Adopting a Plant-based Lifestyle Improves Your HealthMåleri. Vertumnus. Guiseppe Archimboldo.

By Linda Oaksford, COTM Chair

(Part 2 of 4 articles)

In our last Meridian, a link to the UUA’s Ethical Eating Study Guide was provided.  This guide mainly discusses how adopting a plant-based diet promotes a sustainable lifestyle and environmental justice.  

However, as an added perk for adopting a plant-based diet, not only are you improving our planetary health, but you’re also helping your own health!  The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine ( promotes plant-based diets for good health and disease prevention.  Many diseases, i.e., arthritis, cancer, diabetes (type 2), heart disease, osteoporosis, inflammation, etc., can be prevented and/or reversed by adopting a whole-food, plant-based diet.  Although these two links provide recipes to some delicious meals, below is one of our first healthy-eating, environmentally-friendly recipes that can warm you and your family on a cold winter’s night.

Easy Veggie Chili


  • 1 T. oil (I use olive oil)
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, diced, or 1 T. chopped garlic
  • 2-3 stalks of celery (optional)
  • 1 cup of sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • 1 package Tofu scrambles (or some other vegetable protein, if you like)
  • Several drained cans of: black beans, cannellini beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, pinto beans, or any other beans you like
  • 1-3 cans of: corn, string beans, peas, and/or any other vegetables
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 1 can of chili bean sauce

Spices (to your taste)

Garlic, Cumin, Chili powder, Red pepper flakes, Mexican oregano, Cayenne pepper, Salt and pepper


  1. Sauté garlic, onion and peppers (celery and mushrooms, too, if you like) in oil in a big pot on the stove, or in a slow cooker.
  2. Add all the ingredients until the pot is about ¾ full.
  3. Add spices to YOUR taste.
  4. Cook for at least ½ hour, or longer until you’re ready to eat.  For electric slow cookers, keep warm until dinnertime. OR, cool and refrigerate.  Reheat on stove or microwave when hungry.
  5. Serve in bowls and enjoy with toppings of your choice, salad, and corn bread for a complete meal!

If you have a favorite vegan recipe, please send it to Linda Oaksford, so that it can be shared in an issue of The Meridian.