Vegetarian Chili

Vegetarian Chili

I never want to be that cliched food writer. You know the one, always sharing what’s super trendy or posting 2 million cookie recipes around Christmas or having million recipe collections of pumpkin recipes. But sometimes, you really just need to share something at just the right time. It makes sense and your readers will thank you for it. Hence this chili.

If you’re in my part of the country – or many other parts as well – then you know this week brought an extreme chill not felt for years. I was lucky enough to be inside for most of the time but there are others who aren’t as lucky. Kids walking to school, the guy I saw on the highway changing his tire, the dog who needs to take a good five minutes to find a potty spot. No matter how you’ve spent the last week, you still need something to warm up your bones. Chili is a great, hearty option.

I went for vegetarian chili mainly due to lack of thawed meat. But really, I didn’t miss it at all. Two different kinds of beans – both red kidney and black – make this soup incredibly hearty meaty without actually adding any meat. A great kick of spice lends tons of flavor and the quinoa? Well that might just be my favorite part. It adds a great heft, a nice filling quality, without making this chili heavy.

Top if all off with a helping of jalapeno cornbread and you are set. The cornbread is essential here. You could skip it but why?

Vegetarian Chili
Recipe type: vegetarian, dinner
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Serves: 10
 

Vegetarian chili will warm you to the bone, even on the coldest of days.
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1½ Tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1½ cups frozen corn
  • juice of one lime
  • optional: shredded cheese, sour cream, diced red onion for topping
  • For cornbread:
  • 1 cup white cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and diced

Instructions
  1. In a large sauce pan, heat vegetable oil over medium high heat. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, 30 seconds.
  2. Add onions and toss to coat. Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add in tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, sugar, cayenne, water and quinoa and stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes.
  5. Add in beans, corn and lime juice and simmer an additional five minutes.
  6. Portion into bowls and top with shredded cheese, sour cream or diced red onions. Serve with jalapeno cornbread.
  7. To make cornbread, Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 9X11 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  8. In a bowl, combine cornmeal, flour and baking powder. In another bowl, whisk together oil, milk and egg.
  9. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir just to combine.
  10. Fold in jalapenos. Pour into baking dish and bake 20 minutes until golden.
  11. Remove and allow to cool. Slice into squares.

 

Pizza Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Pizza Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Here’s the thing about spaghetti squash. You can’t go into it expecting it to taste anything like spaghetti. So get that thought out of your head now. In fact, stop calling it spaghetti squash. Just call it stringy squash because that is essentially what it is. Once you roast and cut open a spaghetti squash, you are left with stringy, somewhat crisp flesh that is delicious and totally adaptable to basically anything your heart desires. But it does not taste like spaghetti.

I think because it is called spaghetti squash, it is most often treated as such and served with meatballs and sauce. That is fine and dandy, since it is definitely tasty that way. I took mine, however, and turned it into a crustless pizza. I scooped all of the tender yellow flesh out and tossed it in a bowl with copious amounts of mozzarella and pizza sauce as well as a little basil and just a touch of red pepper flakes for heat.

And the result was excellent. I love the texture of spaghetti squash. It’s crisp and fresh. If you’re in that post-Christmas detox mode, this will fit the bill. It’s healthy while filling and incredibly flavorful. Give it a whirl if you’re still craving pizza without the added guilt!

Pizza Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
Recipe type: dinner, vegetarian
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Serves: 2
 

Pizza stuffed spaghetti squash is a great, low-carb vegetarian alternative to classic pizza. All the flavor, no guilt!
Ingredients
  • 1 medium-sized spaghetti squash
  • 1 cup pizza sauce
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Carefully slice the squash in half lengthwise. Place it in a baking dish, cut-side down, and fill the dish with about ¼ to ½ inch water.
  2. Bake for 60 minutes until the squash is tender. Allow it to cool until it can be handled.
  3. Once the squash is cool, use a fork and run the tines along the squash. The tender flesh will begin to pull away from the skin in ribbons, almost like spaghetti.
  4. Continue to score the flesh until it is all pulled from the skin. Take the flesh and place it in a bowl, reserving the skin for later.
  5. Add the pizza sauce, mozzarella, basil and red pepper flakes to the squash flesh and mix well to completely combine.
  6. Take the two squash skins and divide the flesh mixture between them. Top with an additional sprinkling of mozzarella cheese.
  7. Place the squash halves on a baking sheet and place in the oven for an additional 5 to 7 minutes until the cheese has fully melted.

 

Chicken Lime Soup with Avocado

Sometimes, the weather here can be so fickle. One day, it is in the low 60s. You drive with the windows down, wear a tee shirt and bask in the warm glow of the sun. The next day, it is back in the low 30s and we end up bundling in a ridiculous amount of layers. The space heater pops back on, huddle under 2 blankets and drink lots of tea or coffee. It makes dressing very confusing. Helpful hint – always bring a jacket.

Days like this, when the skies threaten to unleash a snowstorm at less than a moment’s notice, they require soups. This soup has become on of my most favorites as of late. The chicken falls apart, absorbing all of the delicious tomato flavor. Topped with avocado to cool off, it is a great balance of spice and coolness.

4.0 from 1 reviews

Chicken Lime Soup with Avocado
Recipe type: soup, winter, lunch
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Serves: 4
 

Ingredients
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. cilantro plus additional for garnish
  • 1 medium lime
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add in onion, jalapeño and garlic and cook until onions are tender, about five minutes. Add chicken stock, canned tomatoes and chicken breast to the pot. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once the pot is boiling, reduce heat to medium low and cover. Let simmer for one hour. After simmering, remove the chicken breast from the pot and shred. Return it to the pot. Squeeze the juice of the lime into the soup and stir well. Add in chopped cilantro and mix well. Spoon into serving bowls or cups. Top with avocado slices and cilantro sprigs. Serve immediately.

Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add in onion, jalapeño and garlic and cook until onions are tender, about five minutes.
  2. Add chicken stock, canned tomatoes and chicken breast to the pot. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once the pot is boiling, reduce heat to medium low and cover. Let simmer for one hour.
  3. After simmering, remove the chicken breast from the pot and shred. Return it to the pot. Squeeze the juice of the lime into the soup and stir well. Add in chopped cilantro and mix well.
  4. Spoon into serving bowls or cups. Top with avocado slices and cilantro sprigs. Serve immediately.

 

Chicken Broccoli Pad Thai

Chinese take-out is often a fall-back meal for many families. It is often quick and easy, making it something to go for during those busy months when time is at a premium. These days, the ease of making Chinese from home is coming to the forefront. In the amount of time it takes to call and order take-out and wait for delivery, a fresh, home-cooked Chinese meal can be on the table.

This chicken broccoli pad thai puts a twist on traditional Chinese pad thai. Chicken is stir-fried and cooked in a flavorful sauce, then tossed with broccoli slaw for a crispy, fresh crunch. Serve it along side Chinese tea and chopsticks for an authentic take-out feel.

Chicken Broccoli Pad Thai
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Serves: 4
 

Ingredients
  • Chicken Broccoli Pad Thai
  • WRITTEN BY KIM COOPER
  • FONT SIZE PRINT EMAIL
  • When the urge to grab take-out gets to be too much, try chicken broccoli pad thai. Twenty minutes and fresh ingredients overtake the white take-out box, hands down.
  • 2 chicken breast, cut into cubes
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ tsp. fish sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp. freshly chopped cilantro
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • 12 ounces broccoli slaw
  • Optional: green onion, sesame seeds

Instructions
  1. Heat a pan over medium high heat. Add olive oil and garlic and cook one minute until fragrant.
  2. Add chicken to the pan. Cook until browned on all sides.
  3. Add the fish sauce, lime juice and cilantro to the pan. Scrape any browned bits off and cook until chicken is cooked throughout, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  4. Add in carrots and broccoli slaw. Cook until slightly soft, about 4 minutes.
  5. Top with chopped green onions or sesame seeds.

 

Poppyseed Chicken Salad Bites

Super Bowl Sunday has got to be one of the biggest food holidays of the year. Wings, chips, dip, beer. I myself am known to indulge despite my lack of interest in everything but the commercials and adorable Puppy Bowl show.

A good snack is key to enjoying a holiday mainly based around food and competitive sports. But you don’t need to sit around and eat like a cave man. Wings are great, of course. I could eat my weight in wings. Although why not go for something a little more sophisticated? Serve these poppyseed chicken salad bites if you want to class up your game-day party a little. They pack a flavor punch that will leave you satisfied and not regretting the decision of choosing cute foods over saucy and sloppy foods.

Poppyseed Chicken Salad Bites
Recipe type: appetizer, snack, holiday
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
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Serves: 15
 

Ingredients
  • ½ pound chicken breast, cooked and cut into chunks
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • ¾ cup seedless red grapes, chopped
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 4 tsp. poppy seeds
  • 15 phyllo cups

Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, combine chicken, celery and grapes.
  2. In another bowl, stir together Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice and poppy seeds. Stir well to combine.
  3. Pour poppyseed dressing on top of the chicken mixture and stir to coat. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
  4. Lay phyllo cups out on a flat surface. Using a teaspoon, scoop about 1 teaspoon of chicken into each cup.
  5. Serve cold.