Beef Stew

With winter upon us, nothing satisfies me more than a hot bowl of beef stew. It goes back to my child hood, when my mom would make it and serve fresh baked bread along side it. Of course now, I can’t make it the same way she does. After some experimentation, I found a good basic recipe, and will now share my dietary restriction friendly adaptation with you! I use beef bone broth for this, as it is considered very healing for the digestive tract. You can use other broths, if you do not want to make your own. everything in parentheses are the original ingredients that I swapped out for BED friendly ingredients. Use whatever is right for you. Also, I apologize for no photo. Beef stew is not very photogenic.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbl coconut or olive oil
  • 1 pound stew beef
  • 1 medium onion, white or yellow, rough chopped
  • 1.5 quart beef bone broth
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup butternut squash, cubed (or potatoes)
  • 1 cup green beans, cut to bite sized pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 each bay leaves
  • 1 tsp sea salt (reduce or omit if using store bought broth)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 Tbl coconut aminos (or 1 tsp Worstershire sauce + 1/2 tsp sugar)

Fast prep, slow cooking method:

-Put everything in a 4 quart or larger crockpot and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

 

Slow prep, fast cooking method:

-In a 4 quart or larger stock pot, saute onion in oil until translucent, then remove.

-In same pot, sear beef, then drain off fat.

-Add all into stock pot, and simmer until vegetables are softened & meat is cooked through.

 

Middle ground (what I did):

-In a medium saute pan saute onion in oil until translucent, then remove.

-In same pot, sear beef, then drain off fat.

-Put everything in a 4 quart or larger crockpot and cook on high for 4-6 hours.

Food for Thought: 8 Tips for Saving Money on the Body Ecology Diet

Follow my blog with Bloglovin
Save Money BED

In a previous post, I mentioned how expensive it can get to be on the Body Ecology Diet (B.E.D.). Here are some helpful hints to minimize the impact on your wallet:

  1. Make a list an scope out your grocery stores. See what each store has available and at what price, before you buy. Also, few people realize that they can submit a request for their local chain store to carry an item. Have your friends ask too. The more people that ask for it, the more likely it is that they will start carrying it. Also, they will most likely price it lower than you will find it at “healthy living” stores!
  2. Try ethnic stores. They often have hard to find ingredients at a reasonable price. Once I figured out that the “sea vegetables” on the B.E.D. were really just different kinds of seaweed, I went to my local Asian market and stocked up for a fraction of the price. I also got various noodles and grains there too! For both everyday and hard to find spices, I go to the Mediterranean grocery who sells them dirt cheap! For the special blue corn tortillas, the Tortilliaria down the road is awesome! Check these places first, before wasting your money at more expensive grocery stores.
  3. Buy in bulk. Costco really surprised me. They have a LOT of B.E.D. safe and organic options at lower prices than you can find them in grocery stores. Here is some of what I left with: both chicken and ground beef, many different veggies, lemons and limes, blue corn tortilla chips, probiotics, flax meal, and a giant sack of quinoa. The only downside is figuring out where to put it all.
  4. Garden or join a community garden. Anything you grow your self will save money. Herbs are the easiest and can be done is small pots on a window sill, if you don’t have a green thumb or a yard. If you are not confident in your gardening skills or if you live in an apartment, try participating in a community garden. Often, the others there will help you and give you helpful tips, because they benefit from your successful crop too!
  5. Look into local co-ops or delivery services. I subscribe to a local delivery service, here in the Triangle. I pay $20 per week (I can skip weeks, if I want) for the small box. I fill my box by picking and choosing from a list of available products from local farms that they post each week. They deliver a few days later. I have personally found this to be cheaper and more convenient than going to the farmers market. I have also heard of local co-ops that offer boxes of a variety of veggies at a discounted price. I wish there was one here.
  6. Cook in bulk too. Pick one or two days a week to cook or prep a large batch of something. Portion it out and can, freeze, or refrigerate it. You will save time and money not cooking everyday. You will also have ready to go lunches, which will discourage you (and maybe others in the house!) from cheating by eating at a restaurant.
  7. Look for generics. The B.E.D. has a lot of branded supplements and other products. Read their labels and try to find a cheaper alternative.  For example, their SuperGreens powder is twice as expensive as the Go Greens powder I tried. Or try the even cheaper Amazing Grass.  I was able to find most of the others too. Alternatives to the branded sweeteners can be found in your local grocery stores. I prefer the “In the Raw” brand, as others have additives. And, as a bonus, they sometimes actually have coupons in the paper for those!
  8. DIY as much as possible. I am told, making your own coconut kefir and “cheese” can save you a lot. Unfortunately I cannot do it myself, because I have yet to find young coconuts in any of my local stores, and I also don’t own a meat cleaver (necessary for hacking the coconut open). However, I do make my own kimchee, as well as other fermented veggies. Basic kimchee is easy and requires few ingredients; cabbage, sea salt, fish sauce, and gochugaru pepper flakes. You can also customize the flavor to suit you. I prefer to add garlic and reduce the usual amount of spice, as it can irritate the digestive tract. A pint jar at my local grocery store is $7! At the Asian market it is $3. It cost me about $3 in ingredients to make my own and it yielded 3 quarts. I saved my self as much as $39!

If anyone has some more money saving tips or any questions about what I have mentioned, please comment blow!

New Year, New Site, New Diet!

Hi Everyone!  Happy New Year! I have officially changed my site to this new one with my own domain name! Yay! It took me a while to decide on the name. I hope you like it!

With the New Year I also decided to begin a new gut healing diet. Over the years, my diet has become more and more limited, as I become increasingly intolerant to more and more foods. I won’t bore you with my months of research prior to this. The gist of a gut healing diet is that by eating foods that are gentle on the digestive tract, you allow it time to rebuild and heal itself. Once it is healed, hopefully, you can begin to eat small amounts of the foods that you are currently intolerant or sensitive to. Big warning – even if the diet is successful, you should NEVER go back to eating a bunch of junk food. If you do, your gut will start malfunctioning again and you will be right back to where you started. My goal in this is only to not have to worry so much and be so particular when I go out to dinner with friends or for work.  Seriously, I am going across country to a week-long conference in a few months and I’m terrified I might get “glutened” and have to miss some of it.

Anyway, I have dieted for about 3 weeks now. I began the New Year on the GAPS diet. The GAPS diet didn’t last long (1 week) for me, because you have to suddenly cut out so many addictive things: Sugar, caffeine, alcohol, pain killers. Also the “intro” GAPS diet is nothing but soup, ALL DAY. By the end of the first week, I seriously considered having my boss take me to the hospital because I almost passed out at work. Obviously, it isn’t something you should do if you have to leave home, especially if you are active. Also, I got wicked heartburn and you aren’t supposed to take antacids. And yes, to those who have had GAPS success stories, I understand a lot of those terrible feelings are from candida die-off toxins. However, I needed a diet more suited to me.

After much more research,  I came upon the Body Ecology Diet.  It is a sort of blend of several different diets I have heard of before. It follows the same general structure as the GAPS diet (so I really didn’t do so badly starting on that one), but adds in elements of the acid-alkaline diet and the blood type diet too. Basically each person can have their own custom diet, based on their wishes (has a vegetarian/vegan option) and their blood type. Unfortunately, this makes it difficult to find recipes to use. I will be posting some of mine along the way to help anyone who wants to try it out.

bed-book_3

Some Pros:

  • You can eat as much (in quantity) of the approved foods as you want, with the stipulation that 80% of whatever you eat is veggies, while the other 20% is meat, starch, or eventually other non-approved foods.
  • It is a healthy whole foods diet.
  • I am losing a little weight! Not guaranteed, though.
  • You don’t have to buy all the expensive Body Ecology branded merchandise or meal plans to be on the diet. Much of it can also be DIY. I only purchased the book ($2 for kindle edition) to understand the diet. You can get most of the info online, but it can be difficult to navigate.
  • You get to learn creative new ways to prepare foods.
  • You can use stevia and monkfruit sweetener to help with sugar cravings.
  • Coconut aminos are okay too, so you have a good soy sauce replacement.

Some cons:

  • It is a fairly long process, with a minimum of 3 months on basic diet, before trying to add in more difficult to digest foods.
  • They recommend never eating sugary baked goods, non-cultured dairy, or drinking alcohol ever again (yeah, right! I will definitely cut it way down, but not completely out).
  • At least in the beginning, you have to cook and shop all the time! You have to cook or prepare every meal. I seriously go to the store every other day. I simply don’t have the fridge/freezer storage to hold it all. My pantry is practically bare though. There are very few pre-pack and dry goods on this diet. I also recommend making big meals, portioning them out and refrigerating/freezing some for later. I have spent the last several weekends cooking to stock up for the work week.
  • It is crazy expensive. My grocery budget has nearly doubled, though my smaller dine-out budget got halved too. Everything should be organic or local. Bonus for both. Many products can only be found at Whole Foods (most notably coconut kefir/probiotics). However, I have found quite a few staples at Costco: organic beef, chicken, quinoa, etc.
  • All of my medications (even OTCs) to control my various issues are banned on this diet, as they feed the problem. The diet promises to eventually clear up those problems in time, but I apparently have to suffer in between. While this is more of an inconvenience for me, I worry more about those on the banned medications that ward off dangerous problems like heart attack and stroke.
  • It would be pretty much impossible to do this diet if you are allergic to coconut/treenuts. Staples include, coconut kefir, coconut oil, coconut yogurt,  and coconut aminos.

Sorry, I know this is basically a novel, but I felt it needed to be said. I will keep you posted on my progress and recipes!

Pickled Willy’s Gourmet Pickled Seafood #PickledWillys

20150930_172410

Pickled Willy’s is a family/veteran owned and operated specialty seafood processing plant in Kodiak, Alaska. They sell a variety of seafood related items in various forms. Their smoked fish seems popular and they have won awards for it. Their flagship products, pickled seafood, are what is unique about the company. They use an old family recipe with secret seasonings they won’t divulge! Their commitment to quality is commendable. All of their products are 100% sustainable and fished from Alaskan waters. The products are hand packed, low in fat, high in Omega-3’s, all natural, and have no preservatives. Their ingredients are simply as follows: Halibut/Lining Cod/Sockeye Salmon/King Crab, Organic Vinegar, Cane Sugar, Water, Pickling Spice, Onion, Salt (Fish). Bonus:Their products are also gluten free! They are also committed to providing their long-distance customers with the freshest product. They shipped it UPS expedited and it was extremely well packed with bubble wrap, ice packs, and lots of “this end up” stickers (which UPS ignored).

Also, if you car ever in Kodiak, you can visit their shop and sample the various products they sell. Pickled Willy’s products make great souvenirs and gifts. If you happen to do some fishing while you are in Kodiak, Pickled Willy’s will even process and ship your catch back home to you! You choose the preservation method. So cool!

Now, your first question is probably “Does it taste good?”

I assume this is your first question, because it is usually the first question anyone asks before they try something new. Some people might be wary because the combination of pickles and fish is a bit unusual, aside from some tuna salad recipes that contain pickle relish. Also the only pickled fish most people have heard of is the Northern European delicacy pickled herring, which has an unfortunately bad reputation. I want to debunk this unfortunate reputation, because Pickled Willy’s seafood is quite tasty! It is a mild pickling solution, so you don’t notice the vinegar bite you get in many pickle products. The sugar is also not overpowering, which is nice. The pickling spices also compliment the fish, so they don’t cover up the natural flavor of the fish. Best of all the fish tastes fresh. If there is one taste I cannot stand, it is the pungent taste of fish that has been frozen or sitting around for a couple of days. Pickled Willy’s obviously uses fresh caught fish that they pack right away to preserve the natural subtle taste only found in a fresh catch. So overall, the pickled seafood has a mild, subtle taste that can only compliment your meal, not overpower the other ingredients. And don’t forget the health benefits!

Your next question “How on earth do you eat it?”

There are many things you can do with pickled fish. The simplest is to serve it as an appetizer on a cracker, piece of toast, or slice of cucumber. Adding a dollop of sour cream is often recommended (but I can’t say if it is good, because I cannot eat it!). Pickled Will’s packs all of their fish in bite-sized chunks, so they are convenient for appetizers. The seafood is also tasty as a main dish in sandwiches, wraps, and on salads. You can even mix it with other ingredients to make a dip! The Pickled Willy’s website also has a recipe page to give you some ideas. If you want to eat it plain, then some popular pickled fish accompaniments are cold mayonnaise based salads, such as potato or macaroni salad, beets, boiled potatoes, and hard boiled eggs.

Seriously, how great (and unique!) an appetizer would it be to serve the salmon on a slice of cucumber with a dab of sour cream and a sprig of dill on top! This would be a great idea with the holidays just around the corner!! Here is my test batch:

20151022_180127(0)

For more information or to purchase visit pickledwillys.com

Disclaimer: I received this product for free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. All my opinions are my own. One may or may not have the same results as myself when using this product.

“Keep Calm My Apron Is On” Cooking Apron Review #KeepCalmMyApronIsOn”CookingApron

c8aacee741c56e39d3b463354a8e85652bd43d11

This is a wonderful apron. I love the pockets in the front. You don’t see them on many aprons, and when you do they are usually more decorative than functional. My favorite part, though, is how adjustable it is. I usually have to knot the neck strap of my aprons in order for the apron to sit properly. This apron has a buckle on the neck strap, so you can easily tighten it to the preferred length. The length of the apron is also great. It is nice and long, covering a large area. Perfect for those of us that spill things a lot. The “Keep Calm My Apron Is On” saying is cute too. It fits me well. The fabric is nice too. Not scratchy or uncomfortable. It is breathable and sturdy too. It washes well. Overall, I think this is a great apron that is both fun and functional.

To purchase: Amazon

Disclaimer: I received this product for free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. I was not monetarily compensated for my review and all my opinions are my own. One may or may not have the same results as myself when using this product.

Korean Briased Tofu with Green Onion

?

Before I found out about my gluten intolerance, my husband and I used to go to our favorite little Korean restaurant once a week. I love that in addition to your main dish, you also get a variety of little side dishes called banchan. Unfortunately, it is hard to find gluten-free Korean food in a restaurant. Almost every dish involves soy sauce, fried elements, or gojuchang (a Korean chili paste that contains wheat!). So, as always, I have begun to try to replicate these dishes at home. I think that tofu is an under appreciated food here in the US, because it has been labeled as an option for vegans and vegetarians. Omnivores seem to avoid it here. However Asian countries have long since included in in their diets, in addition to meat. I greatly respect that, as it is a healthy and versatile source of protein. This particular dish is normally served as a banchan, but it is so good I could eat it by itself or maybe on top of some greens as a salad!

Ingredients

1 block tofu (14 oz)

2-3 stalks green onion – cut into 2 inch long peices

3/4 cup gluten free or tamari soy sauce

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp gluten free gojuchang or other chili paste (I used a chili garlic paste I found at the Asian Market)

1/2 tsp minced garlic (omit if using chili garlic sauce)

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp sesame seeds (for garnish)

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a saute pan.
  2. Mix soy sauce, brown sugar, chili paste, garlic, and sesame oil in a separate bowl.
  3. Drain and cut tofu into desired size. I chose larger rectangles, but smaller bite-size pieces work too. Pat dry with a paper towel (this is very important, since any excess water will cause the hot oil to spit while cooking).
  4. Pan fry tofu on both sides until lightly browned.
  5. Add in green onion and saute to wilt it slightly.
  6. Add in sauce mixture and cook for a few minutes until it is slightly reduced.
  7. Top with sesame seeds, serve, and enjoy!

13.5 inch Stainless Steel Magnetic Knife Holder Giveaway

Just for my readers! Enter to win a space saving wall-mounted magnetic knife holder. One winner will be randomly selected. Contest ends 9/12. Contest available to US residents only.  Please use link below to enter.

4bd8e0af952c71e5f3132beb891d0dd0af1b4ca7

Stainless Steel Magnetic Knife Holder Giveaway

Blue Apron Box Review

A growing trend in both food and other products seems to be home delivery boxes. The draw of the weekly food boxes is that you get 3 pre-portioned meals delivered, without having to go to the store or worry what to do with leftover ingredients. This seems great to me, as I hate food waste. I am constantly trying to figure out what I can do with something that is about to go bad! You also don’t have to plan our own meals and you usually end up with more exotic choices than what you would have thought of on your own. The company gives you a bunch of choices (in BA’s case, six choices) and you pick out three. It is basically convenient.

Here are the Blue Apron specific pros and cons:

Pros

  • Everything comes well packaged in a cooler box with large ice packs. In this box they even wedged the meats in between the ice packs to assure they didn’t spoil.
  • All of their packaging is recyclable, so it is environmentally friendly!
  • They only send you the exact measurements of ingredients you need.
  • They include recipe cards with detailed instructions and pictures, so you can follow them easily.
  • The recipes often feature ingredients you don’t regularly use, so you find new things to try!
  • The flavors were actually very good, though I wish they used more seasonings. I felt like every step of every recipe included “season with salt and pepper.” I didn’t.
  • Each meal is portioned to make two or four servings, based on your box size. Side note – The portion sizes are large, so most of the recipes actually made three portions for me.
  • Most portion sizes are 600-800 calories each. This makes it easier for those on a diet. Especially, if you reduce the portion sizes like I did, to make 3 meals.
  • The Blue Apron website posts many of their past recipes, so you can browse them for new meal ideas!

Cons

  • It is costly. Normal price is $60 per box, which is $10 per serving. I can eat at quite a few restaurants for that much per meal. Also, most of my home cooked meals cost much less per serving, even including the food waste.
  • You still have to cook the meal yourself. You pay take-out prices for food you still have to prepare.
  • Most recipes take at least 45 minutes to make, even if you are a trained chef and quick prepper like me. These who cannot chop quickly will need more time for that.
  • Most recipes use A LOT of dishes. The recipes start out by having you cut up everything and place them in individual bowls, so they are at the ready when cooking. With my skills, I can avoid much of that, because I can judge from the recipe what I can do while something is cooking. However, I found it exasperating to wash so many dishes EVERY night, because I didn’t have leftovers and had to cook again.
  • Unreliable ingredients. The company replaced a couple of ingredients with similar ones, leaving a card stating the change was due to availability of the ingredient. This is understandable, but you don’t always get the intended taste when swapping out ingredients. Also, two of my ingredients were spoiled by the time they got to me (a piece of fresh ginger and an eggplant). When you are missing an ingredient, the box no longer becomes convenient. You either need to forget it and worry about the recipe being off, or replace it which means running to the store you were trying to avoid!  The eggplant was the most inconvenient, as it was a major ingredient. Luckily I keep fresh ginger in my freezer (yes you can freeze it!), so I was able to replace it with little trouble.
  • Mediocre customer service. I personally had some trouble contacting their customer service. They charged me for a second box the day after I received the first (Saturday). I immediately went into my account and skipped the next box, since I didn’t want to commit to it, when I hadn’t tried the first yet. I also filled out the contact us form, asking that they refund me, since I did not want it. On Monday, I tried calling them during the stated customer service hours to check on it and no one answered, so I left a message. Tuesday I called again, again no answer and no call back. Wednesday, I sent an email directly to customer service, no reply. Thursday, I got a notification that they had shipped me a box! I replied to that email explaining the situation and left another phone message, no reply. Then I took to social media and tweeted to them. Finally I got a response! In the end they cancelled my account and refunded me the money for the box I didn’t order, so I cannot be too upset. But still, by Thursday I was panicking!
  • Lack of options for people with allergies. I found it difficult to find 3 out of the 6 recipes that were adaptable to my allergies, mostly the wheat. Almost all of their recipes contain wheat ingredients. The ratatouille and salmon both came with baguettes. I used my own bread as replacement. The chicken came with ponzu sauce, that contains regular soy sauce. I had to make my own (tamari, brown sugar, rice vinegar, lime juice, and mirin). I was able to replace the ingredients fairly easily, but I also don’t like throwing out ingredients that I paid for.

Here a the meals I received in my box:

20150815_122549[1]

Ratatouille with Polenta

Unfortunately, one of the eggplant’s for this one was rotten, so It didn’t have as much in it. I also would have liked it to have more seasoning. It only required salt and pepper, with fresh oregano as a garnish. I would have liked some garlic or Italian herbs in the dish as well. I ended up adding some balsalmic vinegar to my bowl for taste (even though it isn’t traditional). I did like the freshness though. The polenta was also good, even though I had to swap the Parmesan cheese out with nutritional yeast.

20150816_194015_LLS[1]

Seared Salmon and Panzanella

This was actually a fairly simple recipe. It was not bad, but I doubt I would make it again. I had to replace the garlic bread with my own bread. Also rubbing garlic directly on the bread after it toasted made it very pungent. I would do that before toasting to mellow out the bite of raw garlic.

20150817_191123_LLS[1]

Stir-Fried Ginger-Basil Chicken with Coconut rice

I actually really liked this recipe! I love the coconut rice, but I have never seen coconut milk powder in my life. Fortunately I have successfully made it before with coconut milk instead and would do that next time.

My overall opinion is that it is not right for me. I feel like it was too much money and too much work for me. It will not work for those of us with allergies, especially since they really don’t label allergens as well as other companies do. However, I think this would be great for people without dietary restrictions, that want to learn how to cook some interesting recipes. I also think it is great for people that don’t want to take the time to do meal planning. This is really more of a convenience or novelty product. Even if you don’t get the box, I encourage you to take a look at their recipe page. You may find some interesting recipes to try or adapt.

French Onion Soup

20150809_144915

I have to say that this is my absolute favorite soup! It is simple to make, low in calorie (until you add the bread and cheese!), and tastes great! I don’t get to eat it very often though, because it is made with beef stock, which often contains gluten. Also, there is the bread and cheese to contend with!

Ingredients

2-3 medium onions, yellow or white, sliced thinly

1 – 32 oz box of GF Beef broth (I used Rachel Ray’s brand, because it is all natural)

1 bay leaf

1 tsp of dried thyme (or 1 sprig of fresh)

1 Tbl of GF Worcestershire Sauce (I used Lea & Perrins)

20150809_124914

  1. Slice onions and saute until translucent in a small amount of oil or butter. This can be done in the same stockpot (4 qt for this recipe) you will cook the soup in, to save dishes.

20150809_130951

2. Add in bay leaf, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, and beef broth. Cook 10-20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

20150809_144848

3. Portion out into oven save bowls, top each with a piece of your favorite GF bread (the crustier the better), and your favorite cheese (soy mozzarella for me!) and broil in the oven until the cheese melts.

  • If you  do not have oven safe bowls or do not want to take the extra time to cook the soup altogether, you can cheat! While the soup is cooking, top your bread with the cheese and toast it in either a toaster oven or in your conventional oven. When the soup is ready, pop the toasted cheesy bread on top and serve!

Easy GF Vegan/Vegetarian Chili Recipe

One of the things that surprised me when going gluten free is the amount of soups and stews that contain gluten, especially chili. Chili is one of my favorite meals to make because it is hearty, wholesome, and delicious! It goes great on hot dogs, hamburgers, and french fries too. However, I have to be careful about ordering it when dining out. Many kinds of pre-packaged chili contain gluten. Premixed chili spice packets also can contain gluten. I even had a friend offer me some of her “famous” chili, but declined when she told me her secret is to dump a bottle of beer in it at the end! That is also why I ask what is in each thing I consider eating, even if it seems obvious.

This recipe is my favorite, because of it’s simplicity. Basically you dump a can of every vegetable you like into a pot and let it stew. You can do it quickly in a stock pot on the stove or let it stew all day in your crock pot. You can easily add or remove any ingredient, based on taste, without damaging the recipe overall. I added an onion and peppers for flavor, but they aren’t necessary. This time, I even replaced the chili spices with two of the new McCormick GF Chili spice packets, to make it even easier! It may not be haute cuisine, but it is great in a pinch. Probably the best aspect is its low cost. I purchase the canned goods when they are on sale, never paying more than $1 per can. I estimate it cost me $12.22 to make the whole pot. I usually get 8-10 servings per pot. Assuming the 8 servings, that is $1.52 per serving! It also freezes well too, so you don’t get tired of leftovers. I portion out the leftovers, so I can bring them to work or eat them later, when I don’t feel like making a meal from scratch.

Ingredients – Chili Base

1 small onion, white or yellow, rough chop

1 bell pepper, color of choice (I used green this time)

2 – McCormick Gluten Free Chili spice packets

1 – 15 oz can of black beans

1 – 15 oz can of kidney beans

1 – 15 oz can of corn

1 – 15 oz can of okra

1 – 15 oz can of sqaush

5 – 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes, flavor of choice (some brands offer chili seasoned ones!)

1 – 6 oz can of tomato paste

20150809_124625

  1. Saute onion and pepper, if desired. Add it to your stock pot or crock pot. If you are using a stock pot, you can saute in the same pot so you have less dishes.

20150809_124652

2. Add in spices or spice packet, cook for a few minutes until fragrant. This brings out the flavors more, so you can use less spice.

?

3. Add in mixed veggies, making sure to drain the liquid from each can. Rinse the beans thoroughly too. I usually throw the contents of each can in a colander and rinse.

20150809_130644

4. Add in the tomatoes, also well drained. If you purchased spiced diced tomatoes, do not rinse them or you will loose the spices!

5. Cook on low crockpot setting for 6-8 hours or medium heat on the stove for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. As the vegetables cook down, the chili will look a little watery (see image above).

20150809_175333

6. Add in the tomato paste to thicken the chili. It is ready to eat!

  • I serve mine with vegan cheese and avocado or guacamole. Sometimes I also include tortilla chips or GF cornbread on the side too.
  • For a meaty version, add in 1 lb cooked ground beef or turkey in between steps 2 and 3.
  • For a fall twist add cooked pumpkin or another winter squash. Adding cinnamon to the squash version is great too!

For those of you who don’t want to use a spice packet:

Ingredients – Homemade Chili Spice

2 Tbl Chili powder

1.5 tsp red pepper flakes

1.5 Tbl Garlic Powder

1 Tsp Onion Powder

1.5 Tbl Cumin Powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp sugar