You Won’t Believe Its Vegan Chili

Recently I set on a quest to perfect my chili recipe so those who are not whole food plant based people, would not miss eating meat in their chili. This original chili recipe came from https://eathealthyeathappy.com/killer-vegan-chili/ but I modified it a little bit. It’s quite a process to make but just like most anything in life that takes a lot of time—it’s sooooo worth it!!

I cooked the recipe for my pinto beans in the instant pot the night before. The recipe link is here https://itsapegslife.com/2019/03/09/delicious-instant-pot-pinto-beans/ They are my family’s favorite, so I thought the added flavor of these beans would just enhance the taste of the chili.

Next step is to make the cauliflower hamburger recipe as follows:

  • 1 head cauliflower, grated in food processor or you can just use your blade, whatever works best for you to make the cauliflower the size of rice grains
  • 6 oz. of button mushrooms, washed, dried and grated/blade in food processor
  • 1/2 c. walnuts, chopped medium (again you can use your food processor)
  • 1 -2 T. cumin
  • 1-2 tsp. chili powder
  • salt and pepper as needed

Put all ingredients in a large bowl and mix together well. I like to use my hands and mix it really good. Taste the mixture to see if it is to your liking. Spread mixture out on a cookie sheet with a splat mat or wax paper on it. If you don’t have a splat mat or wax paper, just spray the cookie sheet with Pam and spread a thin layer of cauliflower mixture on it. I like to use two cookie sheets so the layer isn’t too think.

Cook on preheated 425 degree oven on the upper rack so it’s close to the element for 15 min and then turn the mixture. Cook again for another 10-15 min. And there you have it–cauliflower hamburger. Let cool.

Now for the Chili—–

You Won’t Believe Its Vegan Chili

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 1/2 Tbs chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle powder
  • 2 Tbs cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock)
  • 2 c chopped bell pepper, any colors

45 oz. cans Pome chopped tomatoes (you can find these at your Harmon’s for those of you that live in Utah)

  • 2 Tbs brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs low sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 4 c water
  • 2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 c uncooked quinoa (wash throughly)
  • 2-3 c cooked pinto beans (the homemade beans above)
  • 1 15 oz. can of kidney beans
  • 1 15 oz. can of black beans
  • 1 can sweet corn

Toppings like fresh homemade cashew cream, cilantro, avocado or vegan cheese shreds (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add a small portion of the broth to a large lidded cooking pot. Add onion and saute over medium heat for about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, basil, chipotle powder, cumin, oregano salt and pepper. Add a few splashes of the veg. stock to deglaze the pan and simmer 3-4 minutes. Reduce the heat slightly and/or add more if the spices are burning at all.
  3. Stir in the bell and poblano peppers and the rest of the stock. Simmer about 7 minutes.
  4. Add the Pome tomatoes, brown sugar, soy sauce, salt, liquid smoke and water. Loosely lid the pot and simmer about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Stir in the lemon juice, quinoa, beans, and corn. Reduce the heat to medium low, lid the pot and simmer about 60-70 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add enough water to make it the consistency you like as you need to.
  6. When soup is done simmering add cauliflower mixture. I like adding about half of it but you can add as much as you want.
  7. Serve with your favorite toppings.

I like to make this the night before I serve it and then reheat in the slow cooker. Sooooo good!

GNOCCHI WITH ROASTED BROCCOLINI IN WHITE WINE SAUCE

My daughter introduced me to gnocchi in Portland. She is an amazing cook and has introduced me to a lot of different foods. Well, she is a dietician and that helps too. Gnocchi has come to be one of my favs.

The other night when I got home from work and the “What’s for dinner?” question entered my head, as my stomach was growling, I needed to make a quick dish before I smacked myself to death, I remembered I had some gnocchi in my pantry that I’ve been wanting to cook. I originally was thinking of a mushroom marinara for this dish, but at the last minute I changed my mind (definitely a woman’s prerogative haha) because when I tasted the white wine mixed with the mushroom broth and spices it tasted fantastic.

If you want to make this sauce creamy, blend up 1/2 c cashews in about 1/4 c vegetable broth in a high speed blender and add it to the dish at the end. Make sure you blend this up well so you don’t get that gross grainy texture. Another trick is to soak the cashews for 15 min in boiling water, drain it before adding it to the blender with broth. Now to the recipe…..

GNOCCHI WITH ROASTED BROCCOLINI IN WHITE WINE SAUCE

Serves: 4 but if you have big eaters I would double.

Cook Time: 30 min.

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 small red onion

2 c. mushrooms sliced

1 bunch broccolini or regular broccoli (see recipe below)

1 package gnocchi, prepare as directed on package and set aside

1/3 c. dry white wine

1/2 c. vegetable broth (I like to make this with the “Better than Bouillon” brand

1 T. oregano

1 T. parsley

(Or in place of oregano and parsley add 1T. Italian seasoning)

1 tsp. salt

Prepare broth. Add 1/4 c. broth to a medium size Dutch oven or large rim pan and turn heat to medium high. As soon as pan is hot, add garlic and sauté for 2 min continuously stirring until it smells fragrant.

Add onion and sauté about 5 min or until slightly translucent. If you need to add more broth here to keep it from burning, do so. Add mushrooms and sauté these for 10-15 min or until a nice liquid broth forms from the mushrooms, add white wine and keep sautéing for 7 min or so until the alcohol burns off.

Add oregano, parsley and salt. Taste the mixture to see if it is to your liking. From here you can make a the cashew cream as mentioned above or leave it out. I thought it tasted good as is, so I opted not to. Add gnocchi and roasted broccolini. Mix well and taste once again to make sure it is properly salted and spiced. Enjoy.

ROASTED BROCCOLINI

Preheat oven to 425 degrees with baking rack on the top slot of the oven.

Place as much broccolini on a baking sheet pan as you want to serve.

Sprinkle broccolini with vegetable broth and salt and pepper.

When oven is up to temperature, place broccolini in the oven and set timer for 7 min. After 7 min stir broccolini on baking sheet and put back in oven for about 4 min or until it’s cooked to your liking.

Remove from oven and serve or add to cooking dish.

Peanut Sweet Potato Curry with Veggies and Peas

SWEET POTATOES AHHHH they are one of my favs, so I love to use them any way I can, whether it’s a Mexican recipe, Indian, Asian or just a plain sweet potato, they call my name. I know, that’s a little weird, but the flavor is so satisfying and a comfort food for me.  This recipe is based on a recipe from veganricha.com.  I served it with Jasmine rice and it was SCRUMPTIOUS!  Here is the recipe:img_0633

Peanut Sweet Potato Curry with Veggies and Peas

1 C. Onion, chopped

5 Cloves of Garlic, minced

1/2 inch Ginger, minced (optional, I did not use it)

2 C. Cauliflower florets, coarsely chopped

1 small Red Pepper, chopped

1 med to large Sweet potato, peeled and cubed

1 tsp. Curry

1 tsp. Garam Masala

1 tsp Salt

1/3 C. Peanut Butter

1 can Chick peas

2 T. Lime juice

2 T. Maple Syrup

1 tsp. Distilled white vinegar

1/2 tsp. Garlic powder

1/4 tsp. Pepper flakes

2 C. Light coconut milk (1 poured the can into a 2 cup container, which is a few ounces shy of 2 cups and then filled it the rest of the way with water to make 2 cups exactly.)

3/4 C. Frozen peas

Black pepper to taste

Lemon juice and Cayenne

Basil and peanuts for garnish

Put a small amount of water in a Dutch oven or skillet over medium high heat.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, add onion and cook until translucent.  Fold in ginger.

Add peppers, cauliflower, sweet potato, curry powder, garam masala, and a dash of black pepper and cook for 3 min. or until spices are very fragrant.

Add the rest of ingredients until frozen peas and stir well. Partially cover and cook for 15 min.

Taste and adjust salt, sweet and heat.  Add a dash of lemon and cayenne if needed.  Add peas and simmer another few min until the vegetables are cooked to desired doneness.  Adjust consistency if needed, such as more coconut milk or water if its too thick.

Serve over rice.  This could also be served as a soup by adding more water and adjusting the spices to your liking.  Garnish with basil and peanuts.  Enjoy!

 

BOWLS BOWLS BOWLS!

Bowls, bowls, bowls (thats what I call them) are one of our favs to whip up on a busy work night.  It’s very simple to make and you can make a very colorful, nutritious meal in no time at all.  I mean look at all of these beautiful bowls.  You can use whatever grain, veggies, tofu or no tofu haha, edamame or nuts you have on hand.  The combinations are endless!!

First, choose the grain:

Pearled farro, quinoa, brown rice, white rice.

I have to say pearled or perlato farro is my personal fav.  Pearled cooks faster than the regular farro because the the outer layer is peeled off, so make sure you buy the pearled, otherwise, you’ll be cooking your farro for A LOT longer to get it tender. We buy ours at the local grocery store, Harmons, in the bulk section.  My hubby is the master at cooking farro.  This is the way he likes to cook it—

Pearled Farro Recipe

Makes 4 small servings

Wash the farro throughly.  Farro 3 to 1 ratio vegetable broth to farro, so 1 c. farro to 3 c. broth.  Bring to boil, turn heat down to minimum, put lid on and cook 15 min, drain off access liquid

It’s that easy and so tasty.

If you choose to make quinoa.  The Vegan Corner has the best recipe:

http://www.thevegancorner.com/how-to-cook-quinoa/

Or here is his recipe for Quinoa:

How to cook quinoa

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup quinoa (6oz)

1½ cup water (12.5oz) (I like using vegetable broth)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Thoroughly wash the quinoa to remove the bitter-tasting saponins from the outer layer. Drain the Quinoa properly before moving on.
  2. Place a small pot over high heat, pour in the water and bring it to the boil.
  3. As soon as the water starts to boil add the Quinoa to the water, give it a good stir with a fork and cover the pot with the lid.
  4. Lower the heat to the minimum and cook the grains for 15 minutes.
  5. Once that time is up, turn off the heat and let the Quinoa rest for another three minutes before removing the lid.
  6. Fluff the quinoa with a fork, transfer it onto a dish and spread it. This will stop the Quinoa from coking any further.

If you choose to make brown or white rice, you can cook according to directions or in your rice cooker.

Next–choose your veggies:

Broccoli, butternut squash, cauliflower, asparagus, onion, mushrooms, carrots, tomatoes, corn, peas, beans–just any veggies.  You can prepare them by steaming them, roasting them in the oven at 425 for 20-30 min and sprinkle them with a bit of vegetable broth.  Make sure your veggies are cut the same size to equalize cooking times because some veggies cook faster than others.  You can put your veggies in columns on the cooking sheet and pull out the ones that cook faster.  Cover with foil to keep warm.

The last step:

Choose a crunch and a sauce (if you want sauce :).

For the crunch and a little protein:

Edamame, cashews, peanuts, or you can add some tofu and/or beans here too.

This is my favorite BBQ sauce because it has no oil and I can read all of the ingredients ha.  Always a good sign of a good product.  I found this brand at Harmons, but I’m sure other grocery stores have it too.

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I am also in love with this Miso Tahini Sauce in my Isa Does It Cookbook.  This is the recipe:

Miso Tahini Sauce

For the dressing:
1/4 cup mellow white miso
1/4 cup tahini
1 cloves garlic
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup water

Place all ingredients in Vita Mix or other blender and mix well.  Start with 1/2 c water and add more.

I hope you enjoy these bowls as much as we do!  Please tag me on Instagram @itsapegslife when you make this recipe.  I want to see what you come up with :).

Chinese Braised Mushrooms and Tofu

When I talk to most people about tofu their reaction is–EWWWWW GROSS, but you’ve got to try this recipe and that EWWWWW will turn into a YUMMMM!!  The marsala, the mushrooms, the garlic chili sauce all combine to make a delicious combination of flavors that disguises the tofu and is oh, so good!  Seriously, you’re going to LOVE this recipe. My DH gave it a 9.5 and I did too!  Yes, it was THAT good!  A 10 is reserved for those special over-the-top recipes–this one is close :). The original recipe is from eatingwell.com.  I have adapted it a bit though.  And just a side note, my dining room light went out last week, so while the new one was in the works, we ate by candlelight. LOL romantic, right? (see pics below 🙂  Enjoy this recipe.  It’s a definite keeper!

Chinese Braised Mushrooms & Tofu

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Source: eatingwell.com

Course: Main Course

Prep Time: 30 min

Total Time: 30 min

Serves:

Ingredients:

  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger (optional)
  • 3-4 c. mushrooms of choice or a combination, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons dry marsala
  • 1 tablespoon chile-garlic sauce (see above bottle, buy at any grocery store)
  • 1 14 cups mushroom broth or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 14-ounce package firm tofu cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 c. raw cashews coarsely chopped if you like, but I just left mine whole

Directions

  1. Heat some of the broth in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add mushrooms, sauté for about 5 min or until water has cooked out of mushrooms, add cornstarch and stir for about 1 min until its mixed well with the mushrooms.  Stir in marsala and cook until alcohol burns off (about 2 min) and add chile-garlic sauce, stir and cook for one min and then add remaining ingredients.
  2. Cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain a simmer, for 10 minutes to blend flavors.  Serve with brown rice and enjoy!

The candlelight dinner 🙂 and the new light fixture that I LOVE!!  A special thanks to my DH for installing it :).

Gluten-Free Vegan Pumpkin Banana Bread!

I have to say a word or two about this recipe.

1st–You’re going to be sooooo tempted to eat this straight out of the oven while its hot, BUT RESIST!!  Don’t do it!! Unlike the usual pumpkin bread recipes, where you love a nice hot slice freshly baked, this recipe needs to sit in the refrigerator over night and even the following day, it is so moist and so good.

2nd–Just because it has pumpkin and banana in, don’t use that as an excuse to eat the whole loaf LOL.

I love Chocolate Covered Katie’s recipes.  You may want to check out her site as well.  She has some awesome desserts for the holidays.  Also, for an oil free option, I left out the oil and used almond milk and it was delicious!  Enjoy!

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Pumpkin Banana Bread

Source: chocolatecoveredkatie.com

Course: Breads

Yield: Yield: 12-16 slices

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour – I like oat flour (240g)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 34 tsp baking powder
  • 34 tsp salt
  • 12 tsp each: cinnamon ginger, pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 12 cup mashed, overripe banana (360g)
  • 12 cup pumpkin puree (120g)
  • 12 cup pure maple syrup honey, or agave
  • 116 tsp uncut stevia or 2 tbsp sweetener of choice
  • 13 cup oil or milk of choice
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 12 cup chocolate chips optional

Directions

  1. *I’ve tried the recipe successfully with spelt, white, and oat flour. Although I can’t vouch for a flour I haven’t tried, please feel free to experiment.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan, and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Whisk all liquid ingredients in a separate bowl, then pour wet into dry and stir to form a batter. Smooth into the prepared pan. If desired, press some extra chocolate chips into the top. Bake on the center rack 30 minutes, then do not open the oven door but turn off the heat and leave in the closed oven for 10 additional minutes. Let cool completely, then cover and refrigerate overnight. Taste and texture will be much better the second day (and even better the third day as it will get sweeter). Leftovers can be sliced and frozen if desired.

Amount Per Serving (1)

  • Calories: 92

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Sweet Potato and Beet Green Soup with Farro

So first off in this post, I have to give a shout out to my girl, Natalie’s, study group friends at Utah Valley University :).  I have a new group of fans :).  Love it!  Anyway, they made my day.  I always love it when I get feedback from you about trying my recipes and your success or failure when trying recipes I post (hopefully not so much failure as success LOL).  If you ever have any questions about recipes that are on the blog, please ask away!!  I love helping friends discover their some times hidden talent of cooking. :).

Whenever I ask anyone if they have tried farro, which is my new fav, by the way, friends always say, “What is farro?”.  Farro is a grain, similar to wheat, but it is not gluten free, so I’m sorry about that for all of you celiacs friends.  It is perfect in this soup recipe. My hubs and I think it is so hardy and oh, so so good!  You’ve got to try it.  It’s also a great source of iron and extremely high in fiber. I’m going to be posting more recipes with farro just because I LOVE IT!!

One thing I would do different next time in this recipe is add a can or two of white beans.  I added this ingredient to recipe as an option.  I think it would be the icing on the cake haha.  I loved this recipe and will definitely be making it again!

Also, I decided to use my Instant Pot to speed things up a bit, but I cooked mine a tad bit too long.  I used the “soup” setting and I set it for 15 min.  I think 10 min would be perfect.  I’m still trying to perfect my cooking technique with the Instant Pot.  We are very slowly becoming friends hehe.

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Sweet Potato And Beet Green Soup with Farro

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Adapted from a willcookforfriends.com recipe

Course: Soup

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 45 min Stovetop or 15 min total Instant Pot

Total Time: 1 hr Stovetop or 45 min Instant Pot

Yield: 8 servings

Serves: 8 Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • 1 bunch beet greens (from about 4-6 beets) washed, stems removed and diced, leaves roughly chopped (steamed for approximately 4 min and submerged in a cold bath to shock it) I did not cook my stems but saved them to saute with the onion and garlic.
  • 3-4 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
  • 12 tsp. each ground cumin, sweet paprika, and tumeric powder
  • 1 cup farro
  • 6 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 2 cans white beans (optional)
  • 14 cup fresh parsley chopped (2T. dried parsley)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • green onions for garnish

Directions for stovetop:

  1. In a large pot, add a little of the broth, onion, beet stems, garlic, and a big pinch of salt. Saute for about 5 minutes, or until the onions have begun to turn translucent. Add the cumin, paprika, and turmeric, and cook for another 1-2 minutes to toast the spices.
  2. Add the sweet potato and farro, followed by 5 cups of stock. Bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for about 45 minutes, or until the farro is tender.
  3. Add in the cooked beet greens, and cook until the greens are nice and warm.  It won’t take long, just 1-2 min. Add salt and pepper to taste, and if the soup is too thick, a bit more water or stock. Stir in parsley at the very end.
  4. Soup can be served immediately, or cooled down and stored in the fridge for up to five days, or the freezer indefinitely. The farro will continue to absorb some more liquid as the soup cools, so if you reheat it and it seems too thick, add a bit more water or stock, and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Directions for Instant Pot (IP):

  1.  In the Instant Pot add a little of the broth, push the saute button and wait until the IP heats up and add onion, beet stems, garlic, and a bit pinch of salt. img_9868
  2. Saute for about 5 min, or until the onions have begun to turn translucent.  Add cumin, paprika and turmeric, and cook for another 1-2 min to toast the spices (this is what we call blooming the spices and you can smell how fragrant they are and it’s delightful :).
  3. Add the sweet potato and farro, followed by 6 cups of stock.  img_9870
  4. Cover with the lid and lock it (on mine, you hear a chime sound when it locks) and push the cancel button, and now push the soup button and adjust the time to 10 min. Now you just have to wait…………..BUT while I waited I couldn’t help but treat myself to a slice of this delicious banana pumpkin bread haha.  I was starving after work.  I’ll share the recipe very soon :).  It’s delish!  Anyway, I digress haha.img_9872
  5. After the IP beeps, release the pressure and wait for it to all release and then remove the lid.  Add the canned beans (optional) and cooked beet greens, stir and taste, but be careful not to burn your mouth.  It’s crazy hot!  We topped ours with a few green onions and it was so good!  Enjoy!

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