Veggie Chili with Quinoa, Mixed Potatoes, Carrots, and Beans

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I know what you’re probably thinking: “Who eats chili during Spring season?” Well, if you knew Philly weather right now, you’d understand. It’s been cold, rainy, gray, and anything but spring-like. So when the weather brings me down, my favorite way to warm up is to eat a big bowl of soup, or chili. These are my go-to options, and since I’ve already posted a soup recipe, I thought I’d share a chili one for today. This veggie version really hits the spot, and the beans and potatoes completely make up for the meat. Though the list of ingredients may look slightly intimidating at first, it’s a mix of canned ingredients, and common fresh produce. Plus, the recipe is basically a “one-pot stop”, and the only tough thing is to wait for it to cook, and hold yourself from eating out of the pot when your whole house starts to smell deliciously yummy. Bon appétit!

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Recipe inspired by Ambitious Kitchen.


Prep Time: 40 min

Ingredients: Serves 2 people (at least)

  • 1/2 cup dried quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion
  • a handful of baby carrots
  • 1/2 can tomato sauce
  • 1 can black beans
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 small yellow potato
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • a pinch of cumin
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • plain yogurt (optional)

Directions:

  1. Cover the dried quinoa with a cup of water, and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the grains are tender (about 15 minutes).
  2. Meanwhile, chop the onion and the carrots in small pieces. Heat the olive oil in a large pot, and add the diced onion with the carrots and some salt. Sauté until the onions become translucent and soft.
  3. Next, add the tomato sauce, black beans, vegetable stock, quinoa, and spices. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat before you add the mixed potatoes. Bring back to a simmer, cover, and let it cook until the potatoes are done (about 30 minutes).
  4. To plate, scoop the chili in a bowl, and top with a dollop of plain yogurt, fresh salt and pepper, and a healthy drizzle of olive oil!

A Midwinter Night’s Baked Sweet Potato

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Ahhh baked sweet potatoes… So simple, yet so satisfying. I don’t know why I like them so much. But there’s just something comforting about them. Sure, when I think about “comfort food”, they aren’t the first thing rushing through my mind. I tend to immediately picture a steaming bowl of mac n’ cheese, or lasagna. But they definitely come as a close runner-up. Our heater broke because of the cold last night and I couldn’t think of anything else to warm me up. This dish was just prime comfort food with ingredients that I had on-hand. Additionally, it turned out to be a great way to use some left-over beans and onions. The dressing made it all come together nicely. It added this great sweet and savory taste to the dish. All in all, this one’s a keeper if you’re looking for some warmth on a cold winter’s night. Bon appétit!

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Prep time: 35-40 min 

Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup cooked black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1/2 avocado (mashed)
  • 1/4 yellow onion (chopped)
  • olive oil

Peanut-Honey Mustard dressing:

  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp honey
  • salt, pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Prick the sweet potato with a fork. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until you can pierce through the flesh easily with a fork.
  2. Once the sweet potato is in the oven, make the peanut-honey mustard dressing by mixing all the ingredients together until the mix is homogenous.
  3. Also meanwhile, sauté the onions with olive oil, on high heat, in a small pot for about 5 minutes. Add a splash of water and let it evaporate to further soften the onions. Add the black beans and cook for about 5 more minutes on medium heat.
  4. Once the sweet potato is done, cut it in half with a knife, but not all the way, and spread both sides apart. Stuff with the black beans and onions, and top with the mashed avocado. Drizzle with the sweet and savory dressing and enjoy while it’s hot!

TIP: you can substitute lentils or chickpeas for the black beans and you can also sprinkle with cheese for extra comfort food! 

Super (Rice) Bowl

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I know what you’re thinking: “super bowl was last week… you’re a little late”. Truth is, I’ve never actually watched it. The closest I’ve come to it, was when I saw Beyonce’s performance last year. So the reference in the title is purely fictitious, and this recipe has nothing to do with the actual Super Bowl. Though I suppose one could argue that this would be a great meal to eat while watching football on TV. But anyways. Rice Bowls are so versatile! It’s incredible how much you can do with such a simple base. Though I do enjoy an occasional stop at Chipotle, nothing really compares to a homemade bowl of veggie goodness. This recipe will take you about 20ish minutes, which isn’t much more time than you’d wait in line at the famous Mexican hotspot. The “reverse” caramelized onions really add a nice sweet touch to this savory dish. It’s healthy and can be tailored exactly to your needs. Bon Appétit!

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Prep Time: 20 min

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup dried rice
  • 1/4 cup black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/4 yellow onion (sliced finely)
  • 1/2 tomato (extra chopped)
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil

Directions:

  1. In a small pot, put water and salt to a boil. Cook the rice for the time indicated on the packaging (mine takes about 15 minutes).
  2. Meanwhile, make the “reverse” caramelized onions by adding the thinly sliced onion in a dry pan over medium high heat. Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the slices become brown. Next, add the olive oil and salt and let it cook for about 5 more minutes. Add a splash of water and stir until it evaporates and the onion is done.
  3. Add the black beans and cook for about 5 extra minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Mash the avocado in it’s shell.
  5. In a bowl, put the rice, beans, “caramelized” onions and chopped tomatoes. Top with a dollop of mashed avocado. Salt and pepper to taste, and drizzle with tabasco.

TIP: You can also top it with some sour cream or grated cheese. Additionally, you can swap the tomatoes for corn or diced bell pepper.