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!

    Tomatillo Verde Sauce

    Talk about a versatility…this sauce is the epitome of it. You can put this on top of tacos, eggs, salads as your dressing, dip, you name it. 

    What you see above is the Verde Sauce on top of a salad I threw together with the various things I had in my refrigerator. I also had left over shredded pork from pork tacos the night before (which also had verde on it 😉) that you see on top. 

    The pork tacos were quasi tacos because I’m really trying to cut carbs and sugar from my diet. I used Boston Bib lettuce for the wrap but a mini romaine lettuce would also be perfect. The recipe for the pork is here. I topped everything with tomatoes, avocado, red onion, fresh cilantro, carrots, and a little extra salt and pepper to the pork. 

    As for the Verde Sauce itself…

    What you’ll need (and remember I make in bulk to freeze some for future so feel free to cut it in half):

    • 18 Tomatillos 
    • 2 jalapeños 
    • 4 cloves of garlic
    • Juice of one lime
    • fresh cilantro to taste
    • S & P

    What to do:

    1. Boil a pot of water that will hold tomatillos and jalapeños. 
    2. Remove the husks off the tomatillos and run them under water until clean.  Also, clean the jalapeños.
    3. Boil the tomatillos and jalapeños for 10 minutes and strain. 
    4. Place them in a food processor with the remaining ingredients. 
    5. Pulse until smooth. 

    Use it for whatever you want and enjoy!

      Prosciutto, Avocado, Spinach, & Heirloom Tomato Egg Scramble | Start The Day Off Right

      Did you ever wake up on the weekend or your day off and think, “I’m going to make a killer breakfast”? However, you don’t have a clue what that killer breakfast will be or what you can throw together that’s in your fridge to make it “killer”. Well…here it is. 

      All you need is a somewhat salty meat (ham, bacon or in my case a slice of prosciutto that I had left over), a variety of veggies, eggs and a spicy sauce if you’re into that kinda thing. In my opinion, the spicy sauce is the killer part. It brings it all together. 

      Serves 2 people

      What you’ll need:

      • 4 eggs, whisked
      • 1 Tbls milk
      • 3/4 avocado, cubed
      • 1 slice prosciutto, finely chopped 
      • 5 grape size heirloom tomatoes, sliced in halve lengthwise 
      • 1 cup raw spinach, chopped 
      • 1/2 Tbls butter
      • Fresh ground black pepper 
      • Garlic powder
      • All season salt
      • 2 sprigs of parsley for garnish

      The spicy sauce:

      • 2 Tbls plain Greek yogurt
      • A few dashes of your favorite hot sauce, depending on how spicy you like it
      • Garlic powder
      • S&P

      I also served breakfast with a lightly toasted bagel, cherries & mini yellow plums that I got from a local farm. They were delicious!

      What to do:

      1. Prep your ingredients and put a large sautée pan on medium heat. 
      2. Sautée the prosciutto for 2 minutes, add the avocado and tomatoes and sautée for another 2 minutes. 
      3. In the meantime wisk the eggs, milk, garlic powder, all season salt and pepper in a small bowl. 
      4. Clear a space in the center of the pan and melt the butter, mix everything together and add the eggs. Top with the spinach, cover and turn the heat down. Make sure the eggs evenly dispurse in the pan. 
      5. Cook on low for 3-4 minutes and gently take large sections of the egg and flip them. It’ll break apart don’t worry it’s ok. Just try to flip as big of a piece as possible. I did it in 4’s. 
      6. Fold over one large piece on top of another for one serving. Do the same for the second serving. Top with the sauce, parsley for presentation and serve with you favorite sides. 

      Enjoy!!

      Fresh Figs Wrapped in Prosciutto with Blue Cheese

      So simple, so delicious. Try these and you won’t be disappointed, I promise. I first made these last thanksgiving and used goat cheese instead of blue cheese. Both are equally as good and really depends on your preference of cheese. My husband doesn’t like goat cheese, so, since it was just the two of us tonight…I went with blue. 

      What you’ll need:

      • fresh figs, green or black
      • blue cheese block
      • prosciutto, sliced a little thicker than thin
      • toothpicks

      What to do:

      1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
      2. Lay out your ingredients
      3. Smear the blue cheese over the prosciutto 
      4. Wrap the fig and hold together with a toothpick (the one you see below is double wrapped with prosciutto. I preferred just one layer but my husband liked the double…you choose)
      5. Bake for 20 minutes or until sizzling all around. 

      Enjoy!!!

        Trottole Pasta Salad

        I’m all about pasta this weekend! I used  Simply Balanced Organic Trottole Pasta for this recipe. It’s a fun shape and all the good stuff you add to a pasta salad incorporates well into it. You can pretty much use any type of pasta for this dish if you can’t find this type. Some good alternatives would be farfallepenne or even multi colored radiatore! Remember to always salt your water when boiling pasta!!

        If you want to make this a vegan dish, use a vegan friendly pasta. 


        What you’ll need:

        • 16 oz Trottole pasta
        • 1 medium Eggplant, roasted and diced
        • 2 Carrots, chopped small (I used my Kitchen Aid Spiralizer if you have one)
        • 5 Kale leaves, chopped fine
        • 2 Green Onions, chopped into thin rings
        • 4 oz Tomatoes, grape or cherry, halved (optional)
        • Juice of 1 Lemon
        • 1 Tbls dried Thyme
        • 2 Tbls Garlic Powder
        • 1 small can of sliced black olives 
        • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
        • S & P

        What to do: 

        1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
        2. Begin to boil the water for the pasta. 
        3. Remove some of the skin on the eggplant with a peeler, dice and place on a sheet tray with olive oil and S & P. 
        4. Bake for 15-20 minutes until completely soft, remove and let cool. 
        5. Boil the pasta according to the instructions, drain and let cool. 
        6. Meanwhile, prepare the carrots, kale, onions, tomatoes and lemon juice and add all into a large bowl. 
        7. Add the eggplant, thyme, garlic powder, S & P to the mixture. Combine thoroughly. 
        8. Once the pasta has cooled, add it into the mixture with more olive oil and toss. Put in more or less oil and S & P to your taste. 

        Enjoy!!

            Kale & Basil Pesto with Orecchiette & Chicken

            Some of the simplest dishes are simply the best! Pesto is one of my favorite things to eat when the weather is hot and humid. It’s light and requires no “cooking” itself. Although, the pasta and chicken does but not much!

            What you’ll need:

            • 4-5 Leaves of Kale (flat or curly – your preference)
            • 1 bunch of fresh Basil
            • 3/4 lb of Orecchiette
            • 2 Chicken Breasts (or Tofu for a vegetarian option!)
            • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
            • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
            • 1/3 oz of pine nuts
            • Cherry or Grape Tomatoes, sliced in half, optional
            • S & P

            What to do:

            1. Bring water to a boil for the pasta.
            2. Cook according to the directions.
            3. Separately, place the chicken in a pot, cover with water and boil until cooked through for about 10-15 minutes. (If you’re using tofu, prepare according to the directions and cut into small cubes. Sautée with a little olive oil and S & P. 
            4. Meanwhile, prepare the pesto. Combine the kale, basil, 1/2 cup of cheese, pine nuts and oil in a food processor and put on high until it becomes a paste. (If you prefer a thinner sauce add more oil). 
            5. Drain the pasta and remove the chicken from heat. 
            6. Chop or shred the chicken. 
            7. In a large bowl, mix the pesto, chicken (or tofu) and pasta and until evenly combined. 
            8. Add S & P to taste. 
            9. Add in the tomatoes and top with the additional cheese on each plate. 

            Feta and Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

            Well, it’s been a while since my last post. I guess I’ve been busy!!  I’m really glad summer is here. There are so many healthy and yummy things to eat this season. Here is one of them, although, I make them year round 🙂 This is great for vegetarians and could even be converted to […]

            Breakfast Soft Taco

            I have to be honest, this was a throw together meal at the drop of a hat but it was awesome! Breakfast is so versatile and I wish I had more time to put into it some mornings. 

            Here is what you’ll need:

            • 3 large eggs
            • cheddar or jack cheese, shredded (I used organic Monterey Jack)
            • Splash of milk
            • garlic powder
            • cumin
            • coriander, ground
            • S & P
            • butter
            • 4 taco shells

            For topping:

            • salsa verde
            • avocado
            • scallions

            Here’s what to do:

            1. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, cheese, garlic powder, cumin, coriander and S & P. 
            2. lightly coat a small sautée pan with butter on medium heat. 
            3. add the egg mixture and stir continuously until eggs are cooked through completely.
            4. Heat the taco shells for 10 seconds in the microwave. 
            5. Add the eggs to the taco shells. 
            6. Top with the salsa, avocado and scallions. You can also use whatever other toppings you like to make it your own!

            Makes 4 tacos

            Enjoy!

              

              Spaghetti Squash “pasta” with sausage, onions, peppers, mushrooms and spinach

              Spaghetti squash is one of the easiest vegetables to make. It’s also versatile and can be used as the star of the meal, as a side by itself or mixed into any kind of dish. This dish is simple and easy but does take a bit of time. Well worth it though!

              A tip if you want to do it this way, prep the squash ahead of time and store it in the fridge until your ready to make the dish.

              What you’ll need:

              • 1 spaghetti squash
              • 1 medium onion, sliced
              • 2 sweet bell peppers, sliced
              • mushrooms, chopped
              • fresh spinach, about 2 generous handfuls
              • 2 cloves garlic, minced
              • 1 lb ground sausage
              • 1 cup beef broth
              • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
              • S & P
              • Olive oil
              • Grated Parmesan cheese, optional
              • Green or yellow squash, optional

              What to do:

              1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
              2. Slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Season with salt and pepper and lightly brush it with olive oil.
              3. Roast the squash for 1 hour until soft.
              4. Take the squash out of the oven, shred it with a fork out of the shell and set aside. It should look like spaghetti.
              5. While the squash is in the oven, in a cast iron skillet (or your choice of sauté pan), brown the sausage and set aside.  
              6. Add just enough olive oil to coat the bottom and heat on medium.
              7. Add the onions and peppers and sauté for 5 minutes.  
              8. Add the garlic and mushrooms and sauté another 2-3 minutes.
              9. Add the broth and red wine vinegar and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  
              10. Add the squash and sausage and simmer another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
              11. Add the spinach, stir to incorporate and simmer until spinach wilts.  
              12. Serve on a plate or a bowl topped with Parmesan cheese.

              Enjoy!!

              Healthy Breakfast Wrap

              Scrambled eggs, tomatoes, and green onions all wrapped in a large collard green leaf.  I love including veggies into my breakfast.     

                 
              What you need:

              • 2 eggs
              • 1/4 fresh tomato, chopped
              • 1 green onion 
              • 1 collard green leaf
              • Milk
              • 1 tsp olive oil
              • 1/4 tsp salt

              What to do:

              1. Blanch the collard green in a large sautée pan with a bit of water and half of the salt
              2. Pat dry with paper towels
              3. In a bowl, whisk the eggs with a splash of milk and the remaining salt 
              4. Heat oil in a small sautée pan
              5. Cook the tomatoes and onions until soft
              6. Add the eggs to the pan and stir frequently until fully cooked
              7. Put the eggs mixture on the collard green and roll it up. 

              Enjoy!