Vegetarian Chilli & Vegetarian What I Eat In A Day

vegetarian chilli, veggie chilli recipe,

I have to admit, that even as a vegetarian, my diet isn't usually the healthiest. Like everyone else does, I enjoy food. And good food to me usually consists of carbs and generally too much sugar and salt. 

It's always in the back of my mind to eat healthier and I'm always telling myself off about not eating enough fruit or vegetables, or eating too many bad things. It's down to me I know it is. I can blame it on the fact that I'm usually busy with the boys or busy with work. But it's not an excuse, I should take better care of my diet.. and my fitness too, which honestly, is just awful at the minute. 

The thing is, is that given the choice I've always been one to reach for the unhealthiest option, whether that be a biscuit or a banana or the lower fat product or the full fat. It's become habit. 

But last week Tesco got in touch with me and asked if I would be interested in taking part in their Helpful Little Swaps campaign - a challenge to swap out some of the regular foods that I would eat in a day and replace them with some of the products that Tesco have recently reformulated to contain less fat, sugar and salt. 

In all honesty I wasn't sure what to expect - my first thought was, 'Would the foods taste more bland than my usual choices?', but I love a challenge and I knew this would be the perfect kick for me to step out of bad habits and give healthier choices a go. 

I was quite surprised when Tesco sent over the product list and I saw a number of the usual sorts of products I would buy anyway on the list. They sent me some information to say that since  January 2016 they’ve reformulated a huge range of products and removed a lot of sugar, salt and saturated fat (8,000 tonnes of it, in fact) and have done their best to ensure that they still taste as great. 

One of my go-to products on the list was their own mild chilli sauce, which we love in this house, so it was great to see that that was one of the products that they'd reformulated to reduce the sugar content.

I decided that I was going to make us a vegetarian chilli and whilst not all of the products were from the list, I tried to go with healthy options, including things like butter beans, peppers and meat-free mince for protein.  

vegetarian chilli, veggie chilli recipe,
To make the vegetarian chilli I used..
  • 1 x jar of Tesco mild chilli sauce
  • A half tin of butter beans
  • 1 x green pepper and 1x red pepper
  • Onion
  • Meat free mince (or you could use quorn meat free mince if you prefer)
  • A bit of oil

And then to go with it we had..
  • Rice (We ended up only needing one packet)
  • Tesco's Garlic reduced fat slices 
  • Sour cream (not very healthy, but tasty and of course optional).
  • A few nachos and some dips.

vegetarian chilli, veggie chilli recipe,

And then it was basically just a case of throwing everything together and waiting for it to cook. I'm not much of a cook myself, that's usually Adam's domain, but I actually really enjoyed doing the dinner and swapping out a few of my usual foods for healthier choices to see if it had much of a difference taste-wise.

vegetarian chilli, veggie chilli recipe,

It's totally optional, but we like to add a bit of grated cheese to our chilli. So instead of using the full fat cheese, we used Tesco's lighter mature cheese. As big cheese lovers, we'd never ever thought to try it before, always assuming it would be too bland. But we in fact, both agreed that there wasn't much taste difference whatsoever when added on top of our meal. So much so, that we used it again on another meal that week. It's 30% less fat than the non-light version and it's definitely one that surprised us in terms of taste.

vegetarian chilli, veggie chilli recipe,

Another one that surprised us a lot, were the lighter garlic slices, I really thought they may lack in taste. But I actually preferred them to the regular garlic bread/slices we buy. I will definitely buy them again.

vegetarian chilli, veggie chilli recipe,

I added sour cream to my chilli, which isn't the healthiest, but tastes amazing with it. Adam and I really enjoyed our meal and it felt great to know that whilst we were still enjoying the same great taste and whilst it may not have been the healthiest meal on the planet, it was at least good to know that we'd been able to swap out a couple of the products for better, healthier choices without really noticing at all.

That evening, as I usually do, I had a cup of tea and a biscuit. I would usually have had a cookie or something with chocolate on, but I'd got Tesco's reduced fat digestives to try and so I had one of those with my tea instead. And again it was really enjoyable - if I hadn't of already known, I wouldn't have guessed that it was reduced fat. 

The next morning, I had Tesco's Malt Wheats for breakfast. I generally have quite a good breakfast and I like to pick ones like the Malt Wheats because they're generally low in fat, they're a good source of fibre and wholegrain and are fortified with vitamins and iron. The boys are big fans of this one too, which is good, because they're generally quite fussy eaters with dinners. So it's good to know that they get a good source of iron with their breakfast at least. 

vegetarian soup

And then for lunch that day, Logan, Adam and I had Tesco's own Leek and Potato soup with Tesco's organic brown bloomer and a glass of Tesco's tropical juice drink which they've reformulated to contain less sugar than before. Logan can be quite fussy and wouldn't usually have soup for lunch, but he got stuck in and loved dunking his bread. 

vegetarian toddler, veggie toddler lunch ideas, vegetarian kids,

Taking part in the Helpful Little Swaps campaign with Tesco has really opened my eyes up to how easy it is to swap out products to make what I'm eating a bit more healthier.

I'm generally very good with this sort of thing with the boys, but with myself I'd let my diet choices slack and so it's been good to step away from what was a bad habit and give healthier choices a go. I'll never be one for being super healthy with my diet, but I now know that I can at least make small little changes without having to compromise on taste or incurring myself more cost or effort.

If you're interested in making some healthier swaps yourself, then I really recommend that you go and take a look at Tesco's Helpful Little Swaps webpage. I've personally found it so useful in helping me find new healthier choice products.

Thank you for reading. Alex xo

*I worked with Tesco and The Blogger Programme for this post, but all thoughts are entirely my own. 

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