I am trying to eat a little more like my nutritionist wants me to. No, I’m not vegan. I don’t intend to ever be, either. I’m just trying to be a little, well, a lot better about eating. I wrinkle my nose when she mentions things to eat that include mushrooms, raw tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, avocado (unless the avocado is in a delicious dip!), fish and tofu.

I am game to giving things a try and I have indulged at least once in the foods mentioned above. I could eat pickled cucumbers because I like just about any normal vegetable pickled. Squash, ugh. I like the idea of eating squash, it is a pretty color. I will have to brave it and try it again, someday, maybe soon. Mushrooms, if I can’t see them because they are so small they can get past my taste buds. If they are kinda big I will pick them out. I know, don’t take me to a fancy restaurant and surprise me by ordering something with mushrooms in it or you’ll be embarrassed. No, really, I wouldn’t pick them out at the table, I would just politely say I would not like the dish that has them in it. I will pick them out at home, though.

Fish and tofu are not going to happen. Not now and not anytime while I’m still able to consciously choose the foods I eat. Yes, I’ve tried them both before. Yummy on the fish that is beer batter laden and deep fried, but not a healthy choice. So, no fish for me. Tofu, yuck! I think I still have taste bud nightmares from the one time I tried it years ago. Again, so not happening.

I gag on a raw tomato if even a small piece of one is on a sandwich. My favorite soup is tomato soup and I love salsa. I love to cook with tomatoes, and I use them often, just not eating them raw.

This weekend I decided to get a little braver in the non red meat area after my last visit with my nutritionist and she was trying to convince me to find protein in non red meat foods. I remembered I had tried some Lightlife Veggie Protein Crumbles and found them satisfactory. I decided to make some chili since it’s been getting a lot cooler up here in Northwestern Vermont.

I will share the recipe with you. Please keep in mind, I don’t measure things when it comes to seasonings. I just add and then let it simmer a bit, taste, add more of what it needs, and over and over till I get it just right, or what is just right to me, and it will be on the hot spicy side, of course!




  • 1 pkg Lightlife Smart Ground Original Veggie Protein Crumbles
  • 1 carton Pacific Organic Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup
  • 2 cans (15 oz or equivalent) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can ( 15.5 oz or equivalent) pinto beans, drained
  • 1 can (10 oz or equivalent) Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies
  • diced onions, to taste
  • cut up green and/or red peppers, to taste
  • cut up jalepenos, to taste
  • Chili powder, to taste
  • ground Cumin, to taste
  • Paprika, to taste
  • crushed Red Pepper flakes, to taste
  • Cayenne Pepper, to taste
  • 1 or 2 Bay leaves
  • Garlic, crushed or powder, to taste
  • Pepper and Salt, to taste
  • Oregano, to taste
  • Basil leaves, to taste
  • chopped Chives, to taste
  • any other seasoning that you like to add to your chili

Since the ‘meat’ is already fully cooked and crumbled everything can go in a stock pot to cook at once. I started it on low-medium to bring it to a very low boil and then turned it down very, very low and let it simmer for a few hours. Tasting it a couple of times and adding more of whatever spices it seemed to need over the course of it simmering.

Please enjoy! I am not a nutritionist and do not claim to know anything about nutrition in any kind of a professional sense. Always check with your primary care provider before doing any kind of meal as part of a diet plan.



Information provided is not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. If you submit a question or comment, we will assume you are interested in soliciting and receiving general information rather than professional advice. I am not responsible for any results that may or may not be associated with using or applying any information I supply. Accordingly, if you desire or require professional advice, please consult a qualified provider who is licensed in your state or country.