Tuesday, September 27, 2011

White Butter Bean-Kale Chili

I was serving a classic chili to my family, but wanted to make one for my vegan daughter, Rachel. To my surprise, she wasn't the only one who loved this. Many had a bowl of each and enjoyed them both equally. I, personally, preferred it over the meaty version! Butter beans add that bigger, chunkier texture, helping to replace the meat and they are, as their name implies... buttery tasting. Kale gives it that nice chewy quality as well.

2. T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot (chopped in 1/4 inch pieces with food processor)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 hatch chili, roasted, seeded and chopped (or small can green chilis instead)
1 chipolte pepper in adobe sauce, minced (save the other peppers in the sauce in a baggie in the freezer to use in future recipes that need a little smokey heat). Use two peppers if you like your chili extra spicy

1 16 oz. can butter beans, with liquid
1 can Northern white beans with liquid
2 cups vegie broth
1 16 oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes, with liquid
1 bunch kale, with stems removed, chopped
1 T. cumin powder
1 t. each, salt and pepper
1 T. sweet Thai chili sauce
1 t. chili powder
1 t. smoked paprika

(If you like a sweeter chili to cut the heat and the acid of the tomatoes, add a little brown sugar to taste, 1 teaspoon at a time. Also I had a few little new potatoes that I had in the fridge that I added to this chili. Feel free to raid your fridge and toss in whatever looks good to the pot, too! )

Adjust seasonings, especially salt, to taste.

Saute together the first four ingredients, until onions are soft and carrots are crisp-tender. Then one by one, add the rest of the ingredients. Turn up heat until chili comes to a boil, then down until it simmers until kale is limp, but still a little chewy, about 20 minutes.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Crunchy-Toasty Asian Slaw

There are many different version of this wonderful slaw, which means you should feel free to tweak it to your liking! Warning: it is extremely addicting. The basics are:

1 package of Ramen Noodle Soup, your favorite flavor
1 16 package of pre-shredded cabbage for slaw
1/2 c. slivered almonds
1/4 c. sesame seeds or sunflower seeds
1/4 c. olive oil
1 T. Sesame oil
1/4 c. vinegar (rice or white)
2-3 T. sugar (depending on desired sweetness)

Optional: 3 green onions diced.

Soy sauce if more saltiness needed.

Begin by breaking up package of uncooked Ramen Noodles. I like to do this in a food processor to really get them broken apart really well. You could also put them in a Ziplock bag and whack them with a hammer, or roll them with a rolling pin if you have some aggression that needs venting.

Saute or toast almonds, sesame or sunflowers seeds and crushed uncooked Ramen noodles. (You can do this in an oven or in a big skillet with a little butter and olive oil.)

Pour toasted nuts and noodles over the cabbage in a big bowl. .

Make dressing by mixing flavor packet from Ramen soup, vinegar, sugar and oils. Whisk and pour over nuts, noodles and cabbage. Toss gently.

Check for seasonings and tweak it to taste. Use soy sauce instead of salt should it need a little more saltiness. Some people even add crushed pineapple to this slaw, which I imagine would be delicious.

This is best served within an hour of making, or mix ahead but reserve the crushed toasted noodles for adding last minute, or they tend to get soggy.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Jicama, Mango & Black Bean Salad

Made this fresh, crunchy, sweet-salty-sour side dish tonight, and went back for seconds!

1 small jicama, peeled and diced

1 can black beans, drained

1 large mango peeled and diced

1/4 of a medium red onion, minced

Good handful of cilantro (or flat leaf parsley) minced

Gently toss the above together with the following dressing:

Juice of one large lime (also add a little of the lime peel, grated)

2 teaspoons your favorite vinegar

1 T. honey

1/4 c. good olive oil

1/4 t. salt

(Whisk all together)

Finally, sprinkle all with Tajin Mexican seasoning (combo of chili, salt and lime -- see picture below) or Tony's Cajun seasoning to taste.

(I love this Tajin seasoning on fruits and vegies!)

Fabulous as a side dish, and would be a wonderful picnic or potluck salad. Also would be yummy on top of fish or shredded chicken tacos or carnitas.