Vegan Chili Tacos with Purple Cabbage Salad

Earlier this week I told you that I would be posting recipes in a new series called ‘Colour Your Plate’. This is the second recipe and it is perfect for the upcoming weekend! Cheapest colour you can buy in the veggie aisle. An entire purple cabbage, which cost me $2 and I made this salad earlier in the week, used it as a topping on green salad,  a side on a curry dish and now as a topper on vegan chili tacos.

If you are a wife/partner of a football lovin’ man, then you’ve probably made a few batches of chili in your day. Any other woman out there feel like you become a widow once football season starts? This weekend is American Thanksgiving – which means there will be tons of football on television. To add to it the Grey Cup is also happening this weekend (for my American readers that is like our Super Bowl). This means I will be spending the weekend by myself….with the occasional request by my husband to make “football food”. You might think that I would be able to cling the small parasite that I created for family time, but alas, no. My husband has converted our little 2 yrs old to the dark side of football. I knew it was over when my son started asking to wear his football jersey on non-football days while cheering “Go Bears, Go!”…sigh…

My go-to football food has always been chili. When we did the elimination diet we discovered that tomatoes have a negative effect on us. For my husband, he gets achy joints, for me, I get really bad acid reflux. So, chili was off the table for a while. However, I have revamped it and this vegan, gluten-free, tomato free version is just as delicious! Have your chili in a bowl or throw it in some gluten-free tacos topped with avocado, cabbage salad and some cilantro. Hot sauce is optional ;) Perfect for game day and your man will never know that it is extra healthy for him!

This week I was introduced by Vega to an upcoming online series called Thrive Forward. This is a free video series to be released in January and will be providing you and me with information on how to eat more clean and incorporate more plant based eating into our every day lives. To pre-register for the event, click here and you will get a free eBook. Thursdays, Vega will pose a Thrive Forward question and this week it was “How do you get your Omega 3’s?” My response was that I eat my chia seed (which I use in a lot of my vegan baking). Here, I’ve thrown them in the chili to add even more nutrients! Hope you all enjoy game day. All game day widows are welcome to my house for sweet potato brownies (recipe to come) and wine…ahem…I mean tea, of course…



Purple Cabbage Salad


  • 1 whole purple cabbage
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper


1. Remove one or two leaves from the cabbage and discard. Cut out core and slice the cabbage into thin strips.

2. Place all ingredients into a bowl and massage with your hands really well together. Place in glass jar, cover and put in fridge until ready to use.

Vegan Tomato-less Chili
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 head of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • ¼ cup no salt added chili powder
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ cup water (or more if necessary)
  • 3 medium sized carrots, diced
  • 2 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 can no salt added black beans, rinsed
  • 1 can no salt added chickpeas, rinsed
  • ¼ cup quinoa
  • 1 head of broccoli, small chunks
  • 1 leaves of Swiss chard, diced
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  1. In a large pot, heat oil. Add onions, garlic and maple syrup. Cook until caramelized.
  2. Add spices and let heat for about 30 seconds for the aromas to awaken. Add water and stir.
  3. Add carrots, beans, quinoa and simmer for 5 mins. Stir in broccoli. If necessary, add more water to help everything cook.
  4. Once broccoli begins to get tender, add Swiss chard and chia seeds. Let simmer for a few more minutes.
  5. Serve in some gluten-free taco shells topped with avocado, cilantro, hot sauce (optional) and the purple cabbage salad.


Warm me up! Chickpea Spiced Stew

Anyone else grow up in a house hold where every night was meat, potatoes/rice and a veggie (most likely broccoli or green beans regardless of the season)? I think back to when I was growing up and what I ate (most of which I am allergic to now) and although my parents had the best intentions with what they were serving us, it was the same thing every week. I grew up in a big family – well, what would be considered big now a days in our average 1.1 children per Canadian household. Never thought it was a big family while I was growing up. My Mom actually made a dinner schedule (that I can still remember to this day) which was there to save time and money (total assumption based on the fact that I now cook for more than myself). Dinners were home cooked but I hate to break it to you Mom  – it was BOR-ING! That’s a lie, I have no problem telling my Mom that her food was boring :)

When we decided to do meat-less dinners (and by we I mean ME, obviously – I’m still trying to convince my husband on this one) twice a week it saved us about $20/week on the grocery bill. That’s a big savings in a year people! There may be some of you who haven’t even thought of cutting meat out of your meals. The main reason I started doing it wasn’t because it was better for the environment or because I have a problem with killing animals or that is was better for our health. Although those are all very good reasons – this was totally selfish. The price of meat was going up so much that it was no longer sustainable for us to eat it every night. You vegetarians out there can stop rolling your eyes! I am on your side ;) It was kind of a big deal for us at the time because we both grew up on meat at every meal. Habit, really. However, now that we have done it for a while, it has really opened up the variety of food we eat (and saved money, which y’all know I always love).

This week was my birthday. YAY! I love making it through another year and getting older, all while feeling healthy! My husband on the other hand decided to go out and get pneumonia…thanks babe ;) So, we kept it low-key and went to Whole Foods to buy a delicious chocolate cake and then off to Rangoli to take home the most amazing Indian food.  It was SO good! It inspired me to pull this recipe out which I haven’t made since last fall/winter. What I love about this stew is that is gives us a meat-less option, I can make it and have it on the table in pretty much 30 minutes AND the warmth of the spices are completely comforting! I’m always looking for ways to add the dark leafy greens to our meals. This one, I chose rainbow Swiss chard, which looks beautiful and provides us with vitamin C, our friend fiber and of course iron, just to name a few. Can you believe I had never tried Swiss chard until I was an adult?!?! I was missing out. I have created a few good recipes with it that I will definitely share with you, so please consider adding it to your repertoire of green veggies. Also, stay tuned for more money-saving ideas in the weeks to come!

Chickpeas Spiced Stew
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice (I like jasmine brown rice)
  • 1½ cup of dried chickpeas, soaked overnight OR 2 cans of chickpeas rinsed well
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 3 carrots, cut in small cubes
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ tsp maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 3 cups of cold water
  • 3 cups of a dark leafy greens, chopped (I used rainbow Swiss chard)
  1. Get your brown rice cooking. I like to cook mine with a bit of grape seed oil in it.
  2. In a stock pot, on medium heat add extra virgin olive oil, saute onions, garlic and carrots until they begin to soften. About 5 mins.
  3. Add curry powder, nutmeg, cinnamon stick and let the flavours heat up for about  1 mins.
  4. Stir in tomato paste, maple syrup, salt and pepper.
  5. Add 3 cups of cold water. Bring to boil, then reduce for about 20 mins.
  6. Near end of simmering, add the dark leafy green.
  7. Serve hot over brown rice.

How do you save money on your grocery bill while maintaining a healthy lifestyle? Share your tips by leaving a comment below.