Easy Vegetarian Chili

Hey My Spicy Chili Peppers!

This past semester, I experienced multiple days where I would get home after a long day on campus with no desire to cook. This recipe saved me more than once. In just a few minutes in the morning before I left for the day of classes, TA-ing, and tutoring, I could throw together this chili, have it simmer on low throughout the day, and come home to the amazing smell and taste of a home cooked meal. Its comforting aroma and flavor remind me of the Sunday dinners I would have with my family.

Here’s the recipe!

Easy Vegetarian Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, de-seeded, cleaned and chopped
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 (15-oz) cans beans (kidney, pinto, black, chickpea), drained and rinsed
  • 2 (14.5-oz) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • Salt to taste

Directions

Sauté chopped onion, red bell peppers, and garlic in a large saucepan until caramelized. Add to crockpot, followed by beans, diced tomatoes, ground cumin, chili powder, and salt to taste. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for 6-8 hours, or until flavors merge. Serves 6-8.

Notes: Use a little coconut oil to sauté onion, peppers, and garlic if desired. Add ½ – 1 cup water if you like more sauce with your chili. If using dry beans, soak 2 cups worth of dried beans in hot water two nights in advance. Prepare beans in crock-pot or on the stove-top until soft the following day. Drain, rinse, and store for use later.

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This is a super easy recipe resulting in a super delicious meal, especially as leftovers. :)

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What are your favorite kinds of beans? Garbanzo beans (chick peas) are my personal favorite, especially made into hummus.

With lots of hugs,

Kathleen

Thought-Provoking Questions

Hey my Lovely Rainbows!

The past few weeks I took a break from blogging to focus on my college classes, my job as a teacher assistant for my Nutrition Professor and my job as a tutor for Chemistry, and on my calling (Secretary) in my church with the women’s association (called Relief Society). And now with the semester over, I look back and stand in wonder at how much I was able to accomplish these past 14 weeks. I did very well in my Anatomy and Physiology, Nutrient Metabolism, Medical Terminology, Advanced Writing and Critical Thinking, and Mission Prep classes. At first I was scared when I found out I had to take Anatomy and Physiology part II, but I am so glad I did. I love it. The body is absolutely fascinating, and I’m excited for the classes I’ll be starting this next week: Women’s Health, Sport’s Nutrition, Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases, Exercise Physiology, and Family Foundations. Yes, it will be another challenging semester, but I’m ready to go forth and love life every step of the way.

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A couple months ago Kendra shared a questionnaire with me. She posed some thought-provoking questions, so I’d love to hear your responses to them!


source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Butterfly_transparent.jpg

1. When you find an insect or arachnid in your house, what is your immediate response? Do you scream? Rescue the bug and let it outside? Kill it? No, I will not judge you (too harshly) for your response.

While I’m not a big fan of insects (other than lady bugs and butterflies, and the rollie-pollie bugs my sister likes), I don’t like God’s creations being hurt, no matter their size. Despite my dislike of ants, they are one of God’s creatures and do an amazing job keeping the earth clean. But I must admit – mosquitoes are an exception. I despise those mini vampires. One bite and my skin drives me insane for a week. I’m a scaredy-Kat when it comes to bugs, but I have been brave a few times and taken a bug out using a cup and piece of paper.

2. What is your opinion on so-called “white lies?” Are they necessary in certain cases to avoid hurting someone? Or should they be avoided at all costs?

I agree with Thumper’s dad’s response in the Disney movie Bambi: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.” A lie is a lie, no matter the context. I think they should be avoided in all situations. Honesty is the best policy.


source: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Jedi

3. What is one of the most bizarre/detailed/vivid dreams you have ever had? Have you ever had a dream that predicted something in the future (yes, this was inspired by the aforementioned dream I had)?

I remember having a dream that I was a Jedi – it was sweet! I enjoy my “Adventures At Night” (what I call “dreams”), but the one thing I dislike about dreams is that I never get to see the ending! I finally get to the best part, and then I wake up!! It’s so frustrating.


source:  http://nancyguberti.com/food-for-life/

4. Do you eat food that you’ve dropped on the ground? Or throw it away in disgust? Do you follow expiration dates on all packaged food, or only with dairy products and other mold-prone food? This was inspired by the fact that I recently threw out a tub of almost-empty yogurt that had expired a month ago. Even I have my limits when it comes to expired food.

It depends on the food. If the food could be easily washed off, then yes, I’ll wash it and still eat it. If not, then I just throw it away – I don’t know what has been on the floor. When it comes to expiration dates, I usually go by the smell or look of the food in addition to the date listed to know if it’s gone bad or not – just because a food is a few days past a date doesn’t necessarily mean it has gone bad.



5. Do you have one or more social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc…)? How has it affected your life, both positively and/or negatively? Or do you prefer to stay off of such websites?

I have Facebook, Pinterest, and WordPress accounts, but during the semester I stay almost completely off them since my day is packed from morning to evening. I think social media can be beneficial, but it’s imperative I balance its use in my life. If it become more important than spending time with my family or fulfilling my responsibilities, then I have lost balance. For instance, I love the Bakery Story game on my mom’s iPad. I played it every day for years. Right before I came back up to college, I realized my life was being consumed by that game. I was planning my schedule around it. All I wanted to do was play it. It was a hard for me, but I decided to completely delete the game. Yes, it was a fun game and it was better than other things I could have done, but it was not the best way I could spend my time. “Is it good, better, or best?” That is the question I ask myself when deciding the what, when, where, and how I use social media.


6. Why exactly are there warning labels on things such as bottles of hairspray stating “Do not use near heat, flame, or while smoking.” “Avoid inhalation.” “Avoid spraying in eyes”? Do these companies think we are idiots, or are they simply terrified of being sued by a person who says “You didn’t tell me that it’s dangerous to use my hair dryer in the bathtub!! How dare you do such a thing!!” Yes, this is somewhat of a rhetorical question, so instead of answering it, feel free to share the most absurd warning labels you have ever seen.

This question makes me think of my sister – she thinks it’s ridiculous how a frozen pizza will instruct after removing the wrapper to ‘discard wrapper.” Like she doesn’t know to do that.

7. Did you have an imaginary friend as a child? If so, what was his/her/its name? Was it human, animal, vegetable, mineral, or alien?

Yes, when I was a child I did have an imaginary friend named Condetoe (pronounced “con-dee-toe”) Steen. My sister and I would play “house” together with her. Gosh I’m old. ;)


8. Do you talk to yourself on a regular basis? Or perhaps to your pets? Have you ever engaged in a fascinating discussion or argument with yourself? (Please tell me I’m not the only one who has done this…)

I talk with my kitty cat ALL the time – he’s just being a little shy in that picture. I talk to myself on occasion, but not commonly. My sister, on the other hand, talks to herself daily. I’ve even witnessed her engaged in an argument with herself– it’s captivating to watch. I just chuckle to myself, roll my eyes, and give her a “you-are-so-silly” facial expression.


source: http://studentbranding.com/writing-your-own-letter-of-recommendation/

9. When was the last time you sent an actual pencil-and-paper letter to someone? Do you think handwritten letters are always more intimate and personal than an email or text message, or does it depend on the situation? Speaking of which, can you write in cursive (I can’t, so don’t worry about being judged here)?

Oh gosh, I can’t remember the last time I wrote a pencil-and-paper letter to someone. I have two friends serving missions for my church (one in Peru and the other in the Philippines), and I communicate with them weekly through email, as its cheaper and faster than hand-written letters. I do prefer handwritten letters and notes though. They mean more to me than people think. And yes, I can write in cursive. I like to use it with my journal – it makes what I write more special to me.


source: http://www.digitaltrends.com/home-theater/study-injuries-from-falling-televisions-are-up-95-percent-among-kids/#!DV7DK

10. Do you feel as though TV or magazine advertisements actually make you more likely to purchase the product being advertised? Or do you simply enjoy mocking them and/or laughing at them? Feel free to mention one of the strangest, best, worst, most sexist, or most creative advertisement you’ve ever seen.

There are some commercials that I just laugh at since they are trying so hard and I’m not “buying” it (pun intended). Others (like Bare Minerals) I would not have known about were it not for the commercial, and seeing the commercial did make me more likely to purchase it (and I love it). Manufacturers know what they are doing when it comes to TV and magazine advertisements. In my Nutrient Metabolism we had a discussion on the effects advertisements have on children, specifically those about sugary cereal, fast food, and candy. It’s intriguing how some manufacturers claim their advertisements don’t affect children as much as people think, yet they continue to spend multimillions on the advertisements. They work, especially with children who haven’t fully developed the ability to discern when manufacturers are telling the truth or over exaggerating.

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What’s the latest news in your life? Catch me up!

With lots of hugs,

Kathleen

A Marvelous Creation

The more I learn about the body, the more I appreciate the marvelous creation it is. We are not a mistake. We were not made by chance. He designed and created our bodies so we could come to earth and gain experience. He wants us to become like Him. I am so grateful for my body and how amazing it truly is. Every second, the SA node cardiac cells of the right atrium (in the heart) depolarize and send action potential electrical currents, resulting in the contraction of the left and right atrium, which top off the ventricles with blood. The electrical current then travels down and back up the ventricles, causing them to depolarize and contract, allowing the blood to flow throughout the body. And that is just touching the tip of the iceberg of the wonders of the body. The human body is simply amazing. I love how this video shows the inner life of a cell — to think that goes on every minute of our lives is incredible. I am so grateful for my body and all the things it allows me to do and the things I can learn through it. 

I hope you are doing well!

with lots of hugs,

Kathleen