Cast Iron Vegan Chili

I made this for all my vegan and vegetarian friends and family. Not all meals have to have meat and some taste even better without it. If you are a carnivore, just give this a try and you’ll realize what I mean.  Look at the vibrant colors! You see onions and red, yellow and purple bell peppers. 

Add the carrots for some orange…

Put everything together…

I’m really enjoying a local farm stand this summer that’s right down the road from me. All ingredients came from there and I believe one of the reasons this dish tasted so delicious. The fresher the better! 

Serves 8

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup each dry black and pinto beans, rehydrated according to the instructions (or use canned beans and will equal about 3 cups total after draining)
  • 2 ears corn (or 1 can of corn)
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped small
  • 3 bell peppers, largely diced 
  • 3 fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 13 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 3 oz Tom paste
  • 28oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbls olive oil
  • Pink Himalayan Salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 jalapeños, roasted and diced small for garnish
  • red onion, diced small for garnish
  • cilantro or parsley, for garnish

What to do:

  1. If you’re using the dried beans like I did, you’ll need to start this the night before or follow the instructions for the quick cook. 
  2. In a large cast iron Dutch oven, heat the olive oil on medium. 
  3. Sautée the onions and bell peppers with some salt and pepper about 5 minutes until slightly soft. 
  4. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the the carrots and garlic. Sautée another 5 minutes stirring frequently. 
  5. Add the fresh tomatoes, a little more salt and pepper, stir and simmer until you see the liquid expel from the tomatoes. 
  6. Boil the corn, let cool, slice off with a knife and add to the pot. 
  7. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and paste, stir until combined and add all the spices and nutritional yeast. Reduce the heat to low and stir again. 
  8. Simmer on the lowest heat for an hour to hour and a half stirring occasionally. 
  9. Serve in a bowl with the garnishes listed or whatever you choose. Feel free to add some hot sauce for some heat if you don’t do the jalapeños 😉

Side note: You can roast your own jalapeños directly on your stove top. Be sure to char all sides, let cool, peel the char and diced away. Very simple and can be done with any kind of peppers. 

Enjoy!

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    Bean, Quinoa, and Kale Salad

    What a tasty dish for Summer! It’s light, nutritious, and filling at the same time. I decided to make this after reading about switching out one or two meals a week to vegetarian. You will save a few dollars on your grocery bill and you still can get all the vitamins and nutrients if you choose the right products for the meal.  I, of course, want to be sure my family and I are getting enough protein if we were leaving out the meat. So, I loaded it with beans, quinoa and kale. Believe it or not, raw kale has 3g of protein in one cup.* 

    Here is an article about all the great benefits of quinoa:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/juliewilcox/2012/06/26/7-benefits-of-quinoa-the-supergrain-of-the-future/

    This recipe makes A LOT! That’s usually how I roll lol. What’s good about making A LOT is that it saves time for me during the week. I can bring some to work for lunch, have it as a quick dinner at night, and it’s an easy meal for me to send to daycare for my toddler! He loves it by the way 🙂

     
    Ingredients:

    • 3 stalks of kale, chopped
    • Cilantro, chopped fine (about 1/4 cup)
    • 2 Corn on the Cob
    • 1 Red Pepper, chopped
    • Juice of 1 Lime
    • 1 cup Grape Tomatoes, sliced lengthwise
    • 1 cup Uncooked White Quinoa
    • 2 cans Black Beans
    • 1 can Cannellini Beans
    • 1 can Pinto Beans
    • Salt
    1. Prepare the corn. Clean off the husks and boil in a large pot until corn is soft. Remember to salt the water. 
    2. While the corn is cooking, chop the pepper, tomatoes, kale, juice the lime,  and rinse the beans in a strainer with cold water. Place all ingredients in a large bowl. 
    3. Remove the corn, set aside, and let cool. Using 2 cups of the same water, cook the quinoa until all the liquid is absorbed. Put a little more salt in the water. (Tip – Don’t boil the quinoa. Let it simmer on low for 10 minutes while covered. Remove from the heat and let stand another 5-10 minutes until you start to see the rings). Once done, add to the other ingredients. 
    4. Cut the corn off the cob and add it to the other ingredients. 

    Once it’s all mixed, I stored portion sizes in snack and sandwich size ziplock bags and then put them all into a freezer bag. Organization is key for me! I also save some for the next day or two. If you do the same, I suggest adding a tiny bit of extra virgin olive oil. It will be a little dry if you don’t. 

    Enjoy!

    *Source

    Healthy, Simple Grilling

    Ah, the simple things in life. Summer is the best time to cook on the grill for so many reasons. The weather is perfect (usually), cooking becomes easier and it’s a great way to hang outside with friends and family! Let’s not forget it’s one of my favorite times to enjoy a beer or two while sitting in my lawn chair on the patio. 

    This was my latest dinner on the grill: 

     

    I have to give some credit to my husband because he did help out with this one. You’re looking at Spiced Grilled Chicken, Corn The Cob, Potatoes with Onions and Sweet Bell Peppers, Broccoli, and Asparagus. Keep in mind that you can use any veggies you like and prepare and cook them the same way as the broccoli and asparagus. 

    I like to use chicken thighs instead of breasts simply because they don’t dry out. However, breasts do have better nutritional stats and can be substituted if you really want an even healthier meal. When comparing equal portions, some that are noteworthy…

    1. Protein – 21g in thighs and 25g in breasts*
    2. Fat – 13g in thighs and 7g in breasts *
    3. Calories – 210 in thighs and 170 in breasts*
    4. Cholesterol – 80mg in thighs and 70mg in breasts*

    CHICKEN:

  1. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  2. Paprika
  3. Crushed red pepper, a few pinches or more if you want heat
  4. Garlic powder
  5. Cinnamon
  6. Sea salt
  7. Black pepper 
  8. Mix all spices together (equal parts except the crushed red pepper), coat the chicken, and put it in a covered pan in the refrigerator while you prepare the sides. 
    CORN:

  9. Corn on the Cob
  10. Water 
  11. Don’t clean the corn, just keep it as is and soak it in water for at least 10 minutes​
    POTATOES:

  12. Russet potatoes
  13. Olive oil spray
  14. 1/2 Red bell pepper, slices
  15. 1/2 Sweet onion, slices
  16. Paprika
  17. Garlic powder
  18. Sea Salt
  19. Black pepper 
  20. Lay out a long piece of tin foil and then double it with the second piece perpendicular to the first. Spray lightly with oil. Place all ingredients on top of the foil, wrap it sealing all sides. Put these on the grill first since they usually take the longest to cook. 
    BROCCOLI:

  21. Broccoli
  22. Olive oil spray
  23. Sea salt
  24. Black pepper 
  25. Same as the potatoes, lay out a long piece of tin foil and then double it with the second piece perpendicular to the first. Spray lightly with oil. Place all ingredients on top of the foil, wrap it sealing all sides.

    ASPARAGUS:

  26. Asparagus
  27. Olive oil spray
  28. Sea Salt
  29. Black pepper 
  30. And…repeat preparation a third time.
    Cook everything on the grill over medium heat together until steamy and the chicken is cooked through. Don’t worry if one thing is done before the other, just keep it in its foil or cover it until you’re ready. Cooking is suppose to be stress free!

    ENJOY!!

    *Source