Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian’

Vegetarian Chili


Posted by Michael, April 20th, 2011

We usually do the vegetarian chili thing on cold wintery nights, but when Rebecca mentioned it the other day, how could we not make it?  And while it hasn’t exactly been spring here in good ol’ New Jersey, it’s not winter either.  We’ve been stuck in 40-50 degree weather for these last few weeks with the exception of a random 85ish day thrown in there.

I know when people hear vegetarian they, more than likely, think of something bland; this chili recipe is far from bland.  I think even if I did the meat thing, I’d prefer this chili.  The recipe is from The Way the Cookie Crumbles and it is one of the few recipes that I haven’t really put my own spin on (with the exception of adding a different vegetable or two).  It’s that damn good.

So here we go, the ingredients.

And in list format:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1½ teaspoons ground coriander
  • ¾ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ? teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional)
  • Some garnishes: cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onions, cilantro, etc.

First up, you’re going to combine the oil, peppers, onions, garlic and dry spices together in a large pot.  Saute this mixture on medium heat for a good 10-15 minutes.  We typically like our peppers a bit on the firm side, so I usually stay around the 10 minute mark.

Eventually this mixture will be somewhat brown from the cooking, the onions sweating and the spices.  Once brown, throw in the rest of your ingredients with the exception of the butter — tomatoes, beans and soy sauce.

We had some leftover peas in the freezer so I decided to throw them in the mix.  Honestly?  They didn’t do much for the chili — didn’t make it taste better nor did it taste worse.  At times, I’ve also added frozen corn to the mix.

Once you have everything together, turn up the heat to about medium-high.  You’ll want to bring this to a boil and once there, turn down the heat to low.  Cover and cook for a solid hour; stirring occasionally.

The butter?  Throw it in the mix right before serving.  It gives it a bit more of a richness flavor.  This time around, I didn’t use the butter as I felt the chili wasn’t lacking any richness.

That picture above?  Yeah, not mine.  I’m guessing my memory card wasn’t sitting right in the camera as I was snapping away.  Oops.  So the final product above is courtesy of The Way the Cookie Crumbles (thanks!).

As usual, we’re linking this up to What I Ate Wednesday at Peas and Crayons!

Some Shepard’s Pie


Posted by Michael, March 2nd, 2011

Rebecca and I are suckers for comfort food and when we gave up eating meat roughly two years ago, we were also giving up many comfort foods we both grew up with.  For me, it was the many Italian dishes.  For Rebecca, it was the corned beef and cabbage type dishes.  Don’t get me wrong, we still crave these dishes but we’ve found some comfort food replacements along the way.  One of them being black bean tacos; we just cannot get enough of these things.

So when we started playing the “what do you want for dinner?” game at work the other day, Rebecca came up with a great solution: Vegetarian Shepard’s Pie.  Now, if you do a simple Google search for this, you’re going to get many results with many recipes.  The majority of these recipes included meat substitutes and other non-everyday-type vegetables.  We don’t do meat substitutes; we’ve tried and we really don’t like them.  So as the conversation went on, we realized it had to include ingredients that screamed comfort — nothing crazy, no curve balls.

I found a great recipe on  It had everything we wanted: carrots, corn, peas, celery, onions, potatoes.  The recipe did call for a meat substitute, but I ignored it while cooking.

I started by dicing all the vegetables (about 1-1.5 cups for each) and placing them all in a large pot.  Along with the vegetables came the vegetable broth, pepper, bay leaves and nutmeg.  This mixture cooked on medium-low heat all while I stirred constantly; maybe a solid 10-15 minutes until everything was tender.

While the veggies were cooking, I was also chopping and then boiling my potatoes.  The recipe didn’t give instructions for the mashed potatoes (it called for already prepared mashed potatoes), so I did my own thing.  Boiled the potatoes until soft and then mashed them with some butter and cream.  Easy, yet delicious.

Once the veggies were tender, I took out about 1/2 cup of the broth and placed in a bowl.  I then slowly mixed in flour (about 2 tablespoons) into this broth.  And once this was all mixed, I added this broth back in with the vegetables.  This pot continued to cook for a couple more minutes all while I was stirring constantly and trying to get everything thickened.

As soon as the veggie mixture was thickened, we were good to go. I placed the veggies into a casserole dish, spreading into an even layer.  Then I added the mashed potatoes on top and baked at 375 for a solid 25 minutes — at which point the very top of the potatoes started to brown.

And what do you know?  This dish was absolutely fantastic.  We both had seconds and couldn’t wait until we could eat some more at lunch the following day.  It’s been just about a day and I’m ready to make this again.  This dish is definitely going to become a comfort food of ours.

We’ll be posting this over at Jenn’s What I Ate Wednesday link party once again. Go check out Peas & Crayons for some more recipes! 🙂

ps- for another good read today check out Sara from House Bella’s guest post on why she moved from New Hampshire to Idaho over at Two Become One. It’s part of Samantha’s “Living Your Best Life” series of posts and it’s a goodie!

pps- that ps was from Rebecca, hijacking Mike’s post. I can’t stay away for a day 🙂

What We Ate Wednesday


Posted by Rebecca, January 26th, 2011

I’m back! Mike saved my life with his posts this week. You’ll probably be hearing from him a little more from now on, since my workload this semester is much larger. Just call us John and Sherry 🙂

Anywho, my blogging buddy Jenn over at Peas and Crayons is hosting a What I Ate Wednesday link party today. She threatened me asked me to post some things we eat around here. Since Jenn is wonderful, and also happens to be my #1 and #4 most frequent commenter (no really Jenn, you hold 2 spots in the top 10…), the least I could do was post a little recipe from last night!

So a little foodie background, Mike and I don’t eat meat and haven’t for about 2 years now. I was never a big meat eater and I originally decided that I wanted to do a grass-fed/free-range diet. We did it for a week and it almost bothered me more to think about what the animals I was eating, were eating! It made them more real to me, so I decided I would rather not eat meat than go the grass-fed route. I never expected Mike to join me, but he decided he was up for the challenge and would see how long he could go. Much to both of our surprises, it’s been almost two years. A major misconception about us is that I have somehow forced Mike into my lifestyle, which could not be further from the truth. Mike loves to cook and was open to trying out new things, so if anything, being vegetarian has made us expand our horizons and try new things. Plus Mike maaay have eaten a rib at a recent bachelor party and I did not kill him in his sleep. See that? I am not the crazy vegetarian lady.

We often get funny looks and comments such as “You don’t eat meat? What do you eat???” So I’m pretty excited to share some of our recipes 🙂  Though I can’t promise that there aren’t some nights where I eat Froot Loops for dinner…

Okay onto the food! Last night we made some stuffed peppers with white wine risotto. And by we I mean Mike..

The recipe, which is from here:

  • 4-6 red bell peppers
  • 2 tbsp olive oil + 1/4 cup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 scallions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup white wine, separated + 1 tbsp
  • 1 cup Aborio rice
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (re-hydrate if necessary)
  • 1 portobello mushroom, halved and sliced
  • 1 tbsp margarine
  • parmesan cheese (vegan or dairy, optional)

We substituted the portobello mushroom for some steak cut mushrooms, removed the sun-dried tomatoes and added some onion.


Slice tops off of peppers and scoop out seeds. Place in baking tray. Drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil, garlic and salt and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until just barely tender.

Meanwhile, heat vegetable broth and 1/2 cup wine over low heat til hot, just before simmering. In a separate large skillet, sautee scallions, garlic cloves in 1/4 cup olive oil. Add rice and mushrooms until rice is toasted, but not burnt, stirring frequently. Add 1/2 cup white wine and simmer one more minute. Add 1/2 cup of the broth and wine mixture to rice. Allow to cook until the liquid is almost absorbed. Continue adding broth mixture 1/2 cup at a time until rice is cooked, about 30 minutes.

Add 1 tbsp margarine and 1 tbsp wine just before done cooking.

Stuff into peppers. Sprinkle the stuffed peppers with parmesan, if desired, and bake 10 more minutes.

We served them with some broccoli (because I was craving it) and some corn (because that was the vegetable Mike chose). I’m sure a salad would have been a much more normal choice. And tada! A delicious meal on my lovely Ikea Dinera plates. I had to throw a touch of decor in there for you guys 🙂

Don’t worry, the remainder of that bottle of white wine was put to great use, we don’t waste…

For more recipes, crafts and cute animals, head on over to Peas and Crayons!

Copyright 2010 - 2011. The Lil House That Could. All rights reserved.