Nutrition in Pregnancy: Vegetarian Black Bean Chili

This week, we’re going to start a series on nutrition in pregnancy (these work for the postpartum and breastfeeding periods, as well – or for always!)

To begin, we are sharing Nedra’s vegetarian chili recipe. We often have people ask about getting enough protein and nutrients while eating a vegetarian diet – it’s pretty easy! Also delicious. This recipe is packed with greens to help you boost your iron and folate, and has 17 grams of protein per serving as is. If you eat meat, you could boost the protein by adding lean ground turkey, or cubed steak for some extra heme iron, just as a couple of ideas.

It goes together pretty quickly, so this is a great weeknight meal. Without further ado (we know how everyone hates those super verbose recipe blogs, lol), here is the recipe:

Vegetarian Black Bean Chili

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 medium summer squash, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 cup broccoli, chopped
  • 2 cups fresh spinach or kale, roughly chopped or torn
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 15-oz cans black beans, drained
  • 2 14.5-oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 4-oz can mild diced green chiles (can use medium or hot, per preference)
  • 1.5 tsp chili powder
  • 1.5 tsp cumin

Heat oil in a large soup pot. Cook onion, zucchini, summer squash, and broccoli until onion is slightly tender. Add spinach and garlic and saute until spinach is wilted, stirring frequently. Stir in beans, tomatoes, chiles, chili powder, and cumin, and stir to combine. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Makes four servings.

That’s it! You can add more or different veggies as you like. Shredded cheese, plain greek yogurt, avocado, and raw chopped onions are great toppers for this delicious, nutrient-packed dish.