt! If I find one, I’ll be sure to tell you all about it!
For now, here’s a link to the page describing the Oikos line, and here is a link to get printable coupons for Stonyfield Farm products. I’ve enjoyed the YoKids yogurts for quite some time now. They aren’t made with fake sweetener, and they come in fun flavors like Banilla. Thanks, Kristina, for the chance to try a different Greek yogurt than my usual!
I’ve got a loaf of bread baking in the oven that I will tell you all about tomorrow. It smells so good. I’ll never be able to wait for it to cool! Luckily, I have class with my trainer so I’ll probably take it out of the oven and then run off for some cardio and strength training. I know it is best to do cardio after the strength training, but man is it tough to run when your legs feel like jelly. Still, I look forward to these little torture sessions!
I’m going to put away the laundry and inhale the baking bread smell. Have a great evening and a fabulous week!!!