I walked out of my yoga class, feeling pretty blissed out. I sent a quick text message to my husband telling him I’d be home in 10 minutes. Several minutes later, I received a text message. At the next traffic light, I took a quick look/see. Here’s what it said: “Cool. Great chili btw!”. Score:). And one of the best parts: early this morning, I made the chili, threw it in the crockpot, and left for about six hours. How easy was that?!
When I meal plan for the week, I can always count on spending less money at the grocery store, throwing out less food (that hadn’t really been planned for), and eating out less. Last night, I sat down and planned our meals for the rest of this week, with inspiration in large part from Diane Eblin’s 30 Days To A Food Revolution event. Diane, whose blog is called The W.H.O.L.E. Gang, put a huge amount of work into creating an event that turned out to be an eye-opening experience for me, and as I said, was partially responsible for tonight’s Three Bean Vegetarian Chili. Not only was my participation in the event enlightening for me, but I was honored to be among the other 29 bloggers who contributed their voices and stories and recipes to the event. I learned so much, just by reading all the posts. Two of the very valuable lessons I was reminded of (among many) include the importance of planning ahead and choosing meals that are quick and easy (like Kickin’ Kidney Bean Burgers or Karina’s Veggie Loaf), especially for days when you don’t really have time to do much cooking. With that in mind, I sat down last night and planned my weekly menu. Tonight’s dinner would be Vegetarian Chili. Normally, I’d soak dried beans overnight, but for this chili recipe, canned beans were the way to go. You see, part of my meal planning includes taking a look at my schedule and determining how much time I have in the kitchen for cooking. I knew I’d be away most of today and would have just enough time to make the chili and throw it in the crockpot before leaving for the day. The result: dinner this evening, definitely tomorrow night’s dinner AND the rest will be frozen in meal-size portions.
Daiya Cheese has arrived and I am SO EXCITED!!! It has become a staple in my kitchen. Whoever created it is a genius. It makes gluten free, dairy-free, and soy free (though I don’t have a problem with soy) living a cinch. The damn stuff melts, I mean REALLY MELTS!!!! And I can buy it at my local small health food store. The cheddar Daiya tastes like cheddar. The mozzarella tastes like mozzarella and you should see the pizza made with it. Unbelieavable, that’s all I can say!
Three Bean Vegetarian Chili
click here for printable recipe
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
8 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 – 2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp dried oregano
2 tsp chipotle chili powder, optional
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ground cumin
One 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
One 15.5 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
One 15.5 oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
One 15.5 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups water
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
One package Trader Joe’s Soy Chorizo, removed from casing and sauteed (this ingredient is optional but highly recommended as it provides a hearty texture to the chili)
One package Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the tomato paste, chili powder, oregano, chipotle chili powder, cinnamon, and cumin. Mix well and cook for another minute.
Pour the mixture into a 6 quart crockpot. Add the crushed tomatoes, beans, water, salt and pepper, and chorizo. Cover the crockpot and cook on low for 4 – 6 hours.
Serve with a handful of Daiya. If it doesn’t melt, put the bowl (with the cheese) into the microwave and heat on high for about 20 – 30 seconds until melted.
So, what’s on your menu for this week?
This recipe is included in The Gluten-Free Homemaker’s Gluten-Free Wednesdays weekly carnival.