Vegetarian Chili

Vegetarian Chili
Recipe Type: vegetarian main dish
Cuisine: comfort food
Author: Debbie Amster
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
an excellent veg chili that can be modified to suit your tastes.
  • 4 large onions chopped
  • 1 large red, orange or yellow pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 can (1 lb.) tomatoes undrained
  • 5 cups cooked kidney beans plus 11/2 cups cooking liquid or water or 3 cans (1lb.) kidney beans undrained and 1 cup water
  • 1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
  • Sea salt
  1. In a large pot cook onions and pepper in oil over medium heat stirring occasionally until onions are golden and pepper is soft.
  2. Add mustard seeds and cook stirring for 1 minute.
  3. Add chili powder, cumin seeds, cocoa, cinnamon, tomatoes (break up with a spoon) and beans and their liquid, water and tomato paste.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer rapidly, uncovered for 40 minutes or until most of the liquid has cooked away and chili is thickened.
  5. Stir frequently to prevent scorching.
  6. Season with salt to taste.
  7. You can easily double the recipe.
  8. Relish toppings: Arrange in containers pink onions (recipe below) canned jalapeno peppers, grated cheddar cheese, chopped green onions, tomatoes and cucumber, Greek yogurt, lime wedges.
  9. Pink Onions
  10. In a 1 quart pan over high heat, bring 2 cups water and 11/2 Tablespoons vinegar to a boil.
  11. Add 1 large red onion, thinly sliced, and push down into liquid.
  12. Return to a boil and cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain onion and let cool.
  13. In a bowl stir together onion, 11/2 teaspoons vinegar, 1 Tablespoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon mustard seeds, ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds and salt to taste.
  14. Serve at room temperature or cover and chill until ready to serve.


Diet And Breast Cancer Risk

DietBreastCancerStudies in the past have showed conflicting results as to the effect of diet on the development of breast cancer.  In one of the largest studies reported, over 90,000 pre-menopausal nurses were followed for almost a decade.  It was found that the self-reported consumption of red meat and high-fat dairy foods was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.  The authors concluded that animal fat intake was associated with a higher risk of breast cancer; and that by choosing a diet low in red meat and dairy fat,  young women would not only be lowering their risk of future heart disease but that they might also lower their risk of breast cancer.  To learn more about the role of food in causing and preventing cancer,  listen to the podcast between our nutritionist Rick Weissinger and myself on the subject.

Does Vitamin D Live Up To Its Promise?

vitaminDIn recent years Vitamin D, the “sunshine” vitamin, has gone from being important to bone health to a wonder vitamin, said to be capable of stopping all sorts of ailments from cancer to heart disease.  As a result a 600 million dollar industry has Americans snatching up vitamin D pills – and some doctors routinely prescribing huge doses – but does it all have any scientific merit??  A recent study in the “Lancet journal of Diabetes and Endocrinology” combined the data of  over 30 previous studies and concluded that there was no good evidence that vitamin D supplements actually prevent cancer, stroke, or heart disease.  Furthermore, the core belief that vitamin D supplements actually prevent fractures was even called into question.  So once again it’s looking like “lifestyle” changes such as staying active, eating lots of vegetables, and exercising remain the most important things one can do to promote health.  Want more of that “sunshine” vitamin?  You’d be better off getting outside and walking than just popping a pill.

Our Multidisciplinary WEIGHT LOSS Program

HelpLoseWeightOlney Integrative Weight Loss Solutions Has Launched!

Our participants are steadily losing weight eating regular foods, without supplements or gimmicks, learning how to eat healthy, and having fun in the process.

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  Program Participants

Author Nutritionist Rick Weissinger RD, MS, CPT

Psychotherapist Andrea Lopes LCSW-C

 Yoga Instructor & Personal Trainer Kathi Doan

Washingtonian Top Doctor Edward Taubman, M.D.

This Ten Week Program Meets Weekly From 7:00 to 8:30PM At The Olney Counseling Center at 3430 North High Street

Topics Covered Include

Re-Engineering Your Food Intake – What Should We Be Eating?

Emotional Eating – Identify Your Triggers And Develop Strategies To Manage Them

Get Moving And Relax – Yoga Techniques to Help You Win The Battle

Learn To Cook And Eat Healthy With Cooking Demos And Trips To The Grocery Store

At The Olney Counseling Center 3430 N High Street, Olney MD

  Participation Is Limited To approx 25 people.  Register To Attend Our Next Open House by visiting our new website:

Are Saturated Fats Really Bad For Our HEART?

cheesburgerRecently, articles in the American Annals of Internal Medicine and the British Medical Journal have reviewed the literature and questioned the true role of “saturated fats” in causing heart disease. This of course made a big splash in the media and queries from our patients. We asked our nutritionist Rick Weissinger for his comments below:

“In these articles, investigators looked at a large number of studies that examined the intake of different fats on the risk for the nation’s #1 killer – heart disease. They thoroughly combed the available studies, including only those of high quality. Based on the health effects of saturated fat on blood cholesterol, the benefits of omega-3’s, and a well-established body of evidence linking unsaturated fats (particularly olive oil) to heart health, the results would have been expected to have concluded: saturated fat BAD; unsaturated fat GOOD.

They didn’t.

The first question is, Why? The Second question: Is it safe to go back to eating cheeseburgers and ice cream again?

There are a number of possible reasons for these results. One is that heart disease has multiple causes, and diet is only one. In addition to the ‘traditional’ risk factors (smoking, family history, high cholesterol), there are about a dozen others, including new emerging risk factors, such as those captured by the VAP blood test done in Dr Taubman’s office. Many of these risk factors are influenced by how much excess weight you’re carrying, how active you are, how stressed you are…and something else not usually considered: the intrauterine environment in which you developed as a fetus.

Forget about all these others for a minute, and let’s focus on aspects of your diet not related to your fat intake. Americans don’t eat anywhere close to the amount of fruit, vegetable, and whole grains recommended by experts. Without these, we don’t get the antioxidants we need to fight atherosclerosis; we don’t get the magnesium we need to prevent our coronary arteries from going into spasm; we don’t get the fiber or chromium we need to keep insulin working normally. And because we don’t eat legumes, we miss out on an important strategy for lowering blood cholesterol which is unequivocally linked to heart disease.

The opinion of this Nutritionist is: we need to look at overall, lifelong dietary patterns if we want to judge whether diet makes a difference in heart disease or not. Studies, which have involved tens of thousands of people from all over the world, have revealed a lower coronary risk in people who eat Mediterranean and traditional (e.g., Asian) diets, and – not surprisingly – a higher risk in people eating a Western diet. Think about that the next time you’re deciding between oatmeal with fruit and a cheese omelet or cheeseburger.”