DDD #143 – Cirque Du Macabre Vegan Chili for a Chili Cook-Off – for the Instant Pot or Slow Cooker

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2019

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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So – this weekend, I entered a Chili Cook-off!  There were only two vegan entries of the 14 adults competing & it was meat chilis that won the chili titles but I won for best presentation.  Check it out!

Click the image below to watch this on my Youtube channel.


It was a lot of fun & it raised money for the Downtown Women’s Shelter.   Kids competed, too!

Homemade Chili Powder

2 TBS smoked paprika

2 tsp oregano

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Mix & store in a jar.

Cirque Du Macabre Vegan Chili 

Serves a fuckton!

INGREDIENTS

1 TBS olive oil

2 each – Anaheim, Pasilla & Jalapeno peppers (I used 3 large jalapeno peppers)

2 small sweet potatoes – peeled & cubed

3 ears of unshucked corn or 2 (15 oz) cans of corn kernels

2 celery stalks – chopped

1 large onion (I used 1/2 white & 1/2 sweet onions) – diced

2 red bell peppers

1 TBS chili powder (recipe for homemade is above)

28oz can crushed or diced tomatoes (I used San Marzano)

2 TBS hoisin or BBQ sauce

2 TBS chipotle in adobo – minced

2 TBS vegan bouillon (I used vegan beef bouillon)

1 (4oz) can hot diced jalapenos (optional)

1 (4oz) can mild diced chilis

5 (15oz) cans of beans (I used a mixture of chili beans, light red kidney beans & black beans)

3 lbs vegan ground beef

8-10 large vegan sausages (Beyond Meat are the best)

2 (12oz) tubes vegan chorizo (soyrizo)

4 cups of water

GARNISHES: chopped cilantro, shredded vegan cheese, diced onion, chopped scallions, crushed corn chips, rice, corn bread, hot sauce

DIRECTIONS

I charred all the peppers (Anaheim, Pasilla, red bell & jalapeno) on a grill until the skins were black.  I did the same with the corn.  I put the peppers in a closed container to cool & then peeled & seeded them under cold water.  I shucked the corn.  You need not roast the peppers & corn but it adds a lovely smokiness.  Cool & chop.  Cut the grilled corn from the cobs.

I cooked the sausages on an outdoor grill.  Cook yours as you please.  Cool & chop.

Heat the olive oil in an Instant Pot or on the stove.  Saute the onions & celery until soft.  Add the chili powder & saute a minute.  Add the ground beef & brown it.

If using a slow cooker, transfer the meat from the stove to it.

Now – add everything else or as much as fits in your slow cooker of Instant pot (minding the maximum capacity line).  If it all cannot fit – leave out a few cans of beans.

Slow cooker – cook on high for 4 hours.  Add remaining beans – if they fit – & heat through.

Instant Pot – pressure cook for 45 minutes.  Add any beans you have left & stir to heat them through.

Serve!

 

DDD # 44 – Vegan Cold Soba Noodle Salad with Brown Sugar Tofu & Chili Oil

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Click the image below to watch the video & please subscribe to my channel.

Vegan Cold Soba Noodle Salad with Brown Sugar Tofu & Chili Oil

Serves 2 very well

INGREDIENTS

for the chili oil

1/2 cup oil

3 star anise pods

1-2 TBS chopped fresh ginger

2 TBS crushed red pepper

2-4 garlic cloves – minced

3 scallions – chopped

for the dressing

2 TBS sesame oil

2 TBS rice vinegar

2 TBS low sodium soy sauce or liquid aminos or tamari

2 TBS brown sugar

for the soba salad

7 oz soba noodles – cooked & drained

1/2 – 1 pound tofu (I used pressed tofu)

2 TBS brown sugar

1/2 tsp S&P

1 TBS sesame oil

Mixed chopped vegetables.  I used:

1/2 cucumber

4 radishes

1/4 red bell pepper

1 cup purple cabbage

2 scallions

(you could use edamame, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, snow peas, green beans or whatever you like)

Cilantro

Sesame seeds

Lime wedges

DIRECTIONS

Cook the noodles & set aside.

Whisk the dressing together & set aside.

Heat the oil for the chili oil in a pan.  Add the star anise & crushed red pepper.   Add the ginger & scallions.  When the scallions are soft & just starting to brown – add the garlic & heat for one minute.  Put the oil in a storage container to cool.  You won’t need all the oil for this recipe & the leftover should keep in the fridge for several days.

Heat 1 TBS sesame oil.  Add the brown sugar & salt & pepper.  Add the tofu & heat until the sugar caramelizes onto the tofu.  Set aside.

In a bowl – toss the noodles with the tofu & veggies.  Add some dressing (not all of it) and a drizzle of the chili oil.  Start very light with both the dressing & the chili oil & add more to taste.

Garnish with sesame seeds and cilantro & serve with lime wedges.

 

DDD Ep. #13 – Healthy and Cheesy Vegan Green Enchilada & Spicy Chili Pepper Mac & Cheese with Cauliflower

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or just print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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OK – kiddies! DDD #13 is UP!

Like boobs? Like mac & cheese? Who doesn’t? I am really proud of this episode (and my cans – it seems) as it makes the best of a disaster & really showcases (boobs) how mac & cheese can be delightfully vegan (boobs). But – if (boobs) mac & cheese is not your bag – my rack is very prominently on display here & really tries hard to distract viewers from the recipe in progress so – feel free to just focus on that. Watch my blunders, my fun bags or learn a great recipe – I don’t care. Just watch! I even have a post-credits blooper! Oh – and I think I say “fuck” about 20x in this. So – enjoy!!! Please share & please SUBSCRIBE!! Did I mention boobs? BOOBS!

Click the link for my Green Enchilada & Spicy Chili Pepper Mac & Cheese with Cauliflower recipe & please subscribe!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFiPBGYVT0s

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vromans back

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So – I wanted to make a healthier mac & cheese – less cheese (even less vegan cheese) and less pasta.  I looked in the fridge & my pantry & found these potential ingredients.

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As it turned out – I used all but the vegan cream cheese & the Daiya cheddar shreds.    So – the only actual cheese (vegan cheese) in this recipe is the Field Roast Chao Tomato-Cayenne slices.  If you can’t find these or do not like them (I think the 3 Chao cheeses are the best grocery store vegan cheeses on the market so far) – then use Daiya or any other kind of vegan cheese – or even real cheese (if you are not vegan).

This is a very easy dish to make – though it does have a few steps.  The only special tool you need is a blender (or a food processor).  No need to soak cashews overnight.  And – most importantly – it is VERY convincing!  None of the over-powering flavor of nutritional yeast yet all the wet, creaminess of real mac & cheese.  I swear – non-vegans will not identify this as vegan.  It has the additional benefit of using two full heads of cauliflower – but they blend in and become virtually undetectable – so your veggie hating kiddies will likely eat this with little argument (though you might want to reduce the spiciness for tender palates).

My primary excitement about this recipe is the green enchilada roux.  Traditional roux is made with butter, flour & milk.  I definitely wanted to use the green enchilada sauce but I did not want the dish to be swimming in liquid – as I feared it might be if I made a roux with milk and also added the enchilada sauce.  Happy news!  The enchilada sauce blended & thickened with the butter & flour as easily as milk would have but added SO much more flavor.

Again – while there are a few steps (mainly, boiling & draining to heads of cauliflower & the pasta) – none are difficult & the resulting dish is supremely gratifying!   I hope you try it!

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Healthy and Cheesy Vegan Green Enchilada & Spicy Chili Pepper Mac & Cheese with Cauliflower

Serves at least 6

INGREDIENTS

2 heads cauliflower (I used one white & one yellow)

for the roux

4 TBS vegan butter

4 TBS flour

16 oz green enchilada sauce

7 oz vegan cheddar (sliced up or grated)

1/4 cup nutritional yeast (SUPER optional – I just had a little left over that I wanted to use up)

for the mac & cheese

1-2 jalapenos – one seeded & diced and one seeded & sliced (optional – depending on your taste for spice)

1 4oz can diced green chilies (I used hot but you could use mild)

2 ears corn – kernels cut from the cob (or about one 14 oz can of corn or 1 cup frozen corn)

1 lb pasta (shape of your choice)

1-2 cups breadcrumbs (I used panko)

Cooking spray

GARNISH: cilantro, avocado, diced tomato, hot sauces, additional fresh jalapeno or canned chilies

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Treat a 9×13 casserole pan with cooking spray.

Cook the pasta according to directions (maybe 1 minute less than suggested) – drain & set aside.

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If you are using 2 different colors of cauliflower – you might want to cut each into florets & then boil & drain them each separately.  Or not.  It doesn’t matter much but the yellow cauliflower purees & looks like a cheesier sauce than white cauliflower will.  Still – some cheddar cheeses are white – so – don’t sweat it, whatever you decide.  If you are just using 2 heads of the same color – boil until just tender (5-7 minutes) – drain & set aside.

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If you used one head of yellow cauliflower – put it (with about 1 cup of hot water) into a blender & puree until very smooth.  Only add just as much water as you need to accomplish this – which could be more or less than a cup of water – depending on the size of the head you used.

If you used to heads of the same color – just puree one head worth as described above.  Set aside.

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Melt the butter in a sauce pan & whisk in the flour.  It should thicken & brown a bit very quickly – maybe a minute.  Add the enchilada sauce incrementally – letting it thicken before adding more – until it is all incorporated & rater thick.

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Add the cheese & stir until it melts.

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Add the pureed cauliflower & nutritional yeast (if using), salt & pepper to taste, and then one diced jalapeno, canned chilies & the corn.

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Combine & adjust S&P – if necessary.

Put the sauce in a large bowl & then add the pasta and the remaining cauliflower florets.  Combine.

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Pour the mac & cheese into the casserole dish & top with breadcrumbs & maybe some sliced jalapeno.  Spray with cooking spray – as this helps the breadcrumbs brown (because vegan cheese does not have the animal fat of real cheese – which is what browns in traditional mac & cheese).

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Bake at 400 for about 30-45 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are browned a bit & the cheese sauce is bubbly.

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Let rest for about ten minutes & then serve.  Garnish with avocado, cilantro, diced tomatoes and/or anything else you like.

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Saffron Cream Pasta with Cauliflower, Tomatoes & Chili Flakes

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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I am reposting this recipe from August 2013 because I have a new Video Vegan episode to go with it.  Here it is:

That photo is un-retouched & shot in natural light.  So – yes!  That pasta really IS that color!  Pretty to look at but with the delicate flavors of saffron and cauliflower – this is a delightful pasta dish.

I found this great saffron liquid at Super King for $7.

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That is a way cheaper option than saffron threads but saffron threads will be easier to find, I suspect.  I actually made this twice because the first time I made it – I made it with whole wheat fusilli & I didn’t like the photos.  This dish above was made with regular linguini.   The first time I made it, I used white wine & ghee (clarified butter).  The second time, I used regular butter & skipped the wine.  I think they tasted pretty much the same so I am going to post the one I made this morning.  There is only a tiny bit of the heavy cream per serving so do not be alarmed.  It isn’t as rich as you might fear.

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Saffron Cream Pasta with Cauliflower, Tomatoes & Chili Flakes

INGREDIENTS (for two very healthy servings)

1/2 lb dry pasta or your choice

1 small head cauliflower cut into bite-sized florets

2 large shallots – minced

2 tomatoes – diced

2 TBS ghee or butter (or vegan alternative)

1/2 cup heavy cream (or vegan alternative – almond milk should work fine)

1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)

1-2 TBS olive oil

1 generous pinch (1/2 a tsp or more) saffron threads steeped in 1/4 cup hot (not boiling) water OR 1 TBS (or more) saffron liquid from a bottle

Crushed red pepper to taste

Salt to taste

White pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Steam the cauliflower for about 5 minutes.  Set aside.

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Heat the olive oil over medium heat & saute the shallots until just soft but not browned.  If using wine – add it now & cook it off for about a minute.  Or just skip ahead.

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Add the ghee or butter and the heavy cream & the saffron.  Simmer over medium heat until it reduces by about half.  Add the tomatoes & the steamed cauliflower.

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Add salt & white pepper to taste.

Cook the pasta according to instructions, drain & add directly to the pan with the saffron sauce.  Combine thoroughly.  Serve with lots of crushed red pepper.

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Vegan Tomato Basil Bisque and a Grilled Cheese & Chiles Sandwich

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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This soup was just a way for me to use up some vegetables & create a creamy, warming bisque – with tomatoes out of season.  Fresh tomatoes would be better but I did not have any & I am attempting to eat only what I have on hand – without spending any money on groceries.  I call it “the pantry challenge.”  I have done it a few times in the past with very strict rules.  This time – I have allowed a few cheats but I am still saving a ton of money.  I have so many leftovers frozen away & so many canned & dry goods – I could literally last months.  The only problem is that produce gets scarce – so – I have allowed a twice-monthly delivery from Farm Fresh to You.  Anyway – I a rambling.

This soup is easy & customizable.   You could sub out or lose a few of the veggie ingredients to suit your fancy.

For the sandwich – I used my homemade Vegan Basil Mozzarella Cheese for Grating & Melting – seen below.

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You can use any cheese you prefer.  I also topped it with some hot green chiles of the ilk seen above.  You can use whatever level of heat suits you.

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Grilled Cheese & Chiles Sandwich

INGREDIENTS

Bread of choice

cheese of choice

vegan butter or cooking spray

Chiles of choice

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DIRECTIONS

Treat a pan with cooking spray or melted butter.  Butter one side of each slice of bread & spray with cooking spray.  Over medium heat, place the UNBUTTERED side of each slice down for a few seconds to warm them.  Then flip one slice, top with cheese & chiles & the other slice of bread – buttered side up.  Grill, flipping a few times & pressing with a spatula until the cheese gets soft and/or the bread id grilled to your taste.

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 Vegan Tomato Basil Bisque

Makes a lot – enough for 4 to eat as a meal or for more people as a side

INGREDIENTS

2 TBS olive oil

1 leek – sliced (or a small onion)

1 red bell pepper – seeded & chopped

3 garlic cloves

5 carrots – chopped

1 jalapeno – seeded & diced (optional)

52 ounces of tomato sauce or diced tomatoes (6-7 cups)

1/4 cup or more fresh basil

1/4 cup vegan cream cheese

1/4 cup vegan milk or cream

S&P

Garnish – fresh basil & maybe vegan cream or sour cream

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oil in a large stock pot.  Add the veggies (carrots, leek, bell pepper, jalapeno) & saute a few minutes – until the leek (or onion) is soft.  Add tomato sauce & garlic.    Bring to a boil.  When the carrots & other vegetables are soft, add the cream cheese, milk & basil.  Combine.  Now – in batches – blend with an immersion blender or a regular blender.  Season with salt & pepper.

Serve with fresh cracked pepper & basil leaves.  Swirl in some cream or sour cream, if you desire.

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Healthy and Cheesy Vegan Green Enchilada & Spicy Chili Pepper Mac & Cheese with Cauliflower

Leave a comment

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or just print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

4-30-16 (46)

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So – I wanted to make a healthier mac & cheese – less cheese (even less vegan cheese) and less pasta.  I looked in the fridge & my pantry & found these potential ingredients.

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As it turned out – I used all but the vegan cream cheese & the Daiya cheddar shreds.    So – the only actual cheese (vegan cheese) in this recipe is the Field Roast Chao Tomato-Cayenne slices.  If you can’t find these or do not like them (I think the 3 Chao cheeses are the best grocery store vegan cheeses on the market so far) – then use Daiya or any other kind of vegan cheese – or even real cheese (if you are not vegan).

This is a very easy dish to make – though it does have a few steps.  The only special tool you need is a blender (or a food processor).  No need to soak cashews overnight.  And – most importantly – it is VERY convincing!  None of the over-powering flavor of nutritional yeast yet all the wet, creaminess of real mac & cheese.  I swear – non-vegans will not identify this as vegan.  It has the additional benefit of using two full heads of cauliflower – but they blend in and become virtually undetectable – so your veggie hating kiddies will likely eat this with little argument (though you might want to reduce the spiciness for tender palates).

My primary excitement about this recipe is the green enchilada roux.  Traditional roux is made with butter, flour & milk.  I definitely wanted to use the green enchilada sauce but I did not want the dish to be swimming in liquid – as I feared it might be if I made a roux with milk and also added the enchilada sauce.  Happy news!  The enchilada sauce blended & thickened with the butter & flour as easily as milk would have but added SO much more flavor.

Again – while there are a few steps (mainly, boiling & draining to heads of cauliflower & the pasta) – none are difficult & the resulting dish is supremely gratifying!   I hope you try it!

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Healthy and Cheesy Vegan Green Enchilada & Spicy Chili Pepper Mac & Cheese with Cauliflower

Serves at least 6

INGREDIENTS

2 heads cauliflower (I used one white & one yellow)

for the roux

4 TBS vegan butter

4 TBS flour

16 oz green enchilada sauce

7 oz vegan cheddar (sliced up or grated)

1/4 cup nutritional yeast (SUPER optional – I just had a little left over that I wanted to use up)

for the mac & cheese

1-2 jalapenos – one seeded & diced and one seeded & sliced (optional – depending on your taste for spice)

1 4oz can diced green chilies (I used hot but you could use mild)

2 ears corn – kernels cut from the cob (or about one 14 oz can of corn or 1 cup frozen corn)

1 lb pasta (shape of your choice)

1-2 cups breadcrumbs (I used panko)

Cooking spray

GARNISH: cilantro, avocado, diced tomato, hot sauces, additional fresh jalapeno or canned chilies

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Treat a 9×13 casserole pan with cooking spray.

Cook the pasta according to directions (maybe 1 minute less than suggested) – drain & set aside.

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If you are using 2 different colors of cauliflower – you might want to cut each into florets & then boil & drain them each separately.  Or not.  It doesn’t matter much but the yellow cauliflower purees & looks like a cheesier sauce than white cauliflower will.  Still – some cheddar cheeses are white – so – don’t sweat it, whatever you decide.  If you are just using 2 heads of the same color – boil until just tender (5-7 minutes) – drain & set aside.

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If you used one head of yellow cauliflower – put it (with about 1 cup of hot water) into a blender & puree until very smooth.  Only add just as much water as you need to accomplish this – which could be more or less than a cup of water – depending on the size of the head you used.

If you used to heads of the same color – just puree one head worth as described above.  Set aside.

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Melt the butter in a sauce pan & whisk in the flour.  It should thicken & brown a bit very quickly – maybe a minute.  Add the enchilada sauce incrementally – letting it thicken before adding more – until it is all incorporated & rater thick.

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Add the cheese & stir until it melts.

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Add the pureed cauliflower & nutritional yeast (if using), salt & pepper to taste, and then one diced jalapeno, canned chilies & the corn.

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Combine & adjust S&P – if necessary.

Put the sauce in a large bowl & then add the pasta and the remaining cauliflower florets.  Combine.

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Pour the mac & cheese into the casserole dish & top with breadcrumbs & maybe some sliced jalapeno.  Spray with cooking spray – as this helps the breadcrumbs brown (because vegan cheese does not have the animal fat of real cheese – which is what browns in traditional mac & cheese).

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Bake at 400 for about 30-45 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are browned a bit & the cheese sauce is bubbly.

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Let rest for about ten minutes & then serve.  Garnish with avocado, cilantro, diced tomatoes and/or anything else you like.

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Beyond Meat Vegetarian Roasted Sweet Potato Chili with Beyond Beef – Frozen Dinner – Part 3

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or just print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

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Ever have a bad day?  Did your dog die?  Your woman left you for your best friend?  Your horse run off with that wild stallion?  Broke your last git-tar string?  Coffee run out?  Whiskey, too?   Dusty trail whipping sand in your face & tumblweeds frolicking ever-where – mocking your pain?  Ten gallon hat feeling 5 gallons flat?  Feeling slow on the draw?  Plum outta chaw?   That saloon whore left you feeling itchy in places nobody wants to be itchy?  Has your get up & go just got up & went?  Has one final-straw motherfucker used the phrase “assless chaps” – as if ASSLESS was not the fucking DEFINITION of chaps – otherwise they’d just be called fucking PANTS?

Need a little comfort food to go with your moonshine but you can’t really cook or you are too exhausted, anyway?  Well – giddy-up, cowboy!

Beyond Meat to the rescue!

Beyond Meat has done it again!  Very soon, 4 different, single-serving frozen meals will become available.  They might already be available at Whole Foods in the frozen meal aisle.  I was lucky enough to find one of each kind and I will talk about the Vegetarian Roasted Sweet Potato Chili here today.

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Zaps in the microwave in between 3-6 minutes.  And an even lower calorie count (compared to the Korean BBQ & Vietnamese Lemongrass) – with only 270 calories!!!    I like my food spicy so I added a squirt (or ten) of Crystal hot sauce to this & it was perfect!  And for those concerned about protein intake – this has 21 grams!  This dish was hearty for 270 calories & I bet meat eaters would never guess it is vegan.  Tough to cook on a campfire but you are probably glamping, anyway.  So far – Beyond Meat has hit it out of the park with the three I’ve tried.  My review of the fourth coming soon!

Non-GMO & 100% vegan – this is a welcome new dish in the convenience food market.  I highly recommend it!  Vegan, non-GMO & right in the ballpark with Lean Cuisines (et al) with a very low calorie count.  Win-win-win!

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Pasta with Romanesco Cauliflower (Broccoli), Lemon & Chili Flakes (Vegetarian or Vegan)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or just print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Every two weeks, I get a box of mixed veggies from Farm Fresh To You.  I enjoy it because they are locally grown but also because they send me things I have never used before – like this Romanesco Cauliflower (or Romanesco broccoli).   It is striking to look at & almost looks other-worldly.  It has the texture of cauliflower but is described as tasting slightly nutty & earthy.  I found the flavor to be very mild – much like cauliflower – so you can use it any way you would use cauliflower.  I chose this light pasta dish.  I used real cheese in it but that is not necessary.  You can omit it with little loss to overall flavor or use a bit of nutritional yeast or vegan hard cheese – grated.

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Pasta with Romanesco Cauliflower (Broccoli), Lemon & Chili Flakes (Vegetarian or Vegan)

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1-2 heads of Romanesco cauliflower – cut into florets (or one bunch broccoli or head of cauliflower – cut into bite-sized pieces)

1 lemon (zest & juice)

Olive oil

Crushed red pepper to taste (I used a lot – like – 2 TBS – but use it at your own discretion)

1-4 garlic cloves – chopped

1/2 lb pasta (cooked)

S&P

Cheese (grated Parmesan or other hard cheese or vegan alternative or a TBS or so of nutritional yeast) – quantity totally up to you

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DIRECTIONS

Cook pasta according to directions, drain & set aside.

Meanwhile – boil the Romanesco florets for about 3 minutes.  Scoop out about 1 cup of the hot veggie water & set aside.  Drain & plunge the Romanesco into cold water to stop it from cooking too much.

Heat 1-2 TBS olive oil in a large saute pan.  Add the crushed red pepper, garlic & lemon zest.  Cook for about a minute & then add the Romanesco.  Heat through.

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Add some cheese & some of the hot veggie water.  Stir to combine.  Season with S&P.  Add more cheese if you like.

Add the pasta & some of the lemon juice.  Stir to combine & then adjust seasonings – maybe adding more cheese (or nutritional yeast) or S&P or lemon or crushed red pepper.

Serve!  Add more cheese if you desire.

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3 Meat, 3 Bean & 3 Pepper Vegan Chili for the Slow Cooker

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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I’m not gonna lie – I haven’t posted in a while because I have been living – almost exclusively – on my Easy Crispy Oven Baked French Fries – seen above.  They are crispy & yummy & nearly guiltless.  Still – I had to bring some vegan food to a BBQ this weekend so I made a fuckton of vegan chili – THIS chili – 3 Meat, 3 Bean & 3 Pepper Vegan Chili for the Slow Cooker.  It makes enough to fill a 7-quart Crockpot – which can feed a LOT of people (ten or more).  I brought some to the BBQ & used some for work lunches & froze some.  The ingredients are actually pretty random & very forgiving so – feel free to reduce the overall recipe or to tweak the ingredients.

I used Beyond Meat Feisty crumbles,

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Tofurky Chick’n & Apple sausages (which my meat-eating friend kept plucking out of the recipe & eating – shocked at how good it was),

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and whatever brand of soyrizo (meatless chorizo) they had at my supermarket.  Trader Joe’s usually carries soyrizo.  You can use whatever combo sounds good to you.

My bean to bean to bean ratio is simply the result of what I had around.  Dividing the quantities more evenly might be nice but once it is chili – a bean is a bean is a bean.  No?

My peppers were both red & green bell peppers, jalapeno peppers & chipotle peppers.  You can mix this up or change it to suit your tolerance for heat.

I also topped mine with this new brand of vegan cheese I found.  It melts into the chili nicely & tastes great.

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3 Meat, 3 Bean & 3 Pepper Vegan Chili for the Slow Cooker

Feeds a small community

INGREDIENTS

1 lb dry white beans (soaked overnight or quick-soaked)

1 (15 oz) can of black beans – drained or not – doesn’t really matter

2 (15 oz) cans of pinto beans – drained or not – doesn’t really matter

2 (9 oz) bags of Beyond Meat beefless crumbles

2 Tofurky (or other brand) sausages – flavor of your choice – cut into bite-sized pieces

2 soyrizo sausages – squeezed out of their casings

1 (4 oz) can of green chilies

1 (10 oz) can Rotel (or other diced tomato)

1 red bell pepper (seeded & chopped)

1 green bell pepper (seeded & chopped)

1-4 chipotle peppers (I used 4) in adobo – chopped

1 small onion – chopped

3 Roma (or other small) tomatoes – chopped

1-3 jalapeno peppers (I used 3) – seeded (or not – if you like heat) and diced

4 garlic cloves – minced

1/2 cup cilantro – chopped

1/3 cup your favorite BBQ sauce

2 TBS vegan Worcestershire sauce (optional)

3 cups (or more) vegetable stock

2 TBS fresh oregano (chopped) or 2 TBS dry oregano

1 TBS cumin

S&P

GARNISH OPTIONS – scallions, vegan cheese, vegan sour cream, cilantro, onions, hot sauce, sliced avocado, cooked rice

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DIRECTIONS

I seared the sausage just to give it grill marks.  Totally unnecessary.

Basically – put everything into the slow cooker & leave it on high for 4 or more hours.  If – it is looking too watery, take the lid off & cook on high until it gets to where you want it.  If it gets too thin – add some vegetable stock or water.  I like to let mine sit on low all day (after 4 hours of being on high), warm overnight & then high the next day to heat it for eating but this is totally not necessary.  Four hours on high & this shit should be good to go.  Season to taste & serve with the garnish of your choice!

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Baked Vegan Green Chili & Jalapeno Creamy Nacho Mac & Cheese

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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This is the exact same recipe as yesterday’s Vegan Stove Top Green Chili & Jalapeno Creamy Nacho Mac & Cheese – except I added panko & baked it.  I must say – it makes for a far prettier presentation – no?  That is the stove top version just above.  They taste the same – obviously, but the bread crumbs add a nice texture so – I recommend this baked one – enthusiastically – over the stove top.

Again – the flavor here is spicy-tart because of the chilies & jalapenos.  Add some hot sauce & boom!  Pretty awesome & genuinely spicy.

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Baked Vegan Green Chili & Jalapeno Creamy Nacho Mac & Cheese

Serves 4+

INGREDIENTS

12-16 oz pasta – cooked & drained

1 cup potato – cubed

1/2 cup carrots – sliced

1 cup raw cashews – soaked 4-6 hours or overnight

1/2 small onion – diced

3 garlic cloves – sliced

1 TBS olive oil

1 TBS nutritional yeast (optional)

3 oz diced green chilies (from a can – spice level is your call) – plus extra as garnish

3 oz jalapenos  (from a can – spice level is your call)

1 1/2 cups vegetable stock

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

2 TBS turmeric

S&P

1/4 cup vegan cheese shreds (I used Daiya) – TOTALLY optional

1-2 cups panko or other bread crumbs

Cilantro as garnish (optional)

Fresh jalapeno slices – as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cook & drain the pasta.  Set aside.

In the same pot, boil the carrots & potatoes about ten minutes or until very soft.  Drain & set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan.  Saute the onions until soft then add the garlic & saute another minute.

In a blender – puree everything except the pasta.  Puree until VERY smooth.  You might need to add some water to thin it out so it blends well.  Season to taste.

In the pot you used to cook the pasta – toss the pasta with the cheese sauce.  Put into a casserole pan & cover with panko.  Bake 30-35 minutes or until the bread crumbs begin to brown.

Serve with extra chilies and/or jalapenos & a pinch of chili powder.  Cilantro might be nice, too.

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Vegan Stove Top Green Chili & Jalapeno Creamy Nacho Mac & Cheese

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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OK – this vegan mac & cheese thing is a work in progress.  My first effort was my Fast and Easy Stove Top Vegan Mac and Cheese – seen immediately above – steaming away.  That one there relied heavily on nutritional yeast for the cheesy flavor but nutritional yeast has a very specific flavor & is not a hit with everyone – so – I made up a new recipe using far less of it.  You could even eliminate it altogether.  This one relies more on the green chilies and jalapeno for flavor – the way movie theater nachos kinda do.  Again – this is not going to fool a cheese-eater into believing they are eating real cheese but for vegans & for those of us weaning our way there – this is pretty good stuff!   This is the stove-top version.  I will post a baked version tomorrow.

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Vegan Stove Top Green Chili & Jalapeno Creamy Nacho Mac & Cheese

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

12-16 oz pasta – cooked & drained

1 cup potato – cubed

1/2 cup carrots – sliced

1 cup raw cashews – soaked 4-6 hours or overnight

1/2 small onion – diced

3 garlic cloves – sliced

1 TBS olive oil

1 TBS nutritional yeast (optional)

3 oz diced green chilies (from a can – spice level is your call) – plus extra as garnish

3 oz jalapenos  (from a can – spice level is your call)

1 1/2 cups vegetable stock

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

2 TBS turmeric

S&P

1/4 cup vegan cheese shreds (I used Daiya) – TOTALLY optional

Cilantro as garnish (optional)

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DIRECTIONS

First of all – this recipe makes more “cheese” than you will likely need for your pasta – so be prepared to use some as a nacho dip or something.  I made a lot so I could try baking it, too.  Those results soon.

Cook & drain the pasta.  Set aside.

In the same pot, boil the carrots & potatoes about ten minutes or until very soft.  Drain & set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan.  Saute the onions until soft then add the garlic & saute another minute.

In a blender – puree everything except the pasta.  Puree until VERY smooth.  You might need to add some water to thin it out so it blends well.  Season to taste.

In the pot you used to cook the pasta – toss the pasta with the cheese sauce.  Stir & heat through.

Serve with extra chilies and/or jalapenos & a pinch of chili powder.  Cilantro might be nice, too.

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Thai Bird’s Eye Chili Oil

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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This is very easy & makes a spicy oil you can cook Asian & other spicy foods in – or just leave it on the counter looking pretty.

Thai Bird’s Eye Chili Oil

INGREDIENTS

A large quantity of Thai Bird’s Eye Chilies (enough to tightly pack whatever jar you use)

Olive oil

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DIRECTIONS

Pick over the chilies & throw away any that are spotted or spoiled in any way.  Throw away twigs & leaves.  Shove them into a jar & fill with oil.  I then poked a knife into the center to split the ones I could not see & allow some heat to leak out.  Close the jar & let it sit for several days.

UPDATE – After about a week or two – I drained the oil into a clean bottle & threw the chilies away.  The oil is infused & spicy – but those peppers were fading.

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Vegan Beef Dan Dan Noodles (Redux) with Homemade Chili Oil

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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The other day, I posted my Vegan Jackfruit Spicy Szechuan Dan Dan Noodles – seen above – in the top photo under the one of me.  Today – I revisit Dan Dan – and, this time, I made it with Beyond Meat’s Feisty Beef-Free Crumbles – seen below.

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I changed the ingredients up a bit & I used a homemade chili oil.  Both Dan Dans were yummy – and the “meat” element could be interchanged.  I again used the Chinese pickled radish (where ya cai is called for  – or other Chinese preserved vegetables) – but, though this adds “authenticity,” I don’t think you need this ingredient – not really.  So lose it (if it is hard for you to find) – and make this comforting & yummy dish.

I used chow mein noodles this time but linguine or ramen or any pasta will do.

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Homemade Chili Oil

INGREDIENTS

1 cup oil (I used half grapeseed oil & half olive oil but any lightly flavored oil will do)

1/4 cup crushed red pepper

2 star anise

1 inch cinnamon stick

2 TBS whole Szechuan peppercorns

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DIRECTIONS

Combine in a pan & heat until it boils – and turn off heat.  Let it sit until it cools.  With a slotted spoon, remove the star anise & the cinnamon.  Put in a jar & chill.

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Vegan Beef Dan Dan Noodles (Redux)

serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb noodles (cooked as per directions)

2 heads Bok choy (optional)

for the meat

9 oz vegan beef crumbles

3-4 oz mushrooms – sliced

1 TBS sesame oil

2 tsp tahini

1 TBS chili bean sauce

2 tsp Shaoxing rice cooking wine (not vinegar)

1 tsp dark soy sauce (or regular or tamari)

1/2 tsp Chinese 5 spice

1/3 cup ya cai or other preserved Chinese vegetables (optional)

4 garlic cloves – minced

for the sauce

2 TBS tahini

3 TBS soy sauce (or tamari)

2 tsp sugar

1 TBS fresh ginger – minced

1/2 tsp Chinese 5 spice

1/2 tsp ground anise or Szechuan peppercorns (I ground mine with a mortar & pestle)

2 TBS chili oil (recipe above) – more if you like spice & are not worried about the dish being more oily

2 garlic cloves – mined

1 cup vegetable stock or pasta water or water

GARNISH – red or green diced jalapeno, cilantro

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DIRECTIONS

for the meat

Heat the sesame oil in a saute pan & add all the other ingredients.  Heat through & set aside on the lowest heat.

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for the sauce

Heat all the ingredients together & bring to a boil.  Set aside on lowest heat.

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Cook the noodles – adding the bok choy (if you are using it) to the final minute of the cooking pasta.

Drain & assemble the Dan Dan.

Ladle sauce into two bowls.  Top with noodles & bok choy & the meat mix.  Garnish.  Eat.  Rejoice

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Spicy Thai Basil Noodles with Sesame and Garlic

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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This is yet another easy one that also just happens to be vegetarian (and could easily be made vegan).  It comes together in ten minutes & it is really flavorful.  I was inspired to make this because I found these fresh egg noodles in my local Asian market – Bangluck.   This is enough for 4 and it cost $1.49.  Pretty great!

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If you cannot find this kind of fresh noodle or if you are vegan, angle hair pasta works fine.  And thin noodle would work.

I used jarred ginger & this chili oil below is available at Asian markets but also at most large supermarkets in the Asian food aisle.   Fresh ginger is available in most stores, too, if you can’t find this very convenient jarred stuff.  The real key here is the Thai basil as it packs a real flavor punch & tastes distinctly different from regular basil – but regular basil will do if it is all you have access to.

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Spicy Thai Basil Noodles with Sesame and Garlic

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1/2 pound noodles

1 TBS sesame oil

2 TBS ginger

4 garlic cloves – minced

2 TBS soy sauce or tamari

2 TBS balsamic vinegar

1 TBS agave nectar (or sugar)

1 TBS chili oil (or another TBS of sesame oil & 2 tsp crushed red pepper)

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup Thai basil – chopped

2 scallions – sliced

a handful of crushed nuts ( I used almonds) – optional

Vegetables are optional but I added 1 carrot cut into matchsticks & a dozen or so sugar snap peas

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the sesame oil over medium-high heat & saute the ginger & garlic for one minute.  If you are using sesame oil & crushed red pepper rather than chili oil – add them to the pan, too.  Stir & pour into a bowl & whisk in the soy sauce, balsamic, agave, chili oil & salt.

Boil water for the noodles.  If using fresh noodles, add the vegetables a minute before you add the pasta.  Fresh noodles cook very quickly.  Drain & toss with the sesame oil mixture.

If using regular pasta – add the vegetables you are using in the final minute of the noodle cooking time.  Drain & toss with the sesame oil mixture.

You can let these sit for an hour & really soak up the flavors & serve at room temperature – or eat them warm.  When you are ready to eat – toss in the basil & scallions & stir well.  Add nuts & you are good to go!

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Spicy Black Bean and Sweet Potato and Chicken Chili for a Slow Cooker (Vegan or Not!)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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There are still a few left! PERFECT book for your anti-Valentine’s Day book club meeting!

Buy a signed and LETTERED (hence – limited to 26 copies) copy of my book FROM THE LINK BELOW, and get copy of the short on DVD & 3 signed bookplates so you can give three people signed copies as gifts. The cost will be $25 which will include DOMESTIC shipping.

First come – first serve. When the 26 are gone – that is it. Buy ASAP if you want to be sure to get the templates for your Valentine’s Day gift giving this season!

http://www.bathingandthesinglegirlbook.com/store/p6/Christmas_LIMITED_Special%21.html

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There is nothing easier than a slow cooker recipe that doesn’t require anything but putting raw ingredients into the slow cooker & going away for five hours.

In my case – I had to leave for ten hours so I added far more water than would typically required and, ten hours later, I found it still too wet so I added more beans & cooked it overnight.  This resulted in a few things:

1) a FUCKTON of chili

2) the sweet potato was underrepresented in comparison to the beans & they completely disintegrated in the 24 hours they cooked.

You won’t have these issues if you just go for the traditional 5 hours on high.  This recipe filled a 7 quart slow cooker to the brim – so – divide it in half for a more reasonable quantity of chili – or go for the whole megillah  if you are having a party or have a large family or even if you want to freeze some.

You can add real chicken or omit the chicken (vegan or otherwise) completely.  I used dried beans but canned beans could be used & this would cook up in an hour – or the time it takes for the sweet potato to soften.

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Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili for a Slow Cooker (Vegan or Not!)

INGREDIENTS

2 lbs dry black beans (QUICK SOAK them if you want but I did not.  Or, the night before making the chili, rinse and cover the black beans with water in a bowl. Soak overnight at room temperature.  I did not but doing one of those things makes the beans less gassy.)

9 (or more) oz vegan chicken (or real cooked chicken) – optional (I recommend BEYOND MEAT brand vegan meats because they are THE BEST!)

7 cups vegetable stock

1/2 cup BBQ sauce

16 oz salsa

3 large sweet potatoes – peeled & cubed

10 carrots – sliced

1 onion – diced

1 red bell pepper – chopped

3 chipotle chili peppers in their adobo sauce – minced

6-10 garlic cloves – chopped

1 TBS salt

1 TBS pepper

1 TBS onion powder

1 TBS garlic powder

1 TBS ground cumin

Garnish possibilities: cooked rice, chopped onion, sour cream, sliced scallions, cilantro, diced tomatoes, jalapenos or grated cheese.

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DIRECTIONS

Put all that shit into the slow cooker & heat on high for 5 hours.  If it gets too dry – add water.  If it stays too wet – maybe take a cup or two of the chili out & puree it in the blender & put it back in or let it sit on high longer with the lid off.

Serve with your selected accoutrements & enjoy!

To reheat – boil a small amount of water (maybe 1/8 inch deep) in a pan & add the chili & mix it up & heat it through.

See?  EASY!

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8 Ingredient Spicy Chili – Vegetarian or Vegan (Slow Cooker or Crock Pot or Stove Top)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

There are still a few left! PERFECT book for your anti-Valentine’s Day book club meeting!

Buy a signed and LETTERED (hence – limited to 26 copies) copy of my book FROM THE LINK BELOW, and get copy of the short on DVD & 3 signed bookplates so you can give three people signed copies as gifts. The cost will be $25 which will include DOMESTIC shipping.

First come – first serve. When the 26 are gone – that is it. Buy ASAP if you want to be sure to get the templates for your gift giving this season!

http://www.bathingandthesinglegirlbook.com/store/p6/Christmas_LIMITED_Special%21.html

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I post that inspiration above because it has special resonance for me lately.  2014 (and this will be short – don’t worry) was a transformative year for me & the reasons are thus:

Someone unexpected saw things (good things) in me that I did not see in myself & gave me a life-changing opportunity.  It was a huge challenge for me but one I needed in more ways than one and my gratitude is profound.  The lesson here for me (and, possibly, you) is to trust when others try to elevate you (or support you – in any of the forms support can come in).  Don’t let fear of change or doubt in yourself sabotage you.  Accept opportunity.

Yet another unexpected person saw things (bad things) in me that simply do not exist.  Like a castrating parent, this person cut me down at every opportunity & relentlessly tried to cast me in a role that has nothing to do with who I really am.  Unlike my previous example, where I had to trust I could live up to the lofty expectations of the supportive person, in this case, I had to trust myself and know I could not & would not ever live down to the gutted expectations of the unsupportive person.   The lesson here for me (and, possibly, you) is to trust yourself when others try to drag you down.  Don’t let fear of change or doubt in yourself sabotage you.  Reject negativity.

It might sound trite or over-simplified and maybe – in this case (because I am being deliberately vague) – it is.  But the details of my experiences might just confuse how the inspiration could be applied to your own lives.  Sometimes, people we trust betray us.  Sometimes strangers step in and save our lives.  Stay open.  Absorb the good whenever it comes your way – even if it comes in a way you find awkward or embarrassing or undeserved.   Reject the negative when it inevitably comes your way – even if it comes from someone you trust completely and especially if the negativity becomes familiar and RUN – really fucking run – if the negativity starts feeling comfortable and deserved.

Surround yourself with what you WANT.  If that can’t be the best job or kindest people – then use pets & books & movies & art & nature & fitness & good food.

I will end my rant with this one bit of advice that can be applied to everything from your sock drawer to your social life.  Usefulness & beauty are infinitely interpretable.  So simple.  So easy.  Apply the advice above & below & make 2015 a great year.

Happy new year!

Have-nothing-in-your-house-that-you-not-know-to-be-useful-or-believe-to-be-beautiful.-William-Morris-Quote-about-decluttering-Quote

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On Christmas Eve, the badass Miles Miller & I were guests at a friend’s house.  We brought lots of goodies, including my Seven Layer Dip – seen just above.  We called Uber & loaded several bags of food & wine into the trunk & headed to South Pasadena.  When we arrived, we unloaded our groceries, thanked the driver & headed inside but not before both Miles & I noticed him inspecting his trunk.  Seems he wanted to be sure nothing had rolled out of the bags that would require him driving back to give us back our lost bag of chips or something.

Thirty minutes later, our hosts kept handing one of us a Food 4 Less bag & saying, “Here are your groceries.”   Since it did not belong to me or Miles, I finally inspected the bag’s contents.  There was a small bottle of shampoo, three small bottles of Arrowhead water & two cans of corn.  “This is your corn & shit, Rose,” I said.  Rose informed me that, in fact, the bag was not hers, either.

So, yeah.  Seems we stole our Uber driver’s little sack of bits & ends right out of his trunk.  He hadn’t been looking in his trunk to be sure we left nothing behind.  He was looking for his Goddamn corn & shampoo!  I texted Uber to explain but nothing ever came of it.   I just hope that driver didn’t have the worst Xmas eve ever when he returned home to an irate & thirsty wife with dirty hair and craving canned corn kernels — or needing them for a Christmas dinner favorite.  Oh, well.

Life gave me corn.  I made chili.  Chili, clean hair and motherfuck if I am not hydrated by those Arrowhead babies.  See how I accept the positive now – no matter the form in which it comes?

So – anyway – to this recipe.  Yeah.