Veggie Chili Con Carne

OK, now that my health post is out of the way, I can tell you about this chili! Fall is finally here and the crisp air makes me want to sit down to a bowl of something warm that sticks to my ribs. Nothing fits the bill better than chili. 

Now there is meat in here, but anyone who is from Texas probably won’t count this as chili. I not only added beans, but veggies too. Since chili is generally a no-fuss, one-bowl meal, I wanted to make sure I was getting some other than a protein and fiber. Adding zucchini, bell pepper, onion and corn not only lighten up the meal and give your some more vitamins and minerals, they really make each bite more succulent and delicious.

Adding a tiny bit of unsweetened cocoa powder really balances out the spice and helps all the flavors meld together!
What you are getting:
Beef – Besides the obvious protein, I opt for beef instead of turkey, because red meat is the best source of iron. The iron helps your body transport oxygen, which is critical for your nervous system and cell functional throughout your entire body. Iron deficiency can leave you feeling tired, looking pale and bruising easily. And after all the blood tests I did, my iron levels were borderline anemic.
Beans – Also a great source of protein, but they are also packed with fiber that helps you stay full longer, regular your blood sugar and absorb more nutrients from your food since your body takes longer to digest it! (Nutrition Data)
Onion – While uncooked onions help kill bacteria, cooked onions still have a good amount of vitamin C and B6. (Nutrition Data)
ZucchiniLow in calories, these veggies are a good source of Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6 and a very good source of fiber, Vitamin A, C and K as well as Folate, Megnesium and Potassium. (Nutrition Data)
Bell pepper – They are also a good source of fiber, Thiamin, Folate, Potassium and Copper, and a very good source of Vitamin A, C (1 cup =385% DV; take that oranges!), E and B6 as well as Manganese. (Nutrition Data)
So eat up! And stay warm and healthy!


Why I've Been Gone: Hospital Stay

Above is the sad, sad food I was given to eat while at the hospital.
How can anyone recover eating this? Ketchup covered noodles with a side of two desserts??!

Hospital Stay

So, while I would really like to talk about this delicious chili recipe I am about to post, I feel like I owe anyone who might follow this blog an explanation for my extended break from blogging. About a month and a half ago, I came down with what I thought was the world's worst migraine. Light hurt, sound hurt, smells hurt. Moving in any way hurt.
After laying in the dark and taking extra-strength migraine medicine did nothing, I started to worry. My head, neck and back were only getting worse. Inescapably pain with no end in sight. So I did the only thing a reasonable person would do: I consulted the trusty Internet to find out how to proceed. And low and behold, I had almost all the symptoms for meningitis – minus the fever. When my temperature suddenly skyrocketed to about 103 F, I realized I needed immediate medical attention and went to the hospital.
One spinal tap later, my suspicious were confirmed. I was hooked up to IVs day in and day out for about a week and spent another threeish weeks at home recovering.
I am now back at work and, for the most part, I am living life as I did before, but I was lucky in that I got medical assistance early on. Now for my public-service announcement: GET TO THE HOSPITAL IMMEDIATELY if you have the symptoms listed here. It is a medical emergency.
If my time in the hospital did anything, it was reaffirm my belief that without our health we have nothing. I am more interested in quality of life than quantity. Sure, we now have pills and special operations and treatments that can stretch lifeout, but what good is it if we can barely move and feel terrible.
And one of the best preventative medicines we have is a healthy, balanced diet. I have missed cooking and blogging and am excited to be back again, sharing recipes!