Vegan Chili Bread Bowl

I decided to make chili in the Spring for two reasons: 1. A pal suggested it and I didn’t want to wait all the way until it was cold outside to follow through with such a great idea. 2. After some thought, I figured it made perfect sense, because people often think about foods from the opposite season they’re in — it’s the whole, “the grass is always greener” effect. So I made chili! It was a fun recipe to make because I’ve never made anything in a bread bowl before. In fact, I haven’t made many dishes in bowls, period. I need to start using bowls more.

Vegan chili bread bowl

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 circular loaf of bread — I used an IPA beer bread loaf, but there are many types of bread you can find that have been baked in a circle. Check your local (or not so local) markets and of  course, bakeries.
  • 1 can of black beans, drained
  • 1 can of pinto beans, drained
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes, with their juice (I used TJ’s diced and fire-roasted organic tomatoes with green chiles)
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 medium salad tomato, chopped
  • 1 clove of fresh garlic, finely chopped
  • 2-3 sprigs of cilantro (for garnish)
  • 1 tablespoon of scallion (for garnish)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons of vegan sour cream (I used tofutti better than sour cream– so good!)
  • 3-4 tablespoons prepared cornstarch*
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

 

What to Do:

  1. Carefully trace a circle around the top of the circular loaf with a knife. You want at least about 1/2-1 inch of space around the circumference of the bread so that it can literally act as a bowl!
  2. Cut around the circle with a bread knife, and remove the top.
  3. Scoop the center of the bread out, leaving a thicker layer at the bottom so the chili doesn’t soak right through the bottom of the bread. Set bread bowl aside.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in large saute pan on low-medium heat (you will need at least a 5 quart pan for this recipe!)
  5. Once the oil is hot, add the carrots, bell pepper, celery and onions. Saute until onions are translucent, approximately 5-7 minutes.
  6. Add chopped garlic, and all spices (chili powder, paprika, salt and cumin and oregano); stir spices into sauteed vegetables continuously for about 30 seconds until well mixed.
  7. Add chopped tomato, both cans of diced tomatoes with their juice, pinto beans, black beans and vegetable broth.
  8. Stir and lower heat to a simmer.
  9. Simmer chili for approximately 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add red wine vinegar.
  10. Simmer for another 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally (so chili will simmer for approximately 30-35 minutes total).
  11. Remove chili from heat.
  12. Add prepared cornstarch* 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring and waiting for approximately 1-2 minutes after each tablespoon. Sauce will thicken as you add the cornstarch.
  13. Let chili sit for about 5 minutes so sauce can fully thicken.
  14. Transfer some of chili to bread bowl.
  15. Garnish with sour cream, scallion and cilantro. Bon appetit!

 

* To make the prepared cornstarch, add approximately 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water (so equal parts of each ingredient). You can not add cornstarch directly to hot sauces to thicken them– the cornstarch will become clumpy and that’s no bueno. When this recipe calls for adding prepared cornstarch, it’s this mixture of cornstarch mixed with water. You might need more cornstarch for this recipe, so up the ratios of cornstarch to water, remember, the ratios are equal!

 

 

Date posted on Instagram: 5/29/18

Kale Potato and Rice Soup

This Slightly Irish-inspired soup is really filling. Its basically a hearty meal inside of broth, which makes everything go down smoother in my opinion, while still keeping all the hearty-ness if that makes sense :-D. Three simple ingredients plus broth and a little bit of flavor go a long way with this one.

Kale, Potato and Rice Soup

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup of uncooked white rice
  • about 5 baby yellow potatoes
  • 4 full leaves of kale, chopped into large pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 teaspoons essential seasoning blend*
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

 

What to Do:

  1. Prepare rice in a small saucepan (boil water, add rice, stir and bring to a boil again, turn heat to a low simmer, cover and let simmer for approximately 20 minutes or so– use approximately 1 3/4 cup of water for every one cup of rice).
  2. Boil about 1 1/2 cups of water in a medium-sized saucepan and place baby potatoes in water.
  3. Boil potatoes until tender (you should be able to poke a fork through them easily), about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Drain potatoes but leave in saucepan.
  5. Heat a medium-sized skillet on low-medium heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  6. Once oil is hot, add chopped kale and saute until kale is tender. Add 1 teaspoon of seasoning blend to kale and stir.
  7. Once kale is done, add with potatoes in saucepan.
  8. Add broth to saucepan and place back on heat that is on a low simmer.
  9. Add remaining seasoning blend to broth and simmer until broth is hot.
  10. Transfer cooked rice to serving bowl.
  11. Pour broth mixture over rice and serve. Bon appetit!

 

 

Date posted on Instagram: 2/23/18

Hearty Fusilli and Vegetable Soup

Soup is such a comfort food but it’s even more comforting when you c an make it a hearty meal. This soup uses the classic combo of veggies and pasta to make a hearty, flavor -filled, vitamin loaded yummy dish.

Fusilli and Veggie Soup

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 box of whole grain fusilli pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 full leaves of kale, finely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen green beans (preferably organic)
  • 2 rainbow carrots, slivered or sliced (or both)
  • 3 teaspoons essential seasoning blend*
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

 

What to Do:

  1. Prepare fusilli according to directions– like most pasta, boil in water for several minutes until desired tenderness is reached.
  2. Drain pasta and run under cold water for 30 seconds.
  3. In a large skillet, heat olive oil on low-medium heat. Once hot, add green beans and rainbow carrots.
  4. Saute for approx 5-6 minutes, then add chopped kale and seasoning blend.
  5. Once veggies are tender, add about 1 1/2 cups of pasta to skillet along with veggie broth.
  6. Reduce heat to a simmer and let soup heat up, stirring occasionally.
  7. Once broth is hot, remove soup from heat and transfer to serving bowl. Bon appetit!

 

* Essential seasoning blend can be found on the recipes page.

Date posted on Instagram: 2/7/18

Red-Curry Ramen Soup

Another classic dish — ramen, done up with some fresh veggie ingredients and made red-curry style to add a little bit of a spicy kick!

Red-Curry Ramen Soup

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 bag of shirataki spaghetti noodles*
  • 1 1/2 cups of fresh or frozen green beans (either way preferably organic — I also think fresh works better for this recipe but either is still fine)
  • 1/4 white onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup scallion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped (white button or cremini works well — I used white button)
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons red-curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

 

What to Do:

  1. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on low-medium heat.
  2. Once hot, add green beans and saute for approximately 2 minutes.
  3. Add mushrooms and continue to saute for another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add in white onion and scallion and continue to saute for another minute or two, until all veggies are tender and white onion is translucent.
  5. Set veggies aside, but keep in skillet.
  6. Prepare shirataki noodles according to package.
  7. Once the noodles are done, add them to veggie skillet and mix together.
  8. Add 2 tablespoons of red-curry paste to skillet and mix, covering all noodles and veggies. If you want, you can add another tablespoon of the curry paste.
  9. Turn heat on a low simmer, and add vegetable broth to skillet. Stir soup and let broth heat up– approximately 3-4 minutes.
  10. Add salt and pepper to soup and stir (add more to taste as needed).
  11. Remove from heat as soon as broth is hot so noodles don’t overcook.
  12. Transfer ramen to serving bowl. Bon appetit!

* This pasta is made from the Japanese konjac yam. There are tons of brands out there and you can get a bag for pretty cheap online. They also have different types of noodles — from angel hair to fettuccine. Make sure you get the spaghetti variety, as they are the most similar to ramen, even though they aren’t authentic ramen noodles. I bought mine in a fancy health food spot, so the same size bag I’m seeing online ran me about $6. But I really wanted to try them and bought it on a whim– so live and learn. As I shop around I’m sure I’ll find it cheaper somewhere the next time I buy them. Also, if you buy it online for a cheaper price, depending on your shipping costs, it could end up being around the same $6 I paid anyhow.

 

 

Date posted on Instagram: 1/26/18

(Spicy) Hearty Vegetable Soup

This dish is perfect for a cold, winter day — or a cool summer day when you’re in the mood for some soup!

IMG_4307

What You’ll Need:

  • About 3-4 full leaves of kale, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of canned string beans (can use fresh as well; either way, organic is preferred)
  • 1/2 cup of canned organic yellow corn
  • About 4-5 baby yellow potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups of low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp of essential seasoning blend**
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon of hot sauce of your choice (optional; my favorite is Texas Pete)
  • saltine crackers (optional)

 

What to Do:

  1. Add water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Once boiling, add in potatoes and lower heat to a simmer. Continue to simmer potatoes until they are tender (you can push a fork through them), usually approximately 5-10 minutes.
  3. Drain potatoes and slice 2 of the 4 potatoes in half. Set aside.
  4. Heat a medium to large-sized pan over low-medium heat with olive oil in it.
  5. Once warm, add string beans,  corn, potatoes and chopped kale.
  6. Stir continuously on low heat, just until kale is tender; remove from heat immediately.
  7. In a small saucepan, heat vegetable broth on low heat.
  8. Add veggie and potato mixture to broth and stir.
  9. Let sit over heat for approximately 1-2 minutes, until broth is hot.
  10. Add essential seasoning blend and stir.
  11. Transfer one portion of soup to a serving bowl and if you want the “spicy kick”, add 1 tablespoon of hot sauce (optional!).
  12. Serve with saltine crackers. Bon appetit!

*This recipe makes 2 portions of soup!

** Essential seasoning blend can be found on the recipes page.

 

 

Date posted on Instagram: 1/11/18

Kale and Mushroom Soup

Kale is one of my favorite veggies, which is kind of ironic because I used to hate kale– and spinach– and vegetables. But now I use it in almost everything I make. Here, I created a quick and easy light, soup that’s perfect for a cool rainy day, or whenever!

IMG_4140

What You’ll Need:

  • About 4-5 full leaves of kale, chopped into large pieces
  • About 5 white button mushrooms, sliced (cremini mushrooms can also be used)
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp. of olive oil (or oil of your choice)
  • 2 tsp. of the essential seasoning blend*

 

What to Do:

  1. Chop or break apart the kale leaves into smaller pieces. I like mine medium to finely chopped, but in this recipe I left the pieces a little bigger for a heartier feel.
  2. Chop the mushrooms into segments.
  3. Heat a medium skillet to low heat.
  4. Add olive oil and turn heat to low-medium.
  5. Add in mushrooms and saute for approximately 3-5 minutes, until lightly browned.
  6. Add kale and turn-over kale into mushroom mixture. Watch the pan and continue to stir to avoid burning.
  7. Add in seasoning blend evenly over mushrooms and kale.
  8. Once kale is slightly soft and mushrooms are brown, add in vegetable broth and turn heat to low.
  9. Let heat for another minute; remove from heat.
  10. Spoon soup into a bowl and it’s ready to serve — bon appetit!

 

*Essential seasoning blend can be found on the recipes page.

 

 

Date posted on Instagram: 8/12/2017