Tag Archives: from scratch

Vegetarian Chili

20 Mar
Another chili post! This time its gluten free, vegetarian chili. and its excellent. I’m not eating any meat for lent, so I need something easy to reheat when the rest of the household is having meat. Chili is my answer 🙂
Ingredients:
Cans: (make sure that these are plain and do not have seasoning or salt added)
-large can of light red kidney beans (drained), 2 small cans of cannellini beans (drained), 1 small can black beans (drained and rinsed), 1 large can whole tomatoes (do not drain), 1 large can crushed tomatoes (do not drain), 1 teeny can of tomato paste, 1 small can corn (drained).
Fresh:
-3 large green bell peppers, 1 large red  bell pepper, 4 hot banana peppers (you need these to balance out the sweetness!),  1 sweet onion, 1 package mushrooms (sliced)
Other:
-1/2 stick of unsalted butter, garlic powder (or crushed garlic if you prefer), several tablespoons white sugar
In my last chili post, I explained my process, but here it is simplified.
I add all the canned goods into a giant pot (with a fitted lid). I chop up the veggies (coarsely), and add them. I turn the heat on medium and stir. I add a cup of water, a half stick of butter, garlic powder, and a decent bit of sugar (a few big spoonfuls.) Stir it up, put on the lid, turn the heat down to low (shouldn’t be boiling.)  Stir every ten-fifteen minutes for about 3 hours. If the chili is too watery for your tastes after an hour or two, you can leave the lid off for awhile so that some liquid evaporates. And enjoy :).
I imagine that if you used a (rather large) crock pot you wouldn’t have to stir so frequently. But my dad used a pot so that’s what I do (and I don’t have a crock pot large enough). Also, I am very against chili seasoning/ powder, etc. It tastes fake fake fake.  Please do not use it, you don’t have to, and its better without.
Generally, I don’t like corn in chili, but I think it worked well in this vegetarian version.

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Create a Tradition: Pancakes

16 Jan
Growing up, pancakes were a Sunday morning tradition in my family. My Mom had a few different flavors of syrup to choose from (blueberry and pure maple are my favorites), and my little brother would create a nice-sized mountain of powdered sugar on top of his pancake stack. Pancakes and coffee is now my go-to meal in any diner situation. And I make pancakes from scratch at home on a pretty regular basis. I am a pancake fiend :).
For many people, making pancakes from scratch seems out of reach and like too much work. It isn’t. And, bothering to make pancakes from scratch is worth it. Let me repeat: PANCAKES FROM SCRATCH ARE TOTALLY WORTH IT.
Making your own pancake mixture saves the taste and texture, guarantees the ingredients (healthy, indulgent, or preservative laden), and gives you more control. Once you begin making them from scratch, it is very likely that you will never buy boxed mix again.
Work wise, I understand how some people can get overwhelmed. For awhile, I was using a recipe that required that the milk, eggs, and softened butter were room temperature, without microwaving. Imagine how much time and foresight that took.
Super Awesome Pancake recipe from Allrecipes.com
^ That is the recipe I now use. It uses white vinegar, so make sure you have it. The vinegar’s reaction with the baking soda helps make these pancakes fluffy.  I also add only about two tablespoons of butter, and I use whole wheat flour (which is sold at your grocery store, there is no excuse not to buy it.)
My picky eaters who are NOT pancake fiends like myself love this recipe, even with the whole wheat flour. The whole wheat makes me feel a bit better about eating pancakes so frequently 😉
I also suggest using free to roam, organically fed hen’s eggs. Both for flavor and for moral goodness. But I’ll save that for another post.
Enjoy your weekend, and consider trying out these pancakes for tomorrow morning. Your family, and your taste buds, will thank you.