Meal Plan {2/29/16} in Review

Last week, I only tried 2 new recipes, a Kale & Quinoa Burrito Bowl and Ultimate Tempeh Chili. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a big fan of either. Sad, but the failed recipes always make the victories that much sweeter.

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The above kale & quinoa bowl was edible, but I found that the dressing tasted odd. While I did make quite a few changes, such as adding sautéed onions & peppers, adding tomatoes, and leaving out the pico, I don’t think I would have enjoyed it much more if I had made this meal according to the original recipe. I would not recommend this or make it again.

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This tempeh chili had potential, but simply wasn’t flavorful enough for me. I like spicy chilis though, so if you don’t, this recipe might be for you. I added more vegetables to the recipe (bell pepper, carrot, and celery), which I think improved it, but I also accidentally added the tempeh cubed rather than crumbled. While I would probably enjoy this chili if I doubled the amount of spice, it wasn’t unique enough for me to add to my already quite large collection of delicious chili recipes.

Of course, I enjoyed some of my old favorite recipes, including this Bombay Potatoes and Peas. 20160303_190348

The previous week, I also did manage to discover some awesome new recipes. Despite my terrible photos, I assure you these really are delicious. (Maybe one day I’ll have an apartment with real lighting and a real kitchen…)

First up was this Veggies and Lentils in Peanut Sauce. So yummy! Vegan Richa is my favorite new vegan food blog find.

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Next up was this easy Avocado Black Bean Burger that I placed over a salad with Avocado dressing. I officially love having a veggie burger over a salad. Much more interesting (and healthy!) than eating it on a bun.

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And lastly, I made a few trays of these delicious Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies as refreshments for my a cappella concert last weekend. They were so good I’m ashamed to say how many I ate.

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I’m headed home for a few days tomorrow, where I plan to cook my favorite recipes for my parents, so I probably won’t be trying anything else new this week. I am, however, looking forward to having more people to cook for, as that always makes the whole process more enjoyable.

If you try any of these recipes out, let me know how you like them!

“Clean Out Your Pantry” Chili + Banana Oat Cookies

Hey guys! I hope you’ve all been having a great week.

My boyfriend left for a conference in CA yesterday, but my parents are headed up to Boston tonight. Then tomorrow morning we’ll all head up to NH for a few days to see my dad’s family. It will be nice to get away for a weekend!

Unfortunately, the cold I had a week or two ago seems to have resurfaced as a cough/chest inflammation (most likely bronchitis). I drank at least 10 cups of tea yesterday (No, that is not an exaggeration) and that seems to have helped.

After I took some Advil this morning, I made it through my workout feeling pretty good and am still feeling fine now. Fingers crossed! I’m just hoping this won’t affect my running too much. Blech.

I also didn’t do a real grocery shop this week since both my boyfriend and I were both going away, so last night I decided to make a chili with whatever I had left in the fridge and the pantry.

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I found some sweet potato, white potato, cauliflower, and a tomato in the fridge, so I chopped them up along with some garlic.

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I then got out a can of black beans, vegetable stock, and spices and got to work.

I simply sautéed the garlic in some vegetable stock (I’m trying to experiment with oil-free cooking when I can!) I then added the spices (and a bit more vegetable stock) and cooked for another minute or so.

Then everything else went in: 4 cups vegetable stock, the rinsed black beans, and all the veggies.

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I brought the mixture to a boil and then simmered for 30 minutes.

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I can’t believe how good this turned out for a last-minute totally improvised chili!

On another note, I rediscovered this simple “cookie” recipe I’d been meaning to try. You just combine mashed bananas with oats & whatever flavoring you want, such as cinnamon.

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Form into balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

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Bake for 20 minutes at 350, rotating half-way through.

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I just ate one and it was delicious! Obviously, this is not a dessert cookie, as it’s not super sweet, but I think this would make a great snack to keep around. Plus it only takes like 3 minutes to prepare, which I can’t say for any other recipe I’ve made.

Let me know if you make any :)

 

Chipotle Chili with Tempeh and Butternut Squash

I never used to eat chili before I was a vegetarian. I perceived it as an unappetizing mess of tomatoes and meat and never touched it.

It’s ironic that since I’ve become vegetarian and interested in healthy cooking, chili has become one of my staple foods. I’ve now made at least 4 different versions and I have loved all of them. Chili is very easy to customize to what you have on hand and how spicy you want to make it.

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The version I made last night was a Chipotle Chili with Tempeh and Butternut Squash. I love the fact that there was both tempeh and beans in this dish. Protein FTW!

Start by chopping up your onions, peppers, and butternut squash. I find it easier to buy pre-cut squash in the supemarket rather than trying to chop through and seed that awkwardly-shaped squash. Then you can chop up the pieces smaller if you wish.

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Heat some olive oil in a large pot and add the onions and peppers. Crumble up your tempeh on top. Then add 2 Tbsp chili powder, 1 Tbsp each of chipotle chili powder, cumin, and paprika, and 1 tsp salt.

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Stir together well and cook for 8-10 minutes, until the tempeh starts to brown.

Meanwhile, drain your beans and get out remaining ingredients. Add butternut squash, beans, and canned tomatoes along with 1 Tbsp each of chipotle chili powder, cumin, and turmeric. Add liquid smoke to taste. If you want a thinner chili, you may choose to add a few cups of vegetable broth here as well.

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Bring chili to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes, until the squash is tender.

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Here is the my modified version based on the recipe from Food Confidence:

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 package tempeh, crumbled
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp chipotle chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 cups butternut squash, diced
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
  • Liquid smoke to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Chop up onion, pepper, and butternut squash.
2. Heat oil in large pot. Add onions, peppers, and crumbled tempeh along with 2 Tbsp chili powder and 1 Tbsp each of chipotle chili powder, cumin, and paprika. Add salt. Saute 8-10 minutes until tempeh is browned.
3. Add the butternut squash, beans, and canned tomatoes along with 1 Tbsp more of chipotle chii powder, cumin, and turmeric. Add the liquid smoke. If you want a thinner chili, add a cup or two of vegetable broth here.
4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 45 minutes, until butternut squash is tender.
5. Serve topped with scallions, cilantro, or cheese if desired.