Saturday, October 24, 2009

Three Bean Chili

Fall is just around the corner. Well, actually I think it has officially begun. This comes as kind of a shock, since Southern California has virtually no fall, or at least a fall season that could appreciably be called "Fall." Coming from New England, I have come to enjoy and love my falls. Autumn is easily my most favorite time of year besides summer and Christmas. The colors on the leaves, the pumpkin, the apple cider, the warmth of spices and the cold rush of an October breeze, the crunch of the leaves under your feet and the fields upon fields of apples and pumpkins just waiting to be picked...

Ahh, I reminisce. I miss my New England falls. But I cannot complain, because now in this new "world" I get nearly 365 days worth of sunshine. And you know how I love my sunshine.

The presence of fall has brought to light another thing that is missing. Soup. Once the leaves turn color and start to tumble down, and the weather begins to turn colder and colder, my family has always turned to soup. When fall arrives, on goes the stove, and on goes the crockpot. The crockpot has always been one of my mom's most beloved kitchen tools. Can you believe that only three years ago we bought her a new crockpot after using hers faithfully for 26 years, since my parents have first been married?! It was a feat to keep a much loved crockpot for so long, but now with the old one laid to rest, we can make bigger soup batches because the new one is so much bigger! I wish they would make appliances today that would last just as long!

I have digressed, however, because the making of this soup has nothing to do with fall, or the colors on the trees or my mothers crockpot. I created this soup this summer, and it is so good I can't believe I haven't raved about it before. But I've been busy, way busy.. so finally, consider it done.

This soup is warm, spicy and has a good mixture of both vegetables and "substance" - ie, meat and potatoes. I made it as an experiment, paired it with cornbread (see my earlier posts) and my mom and I managed to ate the whole batch in a week. So good. Try this soup out on a cold fall or winter day and it's kick of spice will be sure to delight your senses and wake you up!

Meagan's Three Bean Chili

1 lb browned beef chuck
1 small vidalia onion, diced
1 orange bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 T buter
3 - 15 oz cans of 3 beans (aduki, chickpea and white), drained and rinsed
1 - 15 oz can Muir Glen Fire Roasted tomatoes
4 cups organic free-range chicken stock**
1 heaping 1/4 tsp of smoked paprika - You can sub normal paprika, but you will lose the main taste profile of the soup.
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
dash of black and red pepper flakes
2 cups water
2 T olive oil
2 cups fresh corn off the cobb
2 small golden potatoes, cubed***
1 large pot

To make "THE soup" (as my mom fondly calls it):
1. On medium heat, brown the beef in the pot, and remove (do not drain the fat).
2. Add the vidalia, orange pepper and butter and saute lightly.
3. Add corn and potatoes.
4. Add beans, chicken stock, and tomatoes (do not drain these).
5. Add water.
6. Cover, bring to a boil and then simmer on low until potatoes are almost cooked...
7. Then add olive oil and spices, and return beef to the pot.
8. Simmer on low until potatoes are fully cooked, and their starch is slightly breaking down.
9. EAT and enjoy delicious soup, served with homemade cornbread and shredded raw milk cheddar cheese.

*In the picture, that delicious blob of white goodness you see on top of the hot soup is partially melted FRESH grated raw milk aged sharp cheddar cheese.

**The kind I used is Imagine or Pacific. I did not use low sodium, or reduced salt, so if you are using this kind you might want to add more salt to the soup. I find that sometimes the reduced sodium soups have other additives like MSG. Imagine and Pacific are a good brand, and use sea salt, so I know the salt I am eating my body can use, unlike the weak table salt. And of course - if you have HOMEMADE chicken stock, use it!!

***Add more if you wish, but I am a protein type, and do not do well on lots of carbohydrates, so I generally do not add as much potato as I would, say, meat.

If you bring this tangy chili to winter potluck parties everyone is sure to love you, but don't forget the cornbread!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Breakfast Carrotie

Busy. That's what I've been these past few weeks and it's only going to continue (or actually get worse). But I love my classes, and it is so worth it!

This recipe was born from the 3 eggs that I had in my refridgerator that needed to be used because they had been in there for over a month! That's pitiful, I know, but it has brought some tasty results. It is a similar idea to my Fruity Vegan Oatmeal Bake, but is more cakey and has carrots!

Meagan's Breakfast Carrotie

1/4 cup organic coconut flour + 3 Tbsp
1/2 cup organic coconut oil
3 real eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 - 1 tsp sea salt
1 cup packed shredded carrots
1 cup soaked GF oats (1 cup oats, add a glug of apple cider vinegar, water to cover - let sit on counter overnight, then lightly drain off water and use)
3/4 cup organic raisins
1 handful almonds
1 Tbsp pecans
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3 tsp stevia powder

To make your carrot-ie:
1. In a small bowl, crack eggs, add vanilla, salt. Beat until glossy yellow.
2. Add to the bowl: oatmeal, coconut flour. Beat until incorporated. Add cinnamon, stevia.
3. Mix in raisins, carrots, nuts.
4. Stir in leaveners, and pour in melted coconut oil. Mix well!
5. Put into (this doesn't pour) an 8x8 pan and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.

I originally thought that I added to much coconut flour because in the end the mixture was quite viscous, however, due to the amazing properties of coconut flour, it was fine! Feel free to reduce coconut flour by 1 T for runnier batter and moister product. Oh, and I almost forgot! Happy October! And happy Fall to those of you NOT in Southern California.

I just found this recipe as a "draft" saved on my dashboard! How odd that I didn't post it. For those of you who like oatmeal breakfast cakes - this is for you.