My Life

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

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college · Goodies · vegan · vegetarian

{Panera Inspired} Black Bean Soup

I love black bean soup. 

Ever since I visited Panera for the first time with my dear friend, I fell in love with their black bean soup. However, my college-sized budget can’t bend to eat out every weekend. Therefore, these past few weeks I decided to create my own recipe inspired by Panera’s black bean soup.

After weeks of trial and error, trial and win, and trial and almost, I finally nailed it.

My family agrees – this is amazing.

If you’ve made my Split Pea Soup before, you know it’s deadly. Now, my black bean soup is her fraternal twin, a sister who is just as amazing in her own way.


Not only was it important to me that it tasted like Panera’s soup, but I also wanted it to look a lot like it. Check.

Super simple ingredients. Delightfully deadly results. All around deliciousness.


Kathleen’s {Panera Inspired} Black Bean Soup!

Here’s how I make it!


Chop up onion, garlic, celery, carrots, and red bell pepper.


Heat a skillet to medium-low heat. Add a spoonful of coconut oil, followed by the chopped vegetables.

Top with lid, and sauté over medium heat (stirring vegetables every 5 minutes) for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.


Carefully scoop the vegetables into a powerful blender or food processor.


Add the broth and tomato paste,


And blend on high until smooth.


Pour veggie purée into crock-pot; add black beans, salt, cumin, and chili powder.


Stir all together, and let simmer on low heat in the crock pot for 2-4 hours.


Serves 8 bowls. It tastes even better as leftovers! One night in the fridge escalates the yumminess!!!


Kathleen’s {Panera Inspired} Black Bean Soup

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced in coin medallions
  • ½ large red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • Spoonful of coconut oil
  • 1 (15 oz.) can low sodium vegetable broth (1¾ cup total )
  • 1 tbsp all natural tomato paste
  • 4 (15 oz.) cans no-salt added black beans, liquid reserved* (see note)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste* (see note)

Directions:

  1. Chop up onion, garlic, celery, carrots, and red bell pepper. Heat a skillet to medium-low heat. Add a spoonful of coconut oil, followed by the chopped vegetables. Top with lid, and sauté over medium heat (stirring vegetables every 5 minutes) for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Carefully scoop the vegetables into a powerful blender or food processor, add the broth and tomato paste, and blend on high until smooth.
  2. Pour veggie purée into crock-pot; add black beans, salt, cumin, and chili powder. Stir all together, and let simmer on low heat in the crock pot for 2-4 hours. Serves 8. It tastes even better as leftovers! One night in the fridge escalates the yumminess!!!

Notes: If using home cooked beans, use 7 cups black beans and add 2 cups of liquid (broth or water) in place of the reserved liquid from the four cans. I like using the water in the cans for the dark color. Since the broth, tomato paste, and beans could have varying levels of salt in them, add the salt to taste. I used unsalted tomato paste and unsalted beans, with the broth at 50% less salt; therefore, I use about 2 tbsp of salt total. Nevertheless, start with less salt and add more as needed.

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(Cooking the black beans yourself instead of using the cans would lower the overall cost of this soup even more. Cook them the day before, and then follow the note and steps as described above and cook soup as usual.) 

A perfect way to sneak more vegetables into your lifestyle. 🙂

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Are you a Panera fan?

I’ve only had their black bean soup, but next time I’ll try another soup (if they have another that is dairy-free).

Are you a twin? Do you know a twin?

I’ve always wondered what it’s like to be a twin… My family is grateful there aren’t two of me though. Apparently I’m enough to handle on my own. 😉

EDITED to add: What are you favorite Nut Butter Recipes?! I’m going to do a roundup post on some holiday favorites in a few days and I’d love your input!

With lots of joyful Christmas wishes to you and your family,

 Kathleen

My Life · vegan · vegetarian

Kale and Mushroom Sauté

Hey my Gorgeous Snowflakes!

There is great discussion going on over at my post on if Barbie is an ideal role model or not. If you haven’t checked it out yet I’d highly recommend it. I love the different points of views people are sharing on the subject.

This Christmas season I’ve not only been wearing burgundy and a little green, but I’ve been trying to eat lots of reds and greens. With that in mind, here’s one of my favorite green recipes.


A Kale and Mushrooms Sauté. ❤


Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add kale, and drizzle with olive/coconut oil (or if you’re lazy like me, use a nonstick spray version of olive oil).


Slice mushrooms.


Add mushrooms, and sauté until mushrooms and kale are softened. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.


Kale and Mushroom Sauté

  • 4 cups fresh kale
  • 5-6 raw mushroom
  • Olive oil or coconut oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add kale, and drizzle with olive/coconut oil (or if you’re lazy like me, use a nonstick spray version of olive oil). Slice mushrooms, add them to the skillet, and sauté until both mushrooms and kale are softened. Serve immediately. Serves one hungry Kat.

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What’s your favorite Christmas song?

I like the Carol of the Bells. I also love the Grinch’s theme song from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” I had a thing for villains when I was a child. 😉 (Don’t worry, since then I’ve converted to the good side. For the most part. When it comes to chocolate, it’s still the dark side all the way.)

With lots of stars,

Kathleen