The just-released update of Canada’s food guide calls for less meat and more plants in your diet
By Katrina Caruso
The BBC reported in early January that 50,000 Britons signed up this year to take part in Veganuary, a campaign to promote a vegan diet by urging people to try it for a month. While there’s not a lot of January left, if the release on January 22 of Canada’s updated food guide has you thinking about a mini-Veganuary, we’ve got you covered.
The updated guide recommends a mostly plant-based diet (with healthy fats, protein-rich foods, and whole grains)—a fairly drastic change from the previous recommendations, which focussed on four food groups (originally developed in 1942) and serving sizes. Formerly two groups, meat and milk have now been lumped together in the proteins category, which also includes plant-based proteins like beans, nuts, and seeds.
The new guide recommends that Canadians drink more water and limit their intake of sugars, saturated fats, sodium. Other recommendations include cooking at home more often, being mindful when eating, reading food labels, and remembering that eating can be a social activity.
Here’s a vegan recipe to celebrate Veganuary and the new food guide. (You’ll find eight more meat-free recipes here.)
Vegan One-Pot Chili
This chili is delicious served on top of your choice of rice, but it’s equally delicious in a bowl.
1 tbsp (15 mL) canola oil
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
1 medium onion (yellow or white)
2 medium carrots
1–2 jalapeño peppers
1 red or green pepper
3 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp (30 mL) chili powder
1 tbsp (15 mL) ground cumin
2 cups (500 L) diced tomatoes (canned or fresh)
2 tbsp (30 mL) tomato paste
2 cups (500 mL) crushed tomatoes
1 small can of corn
15 oz (443 mL) can of kidney beans
15 oz (443 mL) can of black beans
15 oz (443 mL) can of lentils or black eyed peas
Salt, to taste
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Cilantro, to taste
– Dice the onion and the carrots. De-stem, de-seed, and slice the jalapeños. Finely chop the garlic. Drain and rinse the beans. Chop the cilantro.
– Heat the canola oil in a large pot on medium-to-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, and garlic.
– When the onions have begun to turn translucent (roughly 5 minutes), add in the peppers and the tomato paste. Lower the heat to medium.
– Stir in the chili powder, cayenne, and the cumin. Cook for 3–4 minutes, until fragrant and the peppers have started to soften a bit, making sure not to burn the garlic and the onions.
– Add the diced tomatoes. Coat them and mix them with the vegetables. Add the crushed tomatoes, beans, corn, and olive oil. Mix well. Bring to a boil.
– Reduce heat. Cover and let simmer for at least 45 minutes (until the beans are tender), stirring occasionally.
– Season with salt to taste, and serve with cilantro.