Chilli Days

January 13, 2011

49 out of 50 states are covered in snow right now.

Mine is no exception.

Yesterday afternoon morning, Roomie and I woke up to a blanket of snow and ice outside of our window and were thrilled to find out that classes were cancelled. Glorious. Sledding > studying.

Of course, being the cheap college student I am, I don’t have a sled. Or the proper footwear. Lucky for me, my RA is a genius and informed me to wear rain boots. She also provided me with a sled.

Fabulous.

Yes, my ghetto ass sled was a box. No shame.

 

Come on, you didn’t think I managed to stay on, did you!?

My RA isn’t the only genius around here though. My brilliant neighbors discovered the most innovative sledding solution of this still very young century. Can you tell what it is?

No? Well, it’s a cookie sheet! I’ll tell you what, if you have a spare anywhere and you’ve still got snow on the ground, you need to get your toosh on that cookie sheet and find a hill to speed down. I am doubly sure that I would singlehandedly own any and all of my competition in Bobsledding. London 2012, anyone?

After two hours of intense sledding, we were pretty frozen. My hands were numb, my sweater was filled with ice, and I had muddy smears on my peacoat. I may or may not have looked like I peed my pants. I knew what was in order: a warm, comforting, warm, delicious, warm, and filling lunch. That was warm. Enter one pot chilli!

Chilli To Warm Your Bones

This delicious chilli is easy to prepare and perfect for heating yourself up after a romp in the snow. The spices are completely versatile, so you can adjust the heat to your taste and use whatever ones you want or have on hand. Serves 4-5.

You’ll need:

2 cans of beans, your choice. I used kidney beans.

1 onion, chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

2 cups TVP, hydrated*

1 can of no-salt added diced tomatoes, with the liquid

1 cup vegetable broth

1 tablespoon chilli powder

1/2 tablespoon cumin

1/2 tablespoon onion powder

1/2 tablespoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

 

*TVP, or textured vegetable protein, is pretty easy to rehydrate. Click here for the 411.

To start your chilli, heat up a large pot (large enough to fit everything) with a drizzle of good olive oil. I feel like Ina Garten when I say that.

From foodnetworkhumor.com

Once your EVOO is heated (Oh God, now I feel like Rachael Ray!), toss in your onion and, if you’re feeling saucy, go ahead and toss in a tablespoon of minced garlic. Once the onion is translucent, add your TVP and bell pepper and cook for a few more minutes. Heck, you could even roast the pepper beforehand for even more deliciousness. Crazy talk.

Now you’re at the point where you need the TVP to absorb all of your spices, so go ahead and add them in before you add in your canned tomatoes and vegetable stock. If you want to be even more of a risk taker, you could pour in a bottle of Blue Moon. Hey, I won’t tell, especially if you live in a dry dorm. 😉

Once everything is in your pot, bring it to a boil. Then let it all simmer and hang out for as little or as long as you like. The flavors will intensify and meld and become the most comforting chilli you ever imagined. It’ll warm you up enough to go play in the snow some more.

Just be sure to wear the right shoes.

How did you spend your snow day(s)?

Advertisements

…is I’m not the only one!

(:

Last night, I met up with Jen, Kelly, Katie, Jessie, Tiffany, and Brittney. This was actually my first eva blog meetup (!), so I was kind of nervous.  Confession: I arrived mega early and sat in my car, kind of lurking and being an all around creeper, waiting to get out of the car until five before 7, our designated meeting time. I didn’t want to have to sit outside awkwardly for fifteen minutes. I’m always super early for stuff.

We decided to meet up at a legit new burger bar called Big Daddy’s.

This place is very new (they have 2 locations) and very popular. The menu was pretty darn awesome. From regular burgers to turkey burgers to a phenomenal black bean burger (more on that in a minute!), there were so many options. You could really choose anything you want, because you have the option to build your own burger or salad from scratch and customize everything from the bread to the toppings.

Half of me wanted to have a black bean burger and the other half of me realllly wanted a salad. So I compromised and ordered this:

Sorry for the poor quality shot. Dim lighting/high ISO setting. :c

It was epic to, for once, not be the only person taking pictures of their food. Love.

I had strawberries, cucumbers, avocado, and chickpeas on a bed of spinach, topped with a black bean burger. This salad was so delish and so gigantic I couldn’t even finish it. Don’t be fooled by my picture, this was the large sized salad – and when Big Daddy says large, he means large. And he wasn’t stingy with the toppings either! The star of the meal was easily the black bean burger. Everyone at the table who ordered it was raving about the epic deliciousness going on. Crunchy and crisp on the outside, yet soft and warm on the inside, with visible black beans and corn in the burger.  This was without a doubt the best black bean burger I’ve ever had! It was probably fried or cooked in some manner that I would disapprove of to get that crunch, but I’m a-ok with that. The salad part cancels out the fried bits, right? 😉

We stayed and chatted for a while after we’d eaten, and I really had a lot of fun getting to know these beautiful ladies!

I’m really good at hiding behind people and looking like a mega creeper in pictures.

Kelly, Tiffany, Brittney, Jen, Jessie, yours truly, and Katie!

All in all, I had a fantabulous night and I can’t wait to see everyone again! 🙂

And now I am off to do what I do best…… read in bed.

But if I do what I’m even better at, I’ll fall asleep in the above position.

And dream about black bean burgers.

I’ll give you a hint: it rhymes with Shmew Shork Shmity.

And it looks a little something like this:

Yep. NYC, baby.

My fabulous roommate offered to take me to Boston and New York with her in July. Of course I obliged. NYC is on my bucket list, dudes. We’ll fly into the city, then take the train to Boston a few days later. Her momma has a convention in Massachusetts, and so while she’s gettin’ her conference on, the roomie and I will be taking Boston by storm!

So here’s my question to you… what’s a vegan to do in Boston and NYC (but especially Boston, seeing as I’ll be spending more time there)? I’ve googled stuff to do, but I’m definitely interested in what you guys have to say! I’m interested in anything vegan or anything funky. Seriously, try me. Shops, parks, restaurants, anything! I’m hoping we will be in the area near One Lucky Duck at some point in NYC, but that’s all I have on my list so far. I know I’m not going to be able to do absolutely everything I want (because it’s their trip, I’m just lucky enough to be tagging along), but I need more things to do so that I can avoid doing work for my online summer course. 😉

Thanks in advance, lovelies!

I’m not usually one for fake meat products. Boca? No way. Morningstar? Nuh  uh. Smart dogs? Never in a million years. You name it, I probably don’t like it – from fake chicken nuggets to sausage links – and I probably won’t eat it. Some of them are processed far too much and have a zillion unrecognizable ingredients. *cough cough Boca burgers cough* So why do I rarely eat imitation meat? There’s just something about the taste and the texture. I guess because it resembles meat just a little too closely. Or sometimes it ends up looking like poo. (See here)

Anyway, I had some friends over for a BBQ last night. First of the season! Among all the grilled potatoes, peppers, and mushrooms was this…

I know, I know.. fake meat.  It must’ve been the words “New BOLD BBQ sauce.” No, really, it was a spur of the moment thing. I recognized and could read and pronounce all of the ingredients. The nutrition stats were pretty good too.  The only thing that I didn’t particularly love was the amount of sodium in a serving. I try to keep it under 800mg a day and, judging by the size of the skewers vs the size of my stomach, there was no way I was going to be able to only eat one serving… unless it tasted like poo.

What? I’m a hangry girl.

Once I took them out of the package, I was unnerved. They were all kind of clumped together and they really did resemble poo. A lot.

Upon further inspection and a good sniff, I discovered that they actually smelled really good. Kind of like baked beans..which SCREAM deliciousness, especially after they’ve been in the slow cooker for 6 hours and you just want to stick your face in them.

See? Not too appealing. Poo on a stick.

That’s what they looked like post-grilling. There was nothing I could do to make them look more appetizing.

With an open mind and a tall glass of water next to me for just in case, I took a hunk of “garden protein” and prepared for the worst. Surprisingly, however, it wasn’t terrible. I seriously wondered if I’d picked up a meat kebab instead of a vegan one, to be honest with you. Texture wise, it was a little chewy and quite dense. The BOLD BBQ sauce had stuck to the skewer even during it’s session in the grill sauna. It really was bold.

Overall, the skewers were different than I’d been expecting. In a good way. I’m definitely going to try Gardein’s other stuff. But I’m not good at sharing, so if anyone asks for a bite, I’ll tell them I’m eating poo.

You can guess what song I’ve had stuck in my head all morning.

I had planned to make my dad super yummy pancakes, seeing as it’s Day 1 of his better half being thousands of miles away in England (she’s such a lucky beg).

So we came downstairs to find THIS joy..

She hasn’t peed on the carpet since she was a young’n.

Ultimate guiltface.

We figure it was because she’s mad about her beloved mum leaving for vacation. She’s staging a protest now, refusing to eat and camping out on the couch, eyes fixed straight outside the window for her mum. Poor thing. Hopefully she won’t keep that up for 2 and a half weeks.

Anyway, today was a perfect pancake morning. It was sort of dreary and cloudy outside, but not quite cool enough for oatmeal. Enter banana pancakes (and look, I actually remembered the measurements!)!

Banana Pancakes

Serves 2-3 people, depending on how hungry they are. This fed my father and I, but I made them fairly small sized.

1 1/3 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup vanilla non-dairy milk (I used almond)

1/2 cup water

1 1/2 T pure vanilla extract

2 T maple syrup or agave nectar

1 t baking powder

cinnamon to taste

1 banana, sliced

Heat up a non-stick pan and spray with cooking spray, or you can use oil. While it warms, slice your banana.

Mix all ingredients sans bananas in a big bowl. You may need to add more liquid to the batter if it’s too thick.

Once your skillet is feeling hot hot hot, start putting pancake batter in, then press in your banoonoos. You want to make sure they get all the way through the batter and touch the surface of the skillet so that they will get nice and grilled and warm when the pancakes cook.

You know the rest of the drill…. flip when you can see lots of lovely bubbles throughout, plate, top with real maple syrup (none of that icky maple flavored liquidy stuff) or the fruit of your choice and then proceed to NOM.

Me: “Dad, can you pour a little bit on my pancakes, please?”

The maple syrup then proceeds to LEAP out of the jug and drown my pancake in syrupy deliciousness.

Dad: “Oh, that came out faster than I wanted it to….”

Me: “That’s what SHE said!”

I would go there.

Have a safe Memorial Day! If you’ve got the day off, what are your plans? Dad and I were going to head to the park with the pup but it’s storming now, so we’ll probably stay in and watch junk TV 🙂