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.
This meal was inspired by my desire to use fresh veggies from my CSA share and local legumes and corn. I also want to start focusing on making my own dressings for salads.
Using inspiration from several different lime-cilantro dressings I found online, I came up with this recipe. It makes approximately 1/2 cup of dressing.
2 TB freshly squeezed lime juice (about 1/2 of a lime)
2 TB balsamic vinegar
2 TB olive oil
1 clove fresh garlic (chopped)
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
handful of fresh basil (about 4 leaves)
salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp agave (optional)
Put all of the ingredients into a standalone blender or use an immersion blender to mix and liquify all of the ingredients together in a tall glass or container. Mix desired amount (I used about half) into salad. Toss and serve immediately.
The arugula salad was simple to make and all ingredients came from our CSA share this week.
4 cups fresh arugula
2 carrots (sliced)
1 cup cherry tomatoes
2 TB toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
Wash and rinse the arugula. Allow it to drain in a colander or use a salad spinner. Scrub and rinse the carrots and slice thinly. Remove stems from cherry tomatoes and wash. Put arugula, carrots, and cherry tomatoes into a large bowl. Toast the pumpkin seeds for a few minutes in a small skillet on the stove until they start to plump up. Remove from stove top. Toss the salad with the lime-cilantro dressing (1/4 cup will suffice). Plate the salad and add the pumpkin seeds on top.
The blend of spicy arugula with the citrus dressing was a healthy and sublime combination. The toasted pumpkin seeds also gave it an added crunch and kick.
Spicy Black Beans
4 cups of black beans (I used dried beans, but canned will also suffice)
1 large onion (chopped)
1 jalapeno (diced)
chili powder to taste
hot sauce to taste (I used Frank’s Red Hot)
If using dried black beans, you’ll need to soak them overnight and cook with water (plenty to cover them and then a couple more inches) for at least 2 hours before you want to use them. Alternatively, you can use canned black beans. When the beans are softened after cooking in water (if using dried beans), add the onion, jalapeno, and chili powder. Cook until most of the water is gone and the onion and jalapeno have softened. Serve and add hot sauce on top for added spice.
We also enjoyed this meal with local grilled corn. We always leave it in the husk for a smoked feel. We grill the corn approximately 15-20 minutes on a low flame on our gas grill. This is a great meal focusing on beans, greens, and grains (our favorite combination). Bon appetit!
Finding a new recipe that coincides with a beloved treat such as corn fritters is true bliss! We had recently enjoyed corn fritters from Macro Mamas at the Ithaca Farmers Market. I thought I’d surprise the man by making them homemade when I stumbled upon this amazing recipe for corn fritters with homemade sweet chili sauce by Koko Brill from Koko’s kitchen on One Green Planet.
The recipe for the fritters and accompanying sweet chili sauce were quite simple to make (don’t let the list of ingredients intimidate!). The fritters were very corn-filled (which is a good thing). I’ve had some in the past that seemed like mostly batter or were missing many whole kernels. This fritter did not disappoint. My husband liked that this version was a little healthier than the average corn fritter (as it wasn’t deep fried, but he still loves ’em fried). It maintained its characteristics after being reheated as well.
To accompany the fritters, I roasted some multicolored beets we got from our CSA share and tossed them with fig balsamic vinegar. They had a pleasant sweetness to complement the other flavors on the menu. To complete the meal, I braised some collard greens and made spicy black beans with jalapenos and cajun seasoning. Simply amazing!
A friend recently asked me what I usually made for lunch. This got me to ponder what I actually eat (since most of the time I focus on making hearty meals for dinner). Most of the time I eat leftovers from dinner from the night before. I decided to start documenting the times though that I do find myself making an original lunch.
This meal was brought to fruition from some leftovers I had in the fridge (i.e. black beans & black olives), some of my staple convenience foods (whole wheat tortillas, Daiya cheese, Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream, salsa), and some CSA food (kale).
It was very easy to make. I warmed a whole wheat tortilla in a skillet on the stove and added some Daiya cheese until it started to melt. I reheated some beans with chili powder and put them on the taco. Lastly I put some raw ripped kale leaves, sliced black olives, and some vegan sour cream and salsa on top. Voila! Instant, easy, and tasty!
Tuxedo Cat Desserts, Dinner, Gluten-free beet burger, beets, black beans, brown rice, Ciao Bella, Columbus, CSA, dessert, dinner, Ener-G Egg Replacer, gluten-free, grilled kale, kale, kale chips, mango, Northstar, Northstar Burger, Ohio, sorbet, veggie burger, Yelp
When we were on a recent trip, we stopped in Columbus, OH at Northstar Cafe in Short North, which is known for their awesome veggie burger (just made of beets, black beans, and brown rice). It is so good, even omnis rave about it all over Yelp (see their reference to the Northstar Burger).
I had not thought of the burger until this past week, when I got a bunch of beets in my CSA and I was trying to figure out what to do with them. I did a Google search, and found others who were so inspired by the Northstar Burger, that they attempted to duplicate it in this recipe.
The only minor changes I made were to use 1 cup of brown rice (to get the intended effect of the actual Northstar Burger), added more flour (at least double or triple their recommended amount of 2 TB) and some Ener-G Egg Replacer after the first batch, seeing as it needed more binding. I also did not include cheese on this burger. *For my gluten-free friends, this could easily be made GF by using all-purpose GF flour instead of white flour in the recipe. Additionally, you’d want to put it on a GF bun as well.
The burger fell apart a bit at first (before I figured I should put more flour in the mix), but the taste was delicious and savory. We served it up with grilled kale chips, which you’ll recognize from one of my previous posts.
Dessert was a simple Ciao Bella mango sorbet, with fresh local blueberries and organic strawberries.