Good morning blog!
I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. I did a whole lot of sleeping! I’m not sure if it’s the colder weather or the time change, but I go into hibernation mode in the winter. I actually love my ability to succumb to a mini-coma this time of year. It drives my fiancé crazy, since he has to complete a ritual to fall asleep at night. It includes reading the news out loud from his Flipboard app, which drives me crazy sometimes and therefore even outs our craziness. Then he checks the scores on his ESPN app and then he goes through a list of things he has to do the next day. Somewhere around the Flipboard app, I’m out like a little bear. I also have crazy dreams in the winter time, but I suspect this has to do with whatever doom news Alex is reading aloud while my subconscious is listening.
Our dog Leo is also a mini-coma participant in the winter time. He snores so loudly sometimes I have to wake him up. I love when he has dreams and he’s trying to run in his sleep. If Alex and I are talking too loudly, he will growl a tiny cute growl like “HEY, I’m trying to knock myself out here!” Who is the boss of this house anyway? So basically, Leo and I are in hibernation right now. This leaves Alex and Buddha to fend for our house during the night. I like to think that the two of them are bonding over their mutual inability to sleep well at night, but I’m pretty sure that’s not happening…
So back to my weekend! I have discovered I love chili. I thought when I went vegetarian for good back in 2008, I would never be able to try chili again, though I wasn’t a huge fan of it back when I did eat meat sometimes. There are no places to go in Arkansas to grab a piping hot cup of vegetarian chili, let alone vegan chili. I have tried other versions with just beans and it wasn’t hitting the spot either. However, with a little searching, I have found the solution. It comes from a combination of my Forks Over Knives cookbook and a Whole Foods recipe, and it lasts about three days in my house (which is a long time considering the appetite of my athlete fiancé)! I have taken a photo which you will see below, but beware, they are not Good Housekeeping worthy. I’m still new at this blog thing so I promise to get better with age.
Side note: This is not the actual recipe, but rather my version that is based on my findings from sources cited above.
Mushroom and Bean Chili
1 medium Yellow Onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 large portobello mushrooms (or shiitake!), cubed/chopped
3 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 teaspoons chili powder
1-2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper (depending on how hot you like it!)
2 (15 oz) cans of no-salt added kidney beans, rinsed and drained (or pinto beans!)
1 (15 oz) can no-salt added diced tomatoes
Black pepper to taste
To garnish: 1/4 cup chopped cilantro and 2 sliced fresh jalapeño peppers (optional)
1. Heat a large sauce pot over medium-high heat until hot.
2. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic and cook about 3-4 minutes until beginning to brown. Add 1-2 teaspoons of water at a time to keep them from sticking to the pan (Awesome healthy secret- you don’t need oil!)
3. Stir in mushrooms and cook another minute or two, until they start to soften and brown. Add in chili powder and cayenne pepper and mix together. Smell that awesome aroma?
4. Add in broth and turn that heat UP! Stir frequently for about 1 minute.
5. Add in beans and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered (I forgot to cover mine and it still worked out) for 25-30 minutes.
6. Stir in black pepper. Serve with cilantro and jalapeños.
It should look similar to the above photo, taken by myself (again, I promise to get better). I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! It can be served as a main course (it is really filling) or you can also serve it as a side. I was actually starving last night after a long run, so I made a vegan cheese quesadilla with whole wheat tortillas to eat alongside my soup. I imagine you could do any number of sandwich or salad combinations with the soup. For desert, I had a bartlett pear from Whole Foods! It was a perfect meal for a chilly night.
Until next time,