Babbling About Beans & Big Changes Ahead

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If you’ve been to the main QV site today, you might have noticed a few changes.  A lot of changes, in fact.

For a little over a year, I’ve been enrolled–and working my butt off–in the Bauman College Nutrition Consultant Certificate program.  I’ve mentioned this a few times in passing, and now things are really starting to come together for me.  The program is broken up into three sections: Foundations of Nutrition, a comprehensive overview of organ systems and how macronutrients and micronutrients work in the body; Therapeutic Nutrition, which takes that information and breaks it down by condition, teaching how to use food to address diseases; and the Internship, a series for four wellness classes to be presented at a local community location.

Needless to say, it’s been a lot of work.

Now, though, I’m ready to get going with the internship portion of the program.  I’m scheduled to start teaching the classes from the end of September to the beginning of October.  Of course I’ll be giving everything a decidedly plant-based angle!  The Bauman program talks a lot about plants but, alas, isn’t vegan.  I want to take the information presented and show how a diet entirely free of animal products is the best approach for overall health.

So how does this relate to the site changes?  Well, now that I’m this far through the program, I’m ready to take what I’ve learned–and what I already had bouncing around in my head from all I’ve read and seen about vegan diets–and make it a career.  I’m happy to announce that Quantum Vegan is now a wellness consulting business instead of just a blog!

Feel free to click around and check out the services I’m offering.  Everything can be done over the phone and through e-mail, or in person if you’re in the Albany, NY area.  It’s my goal to bring the benefits of a plant-based diet to anyone who’s ready to make a lifestyle change.  If you’re already vegan but feel like you need a little help moving away from convenience foods, I’m happy to work with you on that as well!

While none of this has much to do with bean chili, what’s a food blog post without at least a little bit of food?

isa does it vegan bean lentil chili

Meet the Meaty Beany Chili from Isa Does It.  This hearty, mildly spicy, flavorful chili is chock full of, you guessed it, beans!  And lentils, which account for the “meaty” part.  I must confess that I’ve never actually had a brown lentil, though.  The green kind seem to be on sale more often, so that’s what I wind up with most of the time.  Unfortunately, they don’t cook well uncovered, nor do they cook down much unless you boil the heck out of them.  Hence when Isa mentions the lentils “melting” into the chili–mine did not.

It didn’t mess up the chili, though!  The flavor and texture were still quite good.  I’m a big fan of multi-bean chilis, so the mix of lentils, black beans and kidney beans was right up my alley.  Plus using crushed tomatoes in the sauce made it thick and,well, meaty.  In that amazing vegan way that only beans can accomplish.  I put nutritional yeast on top of mine when serving, and I’m sure avocado would taste great, too!

And what better to go with a nice vegan chili than cornbread muffins?

vegan lentil bean chili closeup

Also from Isa Does It (I’m sure I’ve mentioned my love affair with this book), these come together quickly and can be made while the chili is busy thickening.  As per usual, I replaced the oil with applesauce, resulting in a lofty muffin with a soft inside and just a bit of “crust” outside.  They’re perfect for sopping up that last bit of chili that always seems to hang around in the bottom of the bowl.

Between the chili and the muffins, I wound up spending a lot of time in the kitchen, but I don’t mind.  Good flavor takes time with chili, and it’s always worth it!  I’ve made the Meaty Beany Chili several times since I took the pictures for this post, and it’s always delicious.  Probably not the best recipe to cook once I’m totally immersed in internship preparations, but there’s always after graduation, right?

vegan lentil bean chili with corn muffins

Featured salad image courtesy of Becca Rice.


About the Author:

Sam has been eating a plant-based diet since summer of 2009 and has spent the subsequent years experimenting with all manner of plant-based food. She holds a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and is a graduate of the Bauman College Nutrition Consultant Program. She is a former member of Toastmasters International and was awarded a Competent Communicator designation for public speaking. When she's not blogging or cooking, Sam likes to read and study the Bible, play silly card games and knit socks.
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