(Slow Cooker) Vegetarian Chili

When I’m trying to plan my meals for a busy week, I like to prepare a dish that is a complete meal — no need for a side dish means I can grab my food, eat it, and go!

Chili is a classic meal-in-a-bowl because it’s full of vegetables, protein, and — most importantly — flavour. If you can make the time to put everything together, the quick leftovers are totally worth it.

I personally prefer vegetarian chili because I find I’m more creative when it comes to protein source selection; there’s no meat to rely on, so I think about it more and end up with a more balanced, less fatty meal. Generally, I try to aim for 4 to 5 types of beans, plus texturized vegetable protein (TVP), which has a consistency similar to ground beef and works perfectly in vegetarian chili, meatloaf (lentil loaf, anyone?), etc. Even if you are a meat eater, you should consider adding TVP to your diet. A little extra variety never hurt anyone!

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(Slow Cooker) Winter Squash and Kale Soup

If you don’t love a good hearty bowl of soup in the winter… then I am at a loss for words. Soup is hands down my favourite meal when it’s cold outside, and this one is no exception — especially when you come home from a long day at work and the soup is sitting there, a smile on its face, its odour wafting through your home to welcome you back. But you can make this soup with or without a slow cooker! Hearty and chock-full of healthy veggies, I’ll be damned if you don’t go for seconds.

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Slow Cooker Southern Style Chicken with Okra, Black Beans, and Rice

My aunt gave me some birthday money back in September that I couldn’t decide what to do with. I knew I wanted something for my teeny tiny student kitchen, but I didn’t quite know what my new toy would be. As my schedule got busier and busier, with a part-time job consuming most of the “free” time I had when school was over and done with, I realized that a slow cooker may be a great fit for my increasingly hectic life. So, in December, I got my hands on my very own crock pot and got busy right away with a yummy recipe from scratch! I hope you like it as much as I did! I think I’ll be making a vegetarian chili next…

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