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We’ll just hide the veggies

by Meghann on November 15, 2011

A snippet of the conversation I overheard of my aunt having with her husband on the phone this afternoon:

“Meghann is helping me make dinner tonight.”


“Yes, it’s something healthy – just like what she eats on her blog.”


“Well, it’s chili with italian chicken sausage, broccoli, corn, mushrooms, and peppers”

……. (long pause)……

“Don’t worry. I promise it will be good.”

You say the word healthy in relation to a meal and my aunt’s husband gets a wee bit nervous. He’s a traditional meat and potato man and doesn’t like anything out of the ordinary. (Meaning he would turn his nose up at about 95% of the food I eat on a daily basis.;))

So, here’s the challenge, how do we put together a decently healthy meal for a man who doesn’t like most vegetables? Easy. Make chili and hide all the good stuff in it.


There’s nothing more comforting than a hot bowl of chili. πŸ™‚

We started with a base of italian chicken sausage (my aunt’s idea since her husband doesn’t like beans) then added an array of colorful bell peppers, onion, broccoli, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, frozen corn, and chili seasoning. We let it all simmer for a couple of hours to let the flavors really come together.


The verdict?

My aunt’s husband loved it. He admitted he was a bit skeptical at first when we added the broccoli in the chili (if he thought that was odd…), but the seasoning was right and it tasted like good ole american chili to him. He was a happy man.


I served myself my own big bowl of chili with a dollop of plain yogurt, a sprinkle of cheddar cheese, and a good hunk of Jiffy cornbread (yes, I know the mix has lard in it, but sometimes it just works).


My aunt and I shared some pumpkin pie with a little cool whip for dessert. We agreed it was perfectly acceptable to start celebrating Thanksgiving a week early. πŸ˜‰


Motivation. Right here.

I’ve shared this on twitter and I’ve shared this on Facebook, but it’s worth sharing here.

First, read THIS post on how not all marathons end with a finish line.

Then, read THIS post on why you should never give up on your marathon dreams.

Warning: grab a tissue – they’re both tear jerkers.

Can I get three cheers for Dori?! She freakin’ rocks! πŸ™‚

1 Allie November 15, 2011 at 11:15 pm

Read both those posts (when you first put them on Twitter – thanks for sharing!) and Dori is SO motivational. I teared up (a lot) reading both posts. Such a strong girl for all she has accomplished in this last week! Amazing.
Allie recently posted..Thinking About Numbers

2 Dori November 16, 2011 at 7:00 am

Thank you Allie!

3 Jess @JessCantCook November 15, 2011 at 11:25 pm

I’ve gotten pretty good at disguising things my husband THINKS he doesn’t like (most vegetables) and then telling him afterwards all of the ingredients. I think a lot of time it’s just them being stubborn πŸ˜›

Never thought of putting broccoi in chili though!
Jess @JessCantCook recently posted..Our First Week

4 Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn November 16, 2011 at 12:00 am

Ahahaha seriously. All of my friends (with the exception of those that want the “healthy stuff to make me skinny”) think my food doesn’t look edible. “eeeeew what is that” — so mature.
Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn recently posted..Just your usual breakfast in bed. #socollege

5 Helen November 16, 2011 at 12:11 am

Chili sounds good right now. πŸ™‚

Just curious – do you not call your aunt’s husband your uncle?

6 Paige November 16, 2011 at 7:31 am

Ha I was wondering the same thing!

7 Meghann November 16, 2011 at 8:08 am

I knew someone was going to ask that πŸ™‚ She’s my aunt by marriage (technically my great aunt) and my uncle and her divorced when I was 15 or 16. She remarried 8 years ago, but I wouldn’t consider her new husband my uncle. I guess this is where extended family members, divorces, and marriages get tricky.

8 Mahealani @ Beauty, Brains, and Balance November 16, 2011 at 12:15 am

Sneaky sneaky! I’ve never tried broccoli in my chili! Next time though, toss a few chocolate chips on the top, you’ll not be sorry! It’s my fav chili topper.
Mahealani @ Beauty, Brains, and Balance recently posted..Tea and tendons

9 Sarah November 16, 2011 at 12:26 am

I don’t want to sound rude, cause I love chili and your’s sounds delish. But what is wrong with meat and potatoes? Both are natural, and I think, healthy, foods. I don’t think that a plate with meat, potatoes, and veggies on it is in any way unhealthy as you implied. Just a thought. I think over processed snack foods are much more to blame for America’s health problems than meat and potatoes.

10 Meghann November 16, 2011 at 8:10 am

There is nothing wrong with meat and potatoes. My aunt just wants to add a few more greens and a little variety to their diet. It’s hard when someone (anyone) is set in their ways and unwilling to try anything out of the ordinary.

11 Cassie @ Back to Her Roots November 16, 2011 at 5:57 am

I hate that lard gets such a bad wrap when it actually contains 20% less saturated fat than butter and is 100% natural (when you purchase it from a local, responsible source). I’d take lard over margarine or partially hydrogenated oils any day. A little bit of the real stuff (including lard) is so much better than a whole lot of the things created in laboratories in my book.

And that’s why I love Jiffy Mix! πŸ™‚

OH, and I’m totally putting broccoli in my chili next go ’round. Awesome idea!

12 MizFit November 16, 2011 at 6:21 am

and Id missed the marathon posts.

thank you.
MizFit recently posted..My letter to a littler misfit.

13 Dori November 16, 2011 at 7:04 am

Thank you SO much for sharing my posts! And of course thank you for always being so supportive. Like I’ve told you, I read your blog long before I ever even thought to run. I tracked you during your first marathon even though we had never talked. You played a part in me getting where I am now. The Richmond Marathon was just so amazing and I wish I could be right back inside it!
Dori recently posted..Surprise! I Ran The SunTrust Richmond Marathon!

14 Diana November 16, 2011 at 11:00 am

You both are such an inspiration to me! I’m seriously sitting here with tears rolling down my cheeks from your story about not finishing ny and then finishing one the next weekend.

I’m training for my first half marathon and I read mealsandmiles everyday!

I’m running farther than I ever thought I could…

ps. Meghann, I live in Tampa and run on bayshore and I’m always on the look out for you πŸ™‚

15 Hope November 16, 2011 at 7:49 am

That chili looks delicious! So comforting. I never realized that Jiffy had lard in it until I looked at the ingredients one day. After that I couldn’t bring myself to eat it ever again. I stick with Chi-Chi’s cornbread mix that you can buy in the supermarket. It’s so good πŸ™‚
Hope recently posted..Wedding Talk Wednesday: The Wedding Ring…

16 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats November 16, 2011 at 7:56 am

Haha I’ve actually seen pumpkin pie popping up on several blogs already! People are celebrating thanksgiving early this year – works for me! And that chili looks soooo good!
Katie @ Peace Love and Oats recently posted..What I ate Monday…

17 Mary @ Bites and Bliss November 16, 2011 at 7:56 am

My uncles are the same way!! They won’t think twice about something with “healthy” in the description. Good job hiding it! πŸ˜‰
Mary @ Bites and Bliss recently posted..Shabby Apple Giveaway!

18 Army Amy* November 16, 2011 at 8:36 am

My man sounds like your aunt’s husband. Healthy = scary to him. Hiding the veggies does help! And he’s gotten better over the years.*
Army Amy* recently posted..Inked

19 Emily November 16, 2011 at 8:44 am

Love that convo! Most of my family feels the same way, I’m sure I could win anyone over with that meal! Thanks for sharing the articles:)
Emily recently posted..I’ve Got Beef

20 Amanda November 16, 2011 at 8:53 am

That’s great that you were able to add some extra veggies in the chili and show your Aunt’s husband that it actually tasted good too. Baby steps.

I try to make pumpkin pie season last as long as possible. πŸ™‚
Amanda recently posted..Homemade Naan with Garlic & Sea Salt

21 Cait's Plate November 16, 2011 at 9:03 am

It’s never too early to start celebrating Thanksgiving if you ask me πŸ™‚ As soon as November hits, it’s fair game πŸ™‚

22 Heather @ Better With Veggies November 16, 2011 at 12:10 pm

I’m so glad you shared Dori’s posts yesterday, they were awesome. I was so sad for her after reading the first one and then elated when I read the second one. It was perfect! πŸ™‚
Heather @ Better With Veggies recently posted..What I Ate Wednesday: 5th Edition

23 Dori November 16, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Thank you!!!!

24 Mallory @ It's Only Life November 16, 2011 at 3:42 pm

Meghann, I love that you added broccoli to the chili. Never heard of that but it sounds like it would go fabulously. Yum!
Mallory @ It’s Only Life recently posted..Hangover Without Alcohol

25 Marlina @ Baker Princess November 16, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Look delicious!! Never met a chili I didn’t like πŸ™‚ such a good way to eat the veggies I don’t normally like (read: mushrooms) !
Marlina @ Baker Princess recently posted..Baked: Sweet Potato & Black Bean Enchiladas

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