The Autumn/Fall calls for warmer foods – something a bit more satisfying and comforting than perhaps a salad. Cue – bariatric-friendly Chili.
I am hard pushed to think of a recipe dish that suits meat-eating, vegetarian and vegan bariatric patients alike. Plus it’s seasonal, economical, packed with great nutrition, bariatric-friendly and easy to make.
Using Bariatric-Friendly Ingredients
Beans, vegetables and chili seasonings are at their core but at this time of year you can also add autumnal specialities – like squash, mushrooms, carrots and other root vegetables to enjoy and celebrate the abundant late harvest. Bariatric eating should never be boring – if you follow the seasons then you gather the virtues of variety – nature ensures this.
I love to use squash this way. Pumpkin and squash bring warmth and much needed vitamins to a chili. Like all the other orange-hued vegetables they are rich in Vitamin A (which along with other qualities and benefits helps with protein metabolism). I tend to use them raw (but sometimes canned for convenience, and a can of puréed pumpkin would give a silky smooth sauce to this chili) not least because they are cheap at this time of year – and what else do you do with all those Halloween pumpkins and squash after using them to decorate the porch? Although you will see many ways in the next few weeks on my Instagram feed.
The vegetables may well be the colourful additions to a chili but the beans are undoubtedly the winning ingredient for nutrition and nourishment. They offer complex, slow-energy releasing carbs but also great digestive fibre for gut health. Few other foods offer the same rich nutrients along with a high protein profile – using them in many dishes is a no-brainer for me. Get some recipe ideas and more low-down on the health benefits of beans.
Sometimes I used dried beans (when I remember or have the time to soak them) but more often than not will use canned – sometimes a single variety and sometimes a mixed one. This time around I used one that was labelled as being ideal for a bean salad, with pinto, black-eye, haricot, lima, borlotti, great northern, flageolet and cannellini beans plus chick peas in the mix.
Vegan Or Vegetarian – We Have Your Back
The recipe is ideal for vegans and vegetarians and the latter may wish to add some yogurt, grated cheese, crumbled feta or tofu if wished. Vegans can boost the protein with adding some additional cooked lentils, cooked quinoa, tofu or tempeh. This is a versatile as well as bariatric-friendly recipe and not restrictive nor hard and fast with ingredients – use what you have to hand, you like, matches your requirements, or works with your food and pouch tolerability.
Boost It with Bariatric-Friendly Optional Extras
For a non-vegetarian option consider adding small meatballs – I like to remove the skins from good-quality and high protein sausages, divide into small pieces and roll to make small bites of meat. Consider, too, chicken or turkey (specially purchased or leftovers). For a good slow-cooker beef-based recipe see Chilly Weather Chili.
In terms of accompaniments then a spoonful of yogurt (try coconut it works well), soured cream, grated cheese, crumbled feta, sliced avocado, snipped spring onions/scallions and tomato salsa are favorites. I also offer some cauliflower rice on the side for those who want it or have man-sized normal appetites. See my recipe for how to make cauliflower rice. A side of steamed spinach can also bring some additional protein to the meal, too.
And the crowning glory of this recipe is that it keeps well – in the refrigerator for 2-3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Make a big pot and save for a rainy or snowy day!
Portion Up Properly
It’s hard to be exact and accurate regarding a bariatric portion size – this of course depends upon surgery type, time out of surgery and other individual variations – but aim for about ½ cup. Serve with a little cauliflower rice and accompaniments as seen below on a bariatric portion plate.
Carrot and Squash Chili
- low-fat cooking spray or mist or a little oil
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 200 g/7 oz whole baby carrots (I used Chantenay), scrubbed
- 450 g/1 lb mixed prepared vegetables (I used squash, pumpkin, courgettes/zucchini, peppers/capsicums, sweetcorn and mushrooms)
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 x 400 g/14 oz can or about 1¾-2 cups mixed cooked beans (I used canned mixed beans – see intro)
- 1 x 400 g/14 oz can chopped tomatoes
- 300 ml/1¼ cups boiling water or vegetable stock/bouillon
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- flat leaf parsley or coriander/cilantro to garnish
1. Spritz a large lidded pan with low-fat cooking spray or mist (or brush lightly with oil). Heat, add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a further 1 minute.
2. Add the carrots, prepared vegetables, cumin, coriander, oregano and paprika and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the wonderful spices aromas develop and rise from the pan.
3. Add the mixed beans, tomatoes and boiling water or stock/bouillon, stirring well. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Check after about 15 minutes and add salt and pepper to taste. If the sauce is a little thin then uncover for the remaining cooking time.
4. Serve hot garnished with a little flat leaf parsley or coriander/cilantro.
WLS PORTION: ½
V suitable for Vegans and Vegetarians
CALORIES PER PORTION: 215 (without side dishes or accompaniments)
PROTEIN: 11.2g, CARBOHYDRATE: 34.4g, FAT: 3.3g
Return to Slender by Eating Right with Every Bite,
© Recipe and Image copyright of Bariatric Cookery (UK) Ltd