In the colder months, one of my favorite meals to make is chili. I have even gone so far as to buy a vegetarian chili cookbook, but I always come back to this basic recipe based off of my Mom’s Crockpot Chili. I decided for this latest version of my mom’s veganized chili, I would use more whole foods and fewer processed ingredients. So instead of frozen veggie crumbles or canned kidney beans, I used dried beans that I had soaked the night before and cooked for a couple of hours on the stove top before putting into the recipe. I used the three bean combination of black-eyed peas, chickpeas, and black beans, based on what was in my cabinets already. I used approximately 1 cup of each of these beans (post cooking), but feel free to use as many beans as you like. As a lover of beans, I tend to use a lot. I also omitted vegan cheese from this recipe. Instead of using a slow cooker, I cooked all of the ingredients in a large pot on the stove in about 1 hour. It was wonderful, spicy, and healthy! We served it with a mixed green salad and ciabatta bread from Ithaca Bakery.
In the process of trying to come up with a gluten-free, healthier alternative for fall dessert for friends who were health conscious, I decided to give baked apples a try. There are many recipes out there, but I settled up this Baked Apples recipe on Simply Recipes for my fruit fix.
Not being a huge fan of currants or raisins, I left them out of the recipe. I also used a vegan butter and have altered this recipe by using walnuts in place of pecans when I did not have any pecans on hand. You can probably use almost any apple to your liking, but I used whatever organic apples that were for sale in my local co-op. The results were amazing. It was a perfect blend of sweet brown sugar, warm nuts, cinnamon and butter.
For those avoiding added sugar and fat, you can leave out the butter and brown sugar (just a bit of cinnamon and nuts will suffice). The apples essentially cook in the water and some of their own juices making for a warm, delectable dessert on a cool autumn evening. I plan on trying something similar in the future with baked pears. Enjoy!
A hearty soup with white beans is always comforting and welcome when the fall weather finally hits. This soup was based on the My Healthy Eating Habits blog recipe for Wicked Vegan White Beans. I used some dried navy beans that I soaked overnight and then boiled in water for a couple of hours. I also replaced the spinach (as I didn’t have any on hand) with fresh green beans from our CSA. This meal is one that is good for you and sticks to your bones. It goes well with a nice crusty bread and salad.
After hearing about an amazing hummus vegan pizza from a now defunct Canadian restaurant, I decided to try my hand at this hummus-style pizza. Instead of using vegan cheese or even red sauce, I slathered the base of a cornmeal store-bought crust, with homemade pesto. Then I generously spread store-bought hummus as my “cheese” over the pesto. I topped it with slices of roma tomatoes and fresh basil leaves. I baked the pizzas according to the directions on the pizza crust package (probably at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, if memory serves me correctly).
It was a filling meal (even just one or two slices) and the tomato and basil toppings were a nice counterbalance to the chickpeas and pesto base. Since I’ve had this, I have even requested hummus on a thick crust at a local bar with even more tantalizing results (which I’ll blog about in the future). The crust helps make all the difference. This pie was great, in part, because of the thicker, tasty cornmeal crust. I will definitely make this again in different variations and would recommend it to any hummus lovers or those wanting to branch out of the normal “cheesy” pizzas. May the hummus-pizza revolution begin!
After getting several green tomatoes and green beans from our CSA, I decided to go on a frying spree. Using this recipe from blogger Bianca Phillips from Vegan Crunk, featured on One Green Planet, I made some of the most amazing fried green tomatoes. Having grown up part of my childhood in the South and still having many extended family members living there, I developed a taste for fried vegetables. Once, when I was in high school, I almost burned down our kitchen making fried green tomatoes for the first time after a frying pan of oil caught on fire. Luckily no one was seriously injured and I’ve become more aware of kitchen safety. We don’t fry up too many foods like this, so I don’t feel too guilty doing it every once in a while. These were good tomatoes, but the hubs thought they could have been crispier.
I was also craving fried green beans after having some amazing ones at a local restaurant. Using this recipe from The Neelys on Food.com, I made fried green beans for the very first time. I think it could have been improved if I had been more effective in my battering style. I didn’t get the coating of batter on each green bean evenly and it affected the cooking. Also, more spices could have been added to the batter to give it more flavor. I did use Chipotle Vegenaise as a dipping sauce for the green beans, which was divine!
To add to the meal, and to use up some of the red tomatoes we got in our CSA, I made a spicy chickpea casserole based on a former recipe I created and posted about for spicy chickpeas. The only difference is that I put this recipe into a glass Pyrex dish and put slices of tomatoes on top and baked it in the oven at 400 degrees for approximately 30 minutes.
We’ve had abundance of corn lately that we’ve gotten from our local farmers market. Adding it to this dish seemed quite appropriate and balanced out the spicy and fried foods quite well.