Veggie Chili

Prep Time: 25 minutes / Cook Time: 1 hour 20 Minutes / Total Time: 2 hours

2 medium zucchini

2 medium red onions

4 cloves garlic

1 red bell pepper

1 green bell pepper

2 jalapenos

¾ cup olive oil

1 ½ lbs fresh plum tomatoes

1 35 ounce can crushed tomatoes

2 15.5 ounce can kidney beans

1 15.5 ounce can garbanzo beans

2 Tbs chili powder

2 Tbs cumin

1 Tbs garlic powder

1 Tbs cumin seed (optional)

1 Tbs salt

Juice of one lemon

Tabasco to taste

Chop garlic, peppers, and onions. Preheat a heavy pot and add olive oil and chopped veggies and salt. Soften on medium high heat for about 5-7 minutes. While softening, add chili powder, cumin, garlic powder. Stirring occasionally. Chop zucchini and plum tomatoes and add in. Stir to mix while continuing on medium high heat for another 5-7 minutes. Open your cans of beans, drain using a fine mesh strainer, and lightly rinse. Add the beans and stir well to combine while maintaining heat. Add crushed tomatoes. Boost heat and bring to a soft boil.

Then lower heat to a slow, bubbling simmer – probably medium low heat. Simmer uncovered for 60 minutes. Stirring occasionally. Stir in lemon juice and a few shakes of Tabasco to finish before serving.

Serve extra chopped cilantro, fresh lime, avocado, chopped green onions, and sour cream for add-ins.

Enjoy!

Beyond Chili

Prep Time: 45 mins / Cook Time: 1 hour 15 min / Total Time: 2 hours

4 or 5 dried ancho chile pods

5 ½ cups of boiling water

1 lb Beyond Beef (preferred – other vegan crumbles can substitute)

¼ cup olive oil

1 15.5 ounce can pink beans (or pinto beans)

1 15.5 ounce can black beans

1 fresh poblano chile

1 green bell pepper

1 red bell pepper

2 medium/large fresh plum tomatoes

2 medium red onions

4 cloves garlic

½ fresh squeezed lime

2 Tbs salt

2 Tbs chili powder

1 Tbs cumin

1 Tbs cumin seed (optional)

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp garlic powder

½ tsp cayenne pepper

Be careful or wear gloves and rinse dried chiles. Strip off the hard stem, empty most of the seeds, and remove any fibrous veins. Place cleaned pods into a large glass or stainless-steel bowl. Bring 5 ½ cups of water to a boil and pour over cleaned dried chile pods. Let soak for at least 30 minutes. After they rest, pour all into a blender or food processor and liquify. I use a high-speed blender, but any blender will do. Set aside.

In a heavy pot, add oil and one chopped red onion and 1 Tbs of salt. Soften the chopped onion for a couple minutes on medium high heat. Then add the Beyond Beef and break it up with a wooden spoon continuing on medium high heat until slightly browned and firm. About 5-7 minutes. Remove from pot with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Chop garlic, peppers, and remaining onion and add to pot and soften on medium high heat for about 4-5 minutes. Add salt, chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, and cayenne. Stirring occasionally. Chop the plum tomatoes and add in. Continue on medium high for a couple more minutes. Open your cans of beans, drain using a fine mesh strainer, and lightly rinse. Add the beans and stir well to combine while maintaining heat.

Pour in blended chile liquid and stir. Turn up heat and bring just to a boil. Add in pre-prepped Beyond Beef and lower heat to a slow, bubbling simmer – probably medium low heat. Simmer uncovered for at least 1 hour. Stirring occasionally. Squeeze ½ lime into chili and before serving.

Don’t rush the simmer time – the chile sauce needs this cook time to deepen and mellow.

Note: If you’re not using Beyond Beef, add your pre-prepped crumbles later in simmer time. These alternatives tend to break down. For instance, if using Boca or Morning Star, add in with about 10 minutes of simmer time left to go.

Chopped cilantro, fresh lime, grated cheddar, avocado, and sour cream for add-ins.

Enjoy!

Green & White Chili

Prep Time: 15 minutes / Cook Time: 45 Minutes / Total Time: 1 hour

1 ½ lbs fresh tomatillos

2 15.5 ounce cans cannellini beans

1 green bell pepper

1 fresh poblano chile

2 jalapenos

1 medium red onion

3 cloves garlic

¼ olive oil

1 small can of green chiles

½ cup frozen corn

½ cup frozen shelled edamame (can substitute lima beans)

2 cups vegetable stock

1 Tbs salt

1 Tbs cumin

1 tsp cumin seeds (optional)

1 tsp garlic powder

Juice of 1 fresh lime

3 Tbs of fresh chopped cilantro

Chop garlic, peppers, and onion. Preheat a heavy pot and add olive oil and chopped veggies and salt. Soften on medium high heat for about 5-7 minutes. While softening, add cumin, garlic powder, and the entire contents of your little green chile can. Stirring occasionally.

Peel off the husks, wash, and chop the tomatillos and add in. Stir to mix while continuing on medium high heat. Open your cans of beans, drain using a fine mesh strainer, and lightly rinse. Add the beans, corn, and edamame and stir well to combine while maintaining heat.

Pour in vegetable stock and stir. Turn up heat and bring just to a boil. Then lower heat to a slow, bubbling simmer – probably medium low heat. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Stirring occasionally. The tomatillos will break down toward the end of the simmer time and the chili will thicken. Stir in lime juice and chopped cilantro to finish before serving.

Serve extra chopped cilantro, fresh lime, avocado, and sour cream for add-ins.

Enjoy!

Red Lentil & Tart-Apple Salad (masoor dal)

You gotta be quick! Red lentils are little guys that cook fast. But the good news is, you can make this protein-packed, colorful, and fresh salad in under 30 minutes.

Note: Make sure you have a fine mesh strainer in your arsenal – a big old pasta colander won’t work here.

Prep Time: 15 minutes / Cook Time: 10 Minutes

2 cups water

¾ cup red lentils

2 stalks celery

1 tart apple (Granny Smith work well)

2 Tbsp lemon juice

4 green onions

1 red bell pepper

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

¼ cup olive oil

¼ tsp coarse salt

Cayenne pepper to taste

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, and a couple shakes of cayenne pepper, stir and set aside.

Wash and trim the green onions and cut into fine rings, including some tender green parts. Cut the apple into slices and then into strips. Cut the red pepper into similar sized strips as the apple and thinly slice the celery stalks. Toss all the veggies in a large bowl with the lemon juice.

In a medium sauce pan, stir together the red lentils and water and bring to a gradual boil on medium to medium high heat. Don’t go anywhere because this won’t take long…. As soon as it comes to a boil, stir and reduce heat to low. Test a few – they should still be a little firm (the color will be a little darker at the center) – stir again and stand over the slowly simmering pot. In about 2 minutes, stir and test again…they should be done. Remove from heat immediately and drain well into a fine strainer. Run some cold water around the sides of the strainer, but not directly over the lentils, then toss gently, and repeat the cold water around the side thing and the toss again to release any excess water.

Transfer the lentils to the bowl with the veggies and fold together gently first, then add the dressing you made earlier. Toss gently again to mix. Let it hang out for a while to rest, toss again, and serve.

Tip 1: I prefer to remove some of the Granny Smith apple skin, but not all. Wash them well too…they can be waxy.

Tip 2: Toast some chopped walnuts or pine nuts and sprinkle on top!

Enjoy!

Lentil Salad (sabut masoor)

Lentils can be a little daunting when you’re not just using them for tasty soup. When cooking they can turn on you pretty quickly and become the consistency of baby food. Be sure to read the process instructions below before you start the recipe and I hope it helps. Once you get confident, you’ll be cooking them all the time as they make a great palette for many different flavor traditions.

An excellent source of protein, lentils are very inexpensive – you can buy them bulk or in a 1 pound cello bag for under a dollar. Ounce for ounce, lentils contain as much protein as steak and tons more fiber.

Prep Time: 15 minutes / Cook Time: 30 Minutes / Refrigeration Time: 2 hours

2 cups lentils

2 tsp salt

1 medium onion stuck with 2 or 3 cloves

1 bay leaf

1 tsp thyme

½ cup olive oil

1 ½ cup of finely sliced green onion

¼ finely chopped bell pepper (red or orange works nice here)

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

4 Tbps white wine or apple cider vinegar

1 ½ tsp black pepper

½ cup fresh parsley, chopped

Put the lentils in a pot and add water to cover by about 1”. Add the salt, clove stabbed onion, along with the bay leaf and thyme. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat to low and cover. It’s kinda like you’re cooking rice, but you’re going to want to check and stir them about every 5 minutes. Not a violent stir, just fold them over and quickly recover the pot. Simmer this way until the lentils are just tender, but still firm. About 30 minutes. As with beans, test a couple to make sure – just one lentil could be lying to you.

You’re going to have some liquid left over but that’s cool – drain well, remove the plugged onion (say ‘thank you’ and discard), and transfer the lentils to a large bowl. Add a few tablespoons of the olive oil and again, fold them over to mix. Let cool, but not completely, then add the rest of the ingredients and the remaining olive oil, but just half the parsley. Toss gently to mix.

Put in the refrigerator and let it rest and cool for at least an hour.

When serving, add the remaining chopped parsley and grind a little more black pepper over the top and add a little extra olive oil if needed…a squeeze of lemon here wouldn’t be bad either.

Enjoy!

Red Chile Sauce

This is a simplified version of New Mexican red chile sauce. By using the dried pods of flavorful peppers you’re tapping into a rich, deep, traditional flavor. It’s not a hot sauce but almost a stock that enriches and complement the flavors around it.

This recipe is not complete – This sauce needs to cook. One of my grandmother’s pet peeves was when the tomatoes in an Italian Red Sauce “weren’t cooked” – she could identify the slight bitterness that came from a rushed Sunday gravy. Tomato Sauce needs time to mellow and blend and so does the Red Chile Sauce.

Most commonly, I’ll use this sauce as a replacement for a big can of tomatoes in my Chili recipes. I simmer my chili for a while so it has time to mellow and, oddly enough, intensify at the same time. To use as a salsa, you’ll need to bring it to simmer it to reduce the volume by 1/3 to 1/2, depending on how thick you’d like it. For instance, I use this as an Enchilada sauce and reduce it by about 1/3. For a thicker salsa, I’d bring it down to a cup.

Big dried chile pods are (or should be) cheap and I suggest finding a good international market to find different varieties and a lower price than a ‘gourmet’ market. My favorites are Chile Negro, Guajillo Chiles, and Ancho Chiles. An Ancho Chile is a dried poblano pepper…generally mild, but as with all peppers they can vary in intensity from pepper to pepper. Guajillo chiles are a dried mirasol pepper and have a medium spice and a rich flavor. Chile Negro are the hottest of the bunch and these are the dried version of the pasilla pepper and commonly used in Mole sauces.

I suggest wearing gloves during prep…or not…roll the dice you badass!

Prep Time: 10 minutes / Soak Time: 60 Minutes

4 large dried chiles (Ancho, Guajillo, Chile Negro, or other)

1 clove garlic

1 Tbsp kosher salt

2 Tbs apple cider vinegar

About 2 cups of boiling water

Rinse to clean the whole dried chile. Placing them on a paper towel mat as a workspace. Pull the hard, top stem off – if it doesn’t have a stem, it will still have a pretty hard mass at the top, take that off. Pull open the chile and strip out the seed and veins. Put the cleaned chiles in a glass or stainless-steel bowl.

Cover the chiles with about 2 cups of boiling water and let soak for at least 1 hour.

After soaking, carefully pour the rehydrated chiles along with the soaking liquid into a food processor or high-speed blender. Peel and crush your garlic clove and add that to the blender along with the salt and cider vinegar. Blend well.

Use in a recipe immediately or refrigerate. Will keep tightly sealed in the fridge for about a month.

If you’d like to use this as a traditional salsa or to add a deep, rich, warm flavor to a fresh dish, you should simmer to reduce by 1/3 to 1/2 – otherwise it can taste pretty bitter and raw. In a small sauce pan bring the chile sauce to a boil and then simmer on low, uncovered, for at least 20 minutes or until you reach your desired consistency.

Enjoy!

Butter Bean & Potato Stew

This hearty, warm bowl of lovin’ will get you through the coldest night. It’s like if a baked potato was soup and it had the sweetness of red bell peppers bursting through with every bite. Dollop some sour cream on top and sprinkle with chopped fresh green onions and you’ll make it magical.

I’m not very good at rehydrating large beans. Well, that’s not true, I can do it, but I choose not to…I end up with a bunch of bean skin. If your end product is going to be lima bean hummus or something, go ahead and rehydrate from dry, but for something like this, I use canned…meaty beans, less fuss.

Prep Time: 15 minutes / Cook Time: 35-45 Minutes / Total Time: 1 hour

1 large can (1lb 3oz) or 2 small cans butter beans, drained well

2 large red bell peppers

2 medium russet potatoes (not the big baking ones – the cheap ones in the 5lb bag)

2 stalks celery

1 red onion

3 cloves garlic

2 cups vegetable stock
3 Tbs olive oil

1 tsp tarragon

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 Tbsp kosher salt

1 tsp black pepper

Plant-based sour cream, fresh green onion or chives, cheddar shreds, for serving

Chop the peppers, onion, and celery a common size…about butter bean size. In a large pot or Dutch oven soften the veggies on medium heat with the olive oil and about half the salt. Mince the garlic and add to the pot along with the red pepper flakes, tarragon, and black pepper. Stir. About 5 minutes

In the meantime, clean and peel the potatoes, cut these into about a ¾” square dice. The easiest way to do this is to slice them in half lengthwise, slice those halves into thirds then into ¾” squares. Boost the heat under the pot to medium high and add the potatoes – stir to mix.

You’re going to pay attention to this pot now because you want the potatoes to get nicely coated and well heated on the surface, so you’re going to stand over it and flip it around every once in a while, to avoid too much sticking. If the liquid from the sweating veggies begins to dissipate too rapidly, lower the heat a little. About 10 minutes.

Now add the vegetable stock, stir and scrape any of the goodness off the bottom of the pot. Things should be moving fairly freely now. Keep your flame on medium high and let this come just to a boil.

Add the drained butter beans and the rest of the salt and stir. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to medium low, and let this gently simmer for about 15 minutes. The potatoes should be fork tender and it should be a stew or thick soup consistency. If it’s too thin, keep simmering uncovered…too thick? Add a little more stock.

Serve with a spoonful of plant-based sour cream, cheddar shreds, some chopped fresh chives or green onion, and maybe a big slice of crusty bread.

Enjoy!

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