Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sharesies Chilli

Chili and a movie on a snowy Winnipeg afternoon.
Does it get better than that?
So – this whole blog gig – it’s more of a curiosity for me. First off, I needed a place to keep my recipes. I was saving everything to my favorites. (Crazy. I had pretty much the entire collection of internet recipes in my favorites.) And secondly, I was curious to see if it would make it past my own eyes. And sure enough, I’m surprised, and happy, to say that people have been looking at it, and occasionally trying some of the recipes. (Actually a few people have been making a lot of the recipes! Cool!)

There are about 5 really neat things that have happened with the blog. One of which, was a kid who I used to baby-sit – and enough time has passed that we’re pretty much the same age now. J (Weird how that happens.) Well – he’s been honing his cookery skills, and using some of the recipes to practise. And even cooler, he’s shared a recipe for me to try.
Thus, here is the first sharesies recipe post!

Sharesies Chilli
I tried out dried beans for this recipe.
In a small pot prepare:

1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water
Bring to a boil, turn heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes.

In a large pot, sauté:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small-medium onion (add at your own peril. I didn’t.)
3 cloves garlic
1 stalk celery, chopped fine

(I’ve started chopping up a stalk of celery wherever onions should go. I know I need to ditch the onions, but it doesn’t feel natural. So, the celery gives the same action, and probably time-frame, as the onion.)

Meanwhile, chop:
1 jalapeño pepper – pith and seeds removed

1 large peeled carrot
2 celery stalks

1 green pepper

1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper

1 medium zucchini

Add the chopped veggies to the sautéed garlic and celery.

Also add:

2 (19oz) 540 ml cans black beans

1 cup dried kidney beans, reconstituted (this worked out to probably 2 cans worth – way more than expected.)
2  796 ml cans diced tomatoes, processed with immersion blender

1 can tomato sauce
2-3 tablespoons chilli powder

1 tablespoon cumin

Let simmer for at least 1/2hr
Stir in Quinoa

I forgot a can of corn. That’d have been tasty.

Add sour cream and cheese as desired. I’ve forgot to do this each time I’ve had it.
It takes a LOT of room in pots. I used 2 Dutch ovens to cook this.

I also put the quinoa in right at the very beginning. It didn’t seem to bother anything.
It didn’t actually need any salt.  Or broth. Huh!

You'll note this dish is both vegan and gluten free. Who knew you could eat so “free” and tasty at the same time?

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Pumpkin Truffles

As time goes on, it seems that my chocolate obsession isn't quite as strong as I thought it was.  But there are still times when a girl wants something immensely chocolaty. I saw a recipe on the Nadine Duncan Fitness Facebook group. It looked super tasty, and I thought I would give it a try. I made some changes - the original recipe calls for cacao powder.  Cocoa powder isn't the same, but has similar properties. It doesn't have the same nutritional benefits, but it has it's own nutritional benefits.  The recipe also called for cacao nibs or high quality chocolate chips. I only like cacao nibs - and so I wasn't prepared to buy an entire package. And I love chocolate chips, and know I'd finish any leftovers all by their lonesome - and so unless I have a real pressing need, I don't buy chocolate chips.

Also, the original recipe was for fudge in a pan. (Called Pumpkin Fudge.) Topped with the chocolate chips or nibs. I wanted smaller pieces, and so went with rolling it into small balls. The ground almonds was just trying to sort out how to make them look nice.  When I tasted it, it reminded me of truffles - and here you have it.  Truffles that you can have at breakfast time and not feel like all is lost.  MMmMmMmmMm!

Pumpkin Truffles

3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
Ground almonds


Mix all the ingredients, except almonds, together until well blended.

Roll into small truffles and roll in ground almonds.  Refrigerate until solid.

Makes about 20 pieces.

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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Roasted Tomato and Black Bean Soup

Holy Hannah. So – I attended a 4-day training program held at a local “medical fitness facility”. The Winnipeg Wellness Institute, if you’re curious.  The meals were catered by the facility. Every little morsel served was absolutely delicious. When we heard that we would be having Roasted Tomato and Black Bean Soup – I think we all inwardly winced. It didn’t sound very good.

Holy Hannah – was I wrong. It was so very tasty. And it was beautiful. Thick tomato red soup with the contrasting black beans. It would be safe to assume that at least half of the group would go on to try to replicate this at home.

I Googled recipes. Nothing quite fit, but I figured I could mash a few of them together. 

Truly. It was

I didn’t want to eat it at all. I also didn’t want to buy groceries for the next day’s lunch. I just packed it up. Made a note that this wouldn’t make it on the blog.
And then I tasted it.  Truly. It was

And so – I snapped a shot, and decided to go ahead with publishing this terribly ugly, terribly tasty soup.

Roasted Red Tomato and Black Bean Soup
7 tomatoes, quartered
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 Tbs olive oil 
1 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp black pepper 
5 cups chicken broth 
2 540 ml cans black beans
1 tsp cumin 
1 tsp chili powder

Preheat oven to 375F.
Toss tomatoes and garlic with oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper in a large bowl, then transfer to baking sheet. Roast about 40 minutes.

Transfer roasted tomatoes and garlic to a large saucepan. Process with an immersion blender. Add broth, beans, cumin, chili powder, and remaining salt and pepper. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer. (Recipes call for 10 minutes of simmering. I simmer for a long time. Maybe an hour? I like the smell to fill the house.)

Serve and enjoy!

(When I try this in the future, I think I might add red peppers into the mix. Maybe one snappy hot pepper, too. It has a nice heat to it as-is – but a variety is nice, and I think that might be a nice bit of variety to start with.)

Dec 31, 2014:  I've been adding rice to the soup lately. About 1 cup of unprepared rice.  Or leftovers. Or wild rice. A colleague has suggested adding pork (yum!). And another has suggested chicken. I think I'll try chicken thighs next.

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