a tip a day | make ahead meals + black bean chili

As you know, we're all about simple, healthy, delicious and quick when it comes to food.  With everything there is to do during the holiday season, weeknight meals sometimes get pushed to the bottom of the list... And then 6 o'clock comes around we're once again trying to figure out what's for dinner (cue: kids whining and a drive through).  So allow us to suggest an alternative. We're all about a big, easy one-pot meal, made ahead of time to enjoy throughout the week. We love love love our black beans. Cooking healthy doesn't have to be expensive, and beans (or legumes) are one of the best, inexpensive options. They're packed with protein, fiber, nutrients and tons of antioxidants. This hearty recipe is Mama, Daddy, and 18 month old baby boy approved!

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4 cans of black beans (rinsed and drained)

2 sixteen oz cans of crushed or diced tomatoes

1 medium onion (chopped)

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 cups water

Place all ingredients in slow cooker and mix together.  Cook for 4-5 hours on low or 3 hrs on high.  Stir occasionally.  Let cool a bit before serving. 

*Must-have toppings to add just before serving: chopped fresh cilantro and avocado.

*Optional additional toppings: Broken up blue corn tortilla chips (to add a little crunch), a bit of shredded cheddar cheese or some sour cream.