Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Loaded "Rainbow" Chili--Vegan of course

With the terrible loss in the BCS National Championship game still fresh in my mind, I decided that dinner tonight needed to be something comforting, something synonymous with football and cold weather...  Well, this chili recipe is just what the proverbial doctor ordered to fix my wounded football heart.  

(To give you an idea of what football is to me, watch Remember the Titans... the little blonde girl whose daddy is the coach... yeah, that's me.  Blonde, coach's daughter who's not afraid to scream at refs, players, or the TV when they are being stupid.) 

I was raised on Notre Dame football.  Literally was born the same year they last won the National Championship game, watched Rudy every Friday night growing up... Even my puppy's name is Rudy and has Notre Dame colored blankets and will soon have a ND Fleece Pullover.  (Obsessed is putting it VERY lightly...)  Anyway with our disappointing loss to Alabama last night, I needed this chili.  It filled, warmed, and (attempted to) cheer me up, so I know it will for you too!

 Rudy smiling for the camera :-)

1/2 medium red onion, chopped
1/2 medium white onion, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 poblano pepper, diced
2 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less, depending on how spicy you like your chili)
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
ground sea salt and black pepper
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, including the liquid

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 can light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2- 2 1/2 cups veggie broth

1 1/2 cup frozen corn
diced avocado (for garnish/topping)

In a 4 to 6 quart Dutch oven or stockpot, saute the chopped vegetables in one to two tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high heat. You’ll need to stir the ingredients every few minutes so they can cook evenly.

Once the onions start turning translucent, turn the heat down to medium-low. Add all of the spices and canned ingredients, and stir. Cover for about two hours, stirring occasionally.  Towards the end of the cooking time, add in the frozen corn and stir to combine.  Continue to heat until the corn is warmed through.

While it cooks for 2 hours the sweet potatoes will soften and the chili will thicken.

On the stove (pre-corn) LOOK AT ALL THOSE VEGGIES!
Dinner is served! (Diced avocado on top and 
cornbread muffins on the side. YUMM YUMM!)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Vegan Chopped Salad

Okay I know, I know... I always say that eating vegan is more than just eating salad, and here I am about to give you a recipe for salad... but trust me, this recipe is totally worth posting!  I love salads, I really do.  Vegan or not I would prefer a salad over most other meal options.  But this salad, might just be my favorite.  Homemade dressing, finely chopped veggies all mixed together, every bite is filled with flavor!  I made this salad as a side dish to my Mac-No-Cheese along with some oven roasted Brussels sprouts, it was a hit!

3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove
1 TBS minced green onions
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

2 romaine lettuce hearts, chopped
1/2 small head iceberg lettuce, chopped
1- 15.5 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 ripe tomatoes, 1/2 inch dice
1 English cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, and chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1/2 cup halved, pitted kalamata olives, chopped fine
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed and drained
1 ripe Hass avocado, pitted, peeled, and cut into a 1/2-inch dice

In a blender/food processor, combine the oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, green onions, salt and pepper.  Blend well and set aside in the refrigerator.

In a large bowl combine the lettuces, cucumber, celery, carrot, onion, and bell pepper.  Using a pizza slicer, roll through the bowl to finely chop and mix all of the vegetables together.  Add in chickpeas, kalamata olives, and peas towards the end to lightly chop through with the slicer.  Add enough dressing to lightly coat, toss to combine, and top with diced avocado.  

*suggestion, make this a little ahead of time so that you can keep the undressed salad, and separate dressing, in the fridge to completely chill the salad.  Before serving mix with dressing and add avocado. 

Taco Bites

I love tacos.  I love parties.  I love tacos at parties.  But, lets be real, they can be messy and can make even a super hot person, not so attractive while being eaten! Well this recipe is perfect party food!!  It shrinks the tacos down into bite sized pieces that really are the perfect party food!  There are two ways to make them, either by using pre-baked (frozen and thawed) mini phyllo cups or Tostito's scoops (it's definitely the cheaper way to go)!

8 oz tempeh, I boil mine for 30 min in my vegan beef broth for extra flavor, then minced
1 pkg Simply Organic Spicy Taco Seasoning
approximately 9 grape tomatoes, quartered
guacamole, store bought or homemade
1/3 Daiya Cheddar Wedge
1/3 Daiya Jalapeno Garlic Havarti Wedge
36 phyllo pastry cups, thawed (or sub in Tostito's scoops if you want to make lots of bites)
Finely shredded lettuce, minced onion, finely chopped olives (optional)

After boiling and mincing the tempeh, put it back into the pan and add the taco seasoning and water.  Cook as directed.

Over a double boiler combine the 2 Daiya Cheese and melt until it's smooth like queso.

To assemble, place a small amount of "queso" into the bottom of the cup/scoop, top with tempeh taco filling, lettuce, onion, olives, (if using), a dollop of guacamole, and a piece of tomato.

Put on a plate and watch them disappear!

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