Vegetarian Chili3-4 chopped organic zucchini 1 large diced yellow onion 2 diced peppers (your color of choice) 5 cloves minced garlic 1 can organic tomato sauce 2 cans chopped Italian stewed tomatoes (unfortunately, I can only find Italian stewed or chopped, stewed; I had my daughter dump them in and soon realized I forgot to chop them, so hubs quickly rescued the dish with a pair of kitchen scissors right in the pot) 1 can rinsed black beans 1 can rinsed pinto beans (you can use whatever beans you like or already have) 1/4 c chopped cilantro 1/4 c chopped parsley Fresh herbs are best but, dried work too. Heat oil in large stock pot. Sauté zucchini, onions and peppers. Add garlic and sauté 3 more minutes, then throw in the rest of the ingredients. Decrease to simmer, cover and cook for approx. 30 minutes. Provide toppings of sliced avocado, Mexican-style shredded cheese and sour cream!! This is why the kids eat it!!! My 13 year old son refuses most meats with the exception of fried chicken fingers and cheese burgers. Despite my training in nutrition counseling, we made a big deal out of his issue with healthy meat and quickly learned that the result was an undesirable obsession with junk food on top of an aversion to any food that even sounded healthy. I’ll never forget the day he stood in the pantry and yelled, “I mean, really?! WHOLE GRAIN Goldfish?!” I laugh and cry simultaneously as I write this… Prescription from a professional: eating vegetarian meals even twice a week will be beneficial to your health. If boycotting the beast isn’t a win with your family, add beans as a side! If you want to lose weight, eat the beans on your plate first. Eat slowly and you may find that you can’t possible go back for a second helping. Beans and lentils are loaded with fiber which makes you feel full faster and longer. They are a great source of plant protein. They contain loads of folate (important for healthy pregnancy), potassium (controls blood pressure and is necessary for muscle contraction) and magnesium (assists with the production of energy, body protein and muscle contractions). *something you may not know: one way to get your kids to eat healthier meals is to allow them to make decisions about what you cook for dinner. Give them two or three healthy choices and let them pick the evenings fare. Allowing them to help in the kitchen also promotes acceptance of healthy foods. Assist your kids with safely chopping soft foods with a butter knife, let them pour in the water, broth or crack the eggs. Its messier, takes longer and you may have to pick a few shells from the mix, but the payoff will be worth it! If you feel overwhelmed by all the nutrition advice, calorie recommendations and diet trends, read these: Fact. Not Fad., Let’s Crunch Numbers!, Help Me To Help You!