Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pumpkin Black Bean Chili

It's been a yearly tradition that on Halloween (or close to it) I make Rachel Ray's Chipotle-Pumpkin Black Bean Soup while we carve pumpkins and watch Halloween or Nightmare on Elm Street and pass out candy to whom ever dares come near the door thanks to some pretty vocal pups (Wow. Run on sentence much?).


Anyways, while in Denver I started thinking that the base of the soup, plus a couple other ingredients, would make an amazing chili. Let's forget that i've been home for a month and am now trying this recipe for the first time, shall we?

And let's forget the blurry camera phone photo I am about to show you...use your imagination ;)

Pumpkin Black Bean Chili, serves 4-6 (Vegan, Gluten Free--although i'm no expert on that subject)

2 T canola oil
1 med yellow onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 orange pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 T chili powder
1 T oregano
1 T cumin
3 t garlic powder
1 t smoked paprika
1 1/2 t chipotle powder
1/2 t cinnamon
2 t Braggs liquid amino
12 oz Negra Modelo
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
1 can water (I just measure it in the tomato can)
2 c. pumpkin puree

*In a large soup pot heat 2 T canola oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute for about 2 min until slightly translucent. Next, add diced bell peppers and saute for about 5 minutes to soften. Once soft, add spices and cook for about a minute while stirring (I like to do this to "wake up" the dried spices). Add in remaining ingredients and simmer until desired thickness~about 25-30 minutes.

Couple side notes:
~Feel free to add fresh minced garlic instead of the powder. I'd say 3 med sized cloves minced would be perfect.
~No chipotle powder? Remember you can order it here. If you don't want to do that, sub in 1 chipotle in adobo minced finely and maybe about 1 T of the adobo sauce.
~Don't like it spicy? Omit chipotle and double the chili powder. But, seriously, who doesn't like some spicy~ness every now and again? :)
~Don't have Negra Modelo? Sub in any dark beer. I use it because I love it. So there.
~No need to specifically by the bell pepper varieties I used here. Green would be just as fine I just got all 3 of the peppers for $2.88. Score in my book.

**Garnish with sliced scallions, cheese, sour cream (vegan or not). More pumpkin puree...why not? :)

Now, this may not turn out quite like you expect a chili might be. It's a tad creamier thanks to the pumpkin puree. It's delicious nonetheless. Next time I may up the Braggs & the cumin. I simply can't get enough cumin. I've gone through 2 jars in probably 4 months. Yup, goes with/on everything!

Now, what goes better with some chili? Some may say corn chips...I say cornbread! mmhmm

Beer & Cheddar Cornbread serves 9...maybe
Inspired by Ashley's cornbread recipe.

1 c finely ground cornmeal
1 c all purpose flour
3 T ground flax meal
3 t baking powder
1 t garlic powder
1 1/4 c Negra Modelo (why not?)
1 t Braggs liquid amino
3 T canola oil
4 T agave nectar (can sub honey, brown rice syrup or maple syrup)
1 c + 1/4 c Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Oil a 9 x 9 baking pan with canola oil (or spray with cooking spray).

In a large bowl, mix together cornmeal, flour, flax meal, baking powder & garlic powder. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine beer, liquid aminos, oil & agave (in that order--oil 1st makes agave come out so easily). Add liquid to dry and stir until combined. It may look really liquidy. Keep whisking! It will eventually come together. Mix in 1 c. cheese. Pour batter into an oiled baking pan (mine was 9 x 9 I believe). Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 c cheese. Bake for 25 minutes or until knife inserted into center comes out clean.

Side notes:
~Wanna make it vegan? Swap Dairy cheese for Daiya cheez.
~Scallions would make a nice addition mixed into the batter. Cumin would be good too.
~Gluten-Free? See Ashley's recipe. I'm a firm believer in the saying "If it's not broke, don't fix it".

This was pretty delicious. I cooked it for 25 minutes and the knife came out clean. I think it could have cooked a few minutes more. It was a bit doughy to start. Also, was told it resembled banana bread....less agave next time for sure! Not bad for my first vegan cornbread. I have plans for version 2. Oh yes.

All I have to say is thank goodness my food is better than my photos.

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Chili Cheez Kale Chips..Take 1

SO, its been a while. Anyone who may have been reading in the past has probably forgotten all about me. I did, sort of.

I have will probably not care but here goes.

Vacation in Denver. Amazing. Got to meet a super sweet girl you may know while there. Will share photos in the near future.

Fall cleaning. Lots of it...Need. To. Sell. Stuff. Going back to Denver in January. I did say it was AH-MAZ-ING!

Work. Too much of it.

Been visiting a friend of mine in the hospital. Prego with 1st baby, hasn't been the easiest road.

And lastly, laziness. Been feeling uninspired. Well, not so much uninspired. I have ideas, but I can't get them to come together.

Enter today's recipe. Notice I said "Chili Cheez Kale Chips..Take 1".

While delicious they didn't quite come out as I had imagined. They are good enough to make in the meantime sho.

PS do not be scared by the length of the's just spices people.

Chili Cheeze Kale Chips (Vegan, Gluten Free)

*1 head Kale~ de-stemmed, washed, dried and torn in slightly bigger bite~sized pieces (they shrink, of course)
*2 T Nutritional Yeast
*2 t Chili Powder
*1/2 t onion powder
*1/2 t garlic powder
*1/2 t cumin
*1/2 t salt
*1/4 t dried cilantro
*1/4 t oregano
*1/8 t chipotle powder (if you do not have this, sub cayenne pepper. I got mine from this store in Denver-LOVE)
*1/8 t black pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Mix spices in a small bowl and set aside. Place cleaned kale in a single layer on a baking sheet (or 2, or 3) sprayed with cooking spray. Spray kale lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with spice mixture. All of the spice mix (It looked like a lot but it's necessary). Bake for 18~20 minutes until edges are lightly browned. Let cool on baking sheet before transferring. Store in an airtight container and enjoy.

**Now, it has to be said, the chipotle powder packs a serious punch. You can omit it if you don't like it spicy and just add extra chili powder or sub cayenne as mentioned above.

**I honestly can't tell you how long kale chips last simply because they usually are eaten with 1-2 days of being made. Who would want to let them sit?

**Feel free to sub dried minced garlic or onion if you have it. Omit the dried cilantro if you don't have it..I do and don't use it for much so I threw it in.

**If you didn't add the nooch, and doubled the amount of the other spices this would be a pretty good blend for tacos, roasted chickpeas, chili or even taco soup. Mmmm. Decisions.

Hope to not be so neglectful in the future. I've really missed you guys!