Happy Herbivore Blog

Fat-Free Raw Chili

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: Recipe

As soon as I posted a picture of this chili on twitter, requests started to pour in for the recipe. Not that I blame anyone, it's so good -- and innovative! I wish I could take credit for the idea, but I can't. This raw chili recipe is based off a recipe in Everyday Raw by Matthew Kenney.

The original recipe uses nuts, oil, sun-dried tomatos, water (a lot of water!), and some different spincing that what I've done here. I came across Kenney's recipe when I was doing raw week and as soon as I saw the recipe, I knew it was something I had to try. I admit I was skeptical about it at first. For starters, I'm not a fan of raw mushrooms and I couldn't possibly imagine eating "chili" cold or at room temperature, but wow. I was knocked down in shock at how rawesome this recipe is. 

Anyway, Kenney's recipe is 100% raw and this one isn't since I use ketchup and soy sauce (I listed soy sauce because it's cheaper and easier to come by than nama shoyu but feel free to use nama shoyu!). That of course begs the quesetion: why am I calling it raw chili then if it's not 100% raw? Because it's mostly raw and I've noticed a lot of raw recipes do use marginal amounts of non-raw ingredients.

If you want it to be truly 100% raw use this raw ketchup recipe (substituting agave for honey for a truly vegan version) and nama shoyu. You can also use a few dashes of cayenne instead of the hot sauce since raw hot sauce can be hard to come by (or simply omit it). You might also want to add a dab of agave or other sweetener if you're using an unsweetened ketchup, raw or not.

Lastly, since I don't have a dehydrator, I tend to eat this chili with baked corn chips (which sort of craps all over the whole raw thing, I know) but it's great by the spoonful, too. If you have a dehydrator, you can make Kenney's Golden Tortilla Chips from Everyday Raw or my friend Diana's recipes for Guackers or Pulp Crackers (both raw). 

I'm really excited about sharing this recipe -- I can't wait to hear your thoughts!

Recipe:Raw Chili


This recipe is based off an original recipe in Everyday Ray by the talented Matthew Kenney. Kenney's recipe uses nuts, oil and several other ingredients/spices that I've omitted, substituted out or altered in order to make a fat-free raw chili more akin to my taste preferences. For a truly 100% raw version, use a raw version of ketchup and nama shoyu for the soy sauce. 

Chef's Note: As the chili sits, the mushrooms start to release their juices and the chili may get a little watery. Simply drain off the liquid if this occurs, but note that this chili is best served and eaten immediately. 



Remove bottom stems from portobellos and disgard. Break mushrooms in half, or quarters and place into your food processor. Pulse roughly 25 times or until the mushrooms look like ground up meat bits. Transfer mushroom bits to a large mixing bowl. Cut carrots in half or quarters and place in food processor. Pulse about 15 times, or until chunky. I like my carrot pieces slightly larger than my mushroom bits. Transfer to mixing bowl. Cut celery into thirds and place in food processor. Allow motor to run until celery is completely minced. Transfer to mixing bowl. Cut away top and seedy center of red bell pepper, then chop into four equal parts. Place in food processor and allow motor to run until completely minced. Transfer to mixing bowl. In a small food processor or blender, combine remaining ingredients with 2 tbsp of water and allow the motor to run until it's well combined and the garlic clove is pureed (you might want to start with 1-2 tbsp soy sauce and add more to taste). Add puree to mixing bowl and stir to combine. Taste, adding more soy sauce and/or hot sauce to taste. Serve immediately. 

Per serving: 94 calories, 1.1g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 19.5g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 4.1g protein

Healthy School Lunches for Kids

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Have you heard about the Healthy School Lunch Initiave? It's fantastic. The Physcian's Commitee for Responsible Medicine has created a petition to help push Congress into giving kids healthier school lunches -- and vegetarian options. Even if you or your child is not a vegetarian (or vegan) but you're tired of the deep-fried, overly processed and unhealthy muck schools are serving these days, sign the petition!

Tell Congress that students deserve healthy foods—more vegetables, fruits, vegetarian foods, and healthful nondairy beverages. (Both parents and students can sign the petition!) You can also "fan" the iniative on Facebook.

I have been a huge supporter since I first learned about this revolution and was thrilled when PCRM asked me to devise a few healthy vegan lunch box lunch menus! Kid-tested and parent-approved, your kids will love these healthy vegan lunches!

Menu #1

- Crispy Chickenless Nuggets (+ dipping sauce)
- Kale Chips
- Grapes
- Pumpkin-Oatmeal Raisin Cookie
- Water or 100% Juice Box

Menu #2

- Mock Tuna Salad Sandwich
- Apple
- Carrot Sticks
- Black Bean Brownie
- Water or 100% Juice Box

Menu #3

- Baked Mini Corn Dogs (+ dipping sauce)
- Jicama Slices
- Kale Chips
- Pumpkin-Oatmeal Raisin Cookie
- Water or 100% Juice Box

Menu #4

- Chickpea Noodle Soup (in thermos)
- Orange
- Celery Sticks
- Carrot Cake Cupcake
- Water or 100% Juice Box

Menu #5

- Hummus (with mixed vegetables for dipping)
- Apple
- Orange
- Chocolate-Zucchini Muffin
- Water or 100% Juice Box

PCRM is also hosting a contest, "What's on your tray?" To enter, post a photo of the worst school lunch (or the best vegetarian school lunch) on PCRM's Facebook page and explain why it's so great or terrible. Contest is open to parents, teachers and students.  The winning photo will be posted on HealthySchoolLunches.org and the winner will receive a free "Plant Power" lunchbag!

What are some of YOUR favorite, healthy lunch items? Please share!

Closing Thoughts on Low Fat Raw

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

A huge part of my motivation for doing raw week was curiosity. Despite my struggles this week, I feel it was still a successful experiment because I learned quite a bit and have answers to all my lingering questions...

* Is a low fat raw vegan diet possible? Yes, absolutely. I'm not the first to try it. There are plenty of low fat raw foodies out there (such as Steve PavlinaFrederic Patenaude and this guy). There's also a book called the 80/10/10 diet.

* Is it expensive? I spent a comprable amount of money but came home with double the bags. This is not surprisingly, leafy greens and produce take up a lot more space than a can of beans. Had I bought raw nuts, raw seeds and some of the more specialty items, though, I would have easily overspent our typical budget.

* Does it live up to the hype? I expected my digestive system to hum along smoothly this week and it didn't. I felt burpy and gassy -- and I never feel that way normally. On the upside, green juice gave me a huge boost when I drank it!

* Was it "easier"? The foods were definitely easier to make and fairly "instant" to prepare, which I liked. What I didn't like is all that I had more dirty dishes than normal and I was constantly dirtying up things I loathed cleaning like my Vita-Mix and food processor.

* Is it practical? For me, no. But maybe for someone else. I've never been a calorie counter, so I found it annoying to have to monitor myself every day. I'm also not a planner. I buy the same staples at the store every week and make meals on the fly. It cramped my style to have to plan a week's worth of menus and also plan for meals days or hours in advanced (stuff needs to soak for hours, or dehydrate for days, etc).

* Is it greener? I think it depends on where you live. This week I had to buy produce that came not only from different states, but different climates. I live in cold New York, we just don't have much growing locally this time year. To have only bought what was local would have left me with only a few foods to eat! (If I was still in LA, where there is an abundance of produce in season year round, well, that would have made all the difference!)

* Is this for me? An obvious no. But, I knew this going in. I love cooked food and I've always been a carbohydrate addict. I do love salads, smoothies and fresh juices, and they will always be a part of my diet, but not my whole diet.

* Would I recommend this diet/lifestyle? Absolutely. If you're interested or curious, I highly recommend you give it a try. Just because it isn't right for me, doesn't mean it's not right for you. Two friends of mine, Gena and Mike, are both raw. They're thriving and they love it. Even in my little raw week circle there have been great successes. While I've had my struggles, others have been very successful and are really enjoying the high raw regimen.

* Where will I go from here? I'm still really excited about low fat/fat-free raw food; I want to continue explore it and try my hand at more recipes -- just at a sporadic and more gradual level. Maybe this summer, when it's way too hot to cook, I'll get a chance to do more un-cooking!

I'm also looking forward to sharing recipes for raw chili, raw ice cream and raw pasta bologna with you next week!