Sunday, March 3, 2013

Meatless Fridays

The hubby and I try all year long to not eat meat on Fridays.  Lately, it seemed like I was rotating the same things every three weeks or so for dinner - seafood soup, shrimp stir-fry, and baked fish.  Guess you could say I've been in a Friday night dinner "rut." When I have made chili in the past, I have used ground meat or ground turkey.  On Friday, I was at one of the local grocery stores and they had a great deal on bags of peppers (green, yellow, orange and red). As one who can't pass up a bargain, I scooped up a bagful thinking I would figure out how to use them later :)  Last Wednesday, I had a routine appointment with my cardiologist.  He was impressed with how well I was feeling and said basically, as long as I take my medications and continue the way I am, he doesn't want to see me for an entire year!!  What I have noticed is that if I have too much sodium in a day, even though I take a medication to reduce the sodium (Lasix), I have extra swelling in my hands and feet.  So many foods have extra sodium out there - take a look at the side of a can of clam chowder sometime :(  I'm going to be even more careful than I have been when I am cooking and baking. As much as I like my cardiologist, I would prefer to just see him once a year :)  What I've noticed is that more and more companies are making "low sodium" foods available.  The chili seasoning mix I used was 30% lower sodium.  I also drained and rinsed the two different kinds of beans. My husband likes to put elbow macaroni in the bowl first, then a few spoonfuls of the chili, a heaping teaspoon of cheddar cheese and then crushed saltine crackers.  I had never heard of eating chili that way before I met him.  Could it be a Cleveland thing?? I personally like just a little cheddar cheese on top of my chili :) I made this in my crockpot Friday night, because I didn't start putting this together until around the time Dominic was coming home from school.  He had a music therapy class at 6:15, so I wanted the chili to be ready by the time I got back home.  I am definitely making this again - it was so yummy, I didn't even miss the meat!!



Ingredients:

1 cup orange peppers, membranes and seeds removed, chopped
1 cup red peppers, membranes and seeds removed, chopped
1 cup onions, chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons margarine
2 cups water
1.25 ounce package Chili Seasoning Mix (any brand)
15.5 ounce can Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed (any brand)
15.5 ounce can Dark Red Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed (any brand)
14.5 ounce can Fire Roasted Tomatoes, diced, undrained (any brand)

In large stockpot, melt the 2 1/2 tablespoons of margarine, slowly and until the bottom of the stockpot is covered, add the peppers and onions and saute until just soft.  Set aside.  In a 2 1/2 quart slow cooker/crockpot, put the remaining ingredients in.  Add the peppers and stir with large spoon until well combined. Cook 2 hours on high or 4 hours on low.  Serves 4-6.

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