Baby, It’s Chili outside!

Baby, It’s Chili Outside

Three of my favorite Chili recipes – vegetarian, turkey and venison versions. Does it surprise you that two of them have booze? Add a nice glass of wine, a beer or a ginger beer cocktail and you’re really cookin’! A nice green salad makes a light dinner. Biscuits or rolls make a complete meal. All freeze well.

Ken Wilber’s Vegetarian Chili

2 – 3 cans dark red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 onions, chopped

2 green peppers, chopped

2 – 3 T olive oil

1 28 – oz. can whole tomatoes

3 – 4 cloves garlic

3 – 4 T chili powder

1 – 2 T cumin

2 – 3 T fresh parsley

2 – 3 T oregano

1 can beer

1 cup cashews

½ cup raisins (optional)

 

Heat oil in large pot; saute onions until clear, then add celery, green pepper, and garlic; cook for 5 minutes or so. Add tomatoes (with juice; break the tomatoes into small chunks) and kidney beans; reduce to simmer. Add chili powder, cumin, parsley, oregano, beer, cashews and raisins (opt.). Simmer as long as you want. Garnish with fresh parsley or grated cheddar cheese.

I can’t remember if beer was part of my original recipe or I just dropped my beer in it once when I was cooking it; in any event, the beer is essential. Also, “T” does mean tablespoon, not teaspoon; the whole secret of this chili is in the large amounts of herbs.

A votre sante. Please eat it in good health.

Word for word from Ken Wilber’s amazing book GRACE AND GRIT Spirituality and Healing in the Life and Death of Treya Killam Wilber

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Turkey Chili with White Beans

 

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1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

½ jalapeno, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 ½ teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

15 oz. can Great Northern white beans, rinsed and drained, or freshly cooked white beans

15 oz. low sodium chicken broth

10-oz. package frozen edaname

4 oz. can chopped mild or medium green chilis

2 cups bite sized cooked turkey meat or 1# ground turkey

1 cup loosley packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

lime wedges

 

In a 5-quart Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat until hot. Add onion and jalapeno and cook until tender, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Stir in chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper; cook 1 minute longer.

Add beans, chicken broth, frozen edaname, green chilis, and turkey meat to mixture in Dutch oven. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 5 minutes to blend flavors. Remove Dutch oven from heat; stir in cilantro and lime juice. Serve with the lime wedges.

Totally yummy and light!

 

Adapted from a Good Housekeeping recipe

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Venison Chili J-Bar

I puchase elk and venison online from elkusa.com and keep it in my freezer to use in the winter for saucy savory dishes.Elkusa is a ranch in SW Colorado, where it is legal to raise and sell such meats, and their meat is free of hormones, steroids and antibiotics.

 

2 Tbsp. canola oil

1 lb. venison stew meat, 1-inch cubed

2 medium yellow onions, medium diced

2 ½ jalapenos, seeded and small diced

4Tbsp. fresh garlic, minced

2 tsp. dried cumin

2 Tbsp. smoked paprika

2 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 Tbsp. chili powder

¾ cup dry red wine

¼ cup ruby port

¼ cup brown sugar

32 oz. canned kidney beans, rinsed

32 oz. can whole plum tomatoes, with liquid

32 oz. water

salt and pepper to taste

 

Heat oil in a stock pot until hot, but not smoking. Add venison meat and brown on all sides. Do not burn. Remove meat from pot and reserve. Saute oinions and jalapenos until translucent, in pot. Add garlic and dry spices, saute until fragtant, about 45 seconds. Add meat back into pot, and then add wine and port. Simmer and allow liquid to reduce by 75%.

Add brown sugar and stir until it dissolves. Crush whole tomatoes, roughly, with your hands and add to the pot with beans, water, salt and pepper. Simmer slowly for 2 – 3 hours, stirring occassionally. Cook until meat is tender. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt, pepper and sugar.

Serve topped with grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, yogurt or chopped green onions.

 

Adapted from Ski Town Soups by Jennie Iverson (a wonderful collection of soups!) . The J-Bar is in Aspen’s Hotel Jerome, chef Rich Hinojosa.

 

 

Tofu Sandwich

I have been making this sandwich since our college days at CU-Boulder. My husband loves it!

Tofu Sandwich

1 block firm tofu

Zucchini – sliced lengthwise

Button mushrooms – sliced

Fresh tomato – sliced

Scallions – chopped

Artisanal bread

Mayonnaise

Spike Seasoning

Fresh basil leaves (optional)

Slice the tofu lengthwise into four large slices. Pat tofu dry with a paper or cloth towel. Place tofu on hot griddle brushed with olive oil and cook until golden brown on both sides. Meanwhile, also grill the zucchini and mushrooms (usually on the back of the griddle where the heat is less).

Toast some yummy bread slices and top with mayonnaise. Layer the chopped scallions, tofu patty, spike seasoning, sliced tomato, grilled zucchini, sliced mushrooms and basil in between the bread slices and enjoy. It is a juicy sandwich, so be sure to have napkins on hand!

Source: My dear college friend, Linda Gartner.

 

Brussel Sprouts!

I love Brussel sprouts, but my brother, Russell, does not. He will enter into a hilarious ten minute diatribe on the non-virtues of Brussel sprouts whenever they are mentioned. So for those of us who might be in the minority, here are some wonderful Brussel sprout recipes:

 

Brussel Sprouts Lardons

 

2 tablespoons good olive oil

6 ounces pancetta or bacon, 1/4 inch diced

11/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup golden raisins

13/4 cups chicken stock or canned broth

Heat the olive oil in a large (12 -inch) sauté pan and add the pancetta or bacon. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the fat is rendered and the pancetta is golden brown and crisp, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the pancetta to a plate lined with a paper towel.

Add the Brussels sprouts, salt and pepper to the fat in the pan and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the raisins and chicken stock. Lower the heat and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sprouts are tender when pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes. If the skillet becomes too dry, add a little chicken stock or water. Return the pancetta/ bacon to the pan, heat through, season to taste and serve.

 

Source: Barefoot in Paris, Ina Garten

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Brussels sprouts Salad with Green Olives, Walnut and Pomegranate

Trim ends and cut in half 16-20 Brussels sprouts. Place in a mixing bowl and toss with 11/2 tablespoons olive oil. Roast at 400 degrees until tender, about 15 minutes.

Toss with 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds, 1/2 cup (or less) finely chopped toasted walnuts, 1/2 cup finely chopped green olives, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1/2 tablespoon olive oil.

Serve with a white fish like cod or halibut, or with lentils for a vegetarian meal

 

From Chef Ana Sortun of Oleana in Cambridge, Mass. 

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Honey, Lemon and Thyme Dressing

 

21/2 pounds Brussel sprouts (try for uniform size), halved lengthwise

3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon thyme leaves

 

Preheat oven to 400℉. Ina large bowl, toss the Brussel sprouts with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Spread the Brussel sprouts out on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes, tossing halfway through, until browned and tender.

In a medium serving bowl, whisk the honey with the lemon juice, thyme and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the Brussel sprouts, toss to coat, and serve.

You can make this up to 1 day in advance. Serve warm or at room temperature

 

Source: Olives and Oranges, Sara Jenkins and Mindy Fox

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Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries

This is great with Thanksgiving dinner! You can serve on top of baked sweet potatoes for a colorful side or main vegetarian dish

 

2 pounds Brussels sprouts

2 heaping cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)

1/4 cup finely minced shallot

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic or cider vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons puree maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste

black pepper

 

Trim and half the Brussel sprouts. Add them to a pot of boiling water and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Drain throughly in a colander and shake dry.

Place the cranberries in a large (12-inch skillet) and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes, then stir in the shallot and olive oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5 minutes, or until cranberries begin to pop.

Add the drained Brussel sprouts, plus the vinegar, sugar, maple syrup and 1/2 teaspoon salt and toss to combine. Reduce the heat to low and use tongs to arrange some of the sprouts cut side down in the cranberry mixture, which will color them in addition to saturating them with flavor. Cover the pan and cook for another 10 minutes, or until done to your liking, stirring from time to time to rearrange the sprouts.

Add the salt, if desired, and add pepper to taste. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

Options: add some fresh cranberries toward the end of cooking to layer the flavors, top with lightly toasted pecans or top with orange sections (with membranes removed)

 

Source: The Heart of the Plate, Mollie Katzen

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Brussel Sprout Gratin with Potatoes and Spinach

 

21/2 tablespoons olive oil, or 11/2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 pound smallish potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/8-inch thick half circles

1 pound Brussel sprouts, trimmed and cut into 1/8 inch thick slices

2 cups chopped onion

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon minted or crushed garlic

1/2 pound fresh spinach leaves

black pepper

1/4 cup cream, milk, half-and-half or soy milk

1 cup fresh whole wheat bread crumbs

1 cup packed grated Gruyere cheese (about 1/4 pound)

Paprika

 

Preheat the oven to 350℉ and place the rack in the highest position that will also fit the baking pan. Coat a 13 x 9 inch or equivalent gratin pan with about 1/2 teaspoon of the oil.

Fill a medium-large saucepan with water and bring to boil. When boiling, add the potatoes and Brussel sprouts and cook them for 8 to 10 minutes, or until fork tender. Drain in a colander and shake to throughly drain.

Meanwhile, place a large (10- to 12-inch) skillet over medium heat for about a minute, then add 1 tablespoon olive oil (2 tablespoons, if not adding butter) and swirl to coat the pan. Melt in the butter, if using, and swirl again. Add the onion and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring, for about 8 minutes, or until the onion becomes very soft, verging on golden.

Stir in the garlic and lay the spinach on top to wilt. (It will quickly oblige.) Stir it in, along with the drained potatoes and sprouts, the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, a generous amount of black pepper, and the cream. Mix to get everything thoroughly distributed, then transfer to the prepared pan.

Sprinkle on top with the bread crumbs and cheese and dust it lightly with paprika. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cheese is perfectly melted and turning golden. Serve hot or warm.

 

Source: The Heart of the Plate, Mollie Katzen

we are what we eat – my favorite books on food

One of the best things we can do for ourselves, our families and our health is to educate ourselves about our food supply. Once we become aware, then everything changes.

If you want to live more healthily, then you must eat healthy. We are what we eat. Learning about our food supply is the first step. Our food has changed enormously from the days of our parents and we really need to know what is happening so we can make good choices. 

My favorite books on food:

Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan – a book about everything but specifically about our food industry, history and politics.

Eating on the Wild Side, Jo Robinson – Fabulous and well researched resource for tips, tricks and techniques for obtaining more nutrition from our food. Really interesting and practical.

Cooked, Michael Pollan – Another way to understand our food is how we transform it. A look at how we cook using Fire, Water, Air and Earth.

In Defense of Food, Michael Pollan – Eat mostly plants, not too much.

Under the Tuscan Sun, Frances Mayes – her adventures living and cooking in Tuscany while renovating a villa.

Salt, Sugar, Fat, Michael Moss – need I say more?

Mindless Eating, Brian Wansink, Ph.D. – interesting research results on studies done to study our eating and dining patterns

The End of Overeating, David Kessler, M.D. – another book on our food supply, politics and tricks of the food industry.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver – The story of her and her family’s year of eating from their garden and farm (yes, animals are slaughtered) or from sources within a very small radius of their Virginia home.

Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser – all you never wished you knew about the fast food industry

The Yoga of Eating,  Charles Eisenstein – This book takes it up a notch about awareness of the food we eat and our relationship to food. It is intelligent and wide-reaching and does not prescribe a particular diet. It is a fascinating look at our spiritual relationship with food and urges us to align our diet with our lifestyle, values and how we want to be in the world. “Each aspect of life is a microcosm of the whole…you cannot change one thing without changing everything.”

Three Entree Salads

I love a big salad for dinner, sometimes with a cup of soup and/or lean protein. Here are a few of my current favorites:

Arugula Salad

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6-8 cups baby Arugula

1 15 oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (you can also use butter beans or great northern beans)

2 oranges, sectioned

3 scallions, sliced

sunflower seeds, raw or toasted

 

Dressing:

6 tablespoons fresh orange juice

2 tablespoons white vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

6 tablespoons peanut oil

1 tablespoon minced ginger

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. In a large bowl toss together the arugula, beans, orange sections and scallions. Alternately, you can compose the salad on individual plates. Drizzle with dressing, toss well and top with sunflower seeds.

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James Pub Salad

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Baby romaine lettuce mixed with torn mature romaine lettuce

Shredded raw beet

Hard boiled egg, roughly chopped

Marcona almonds

 

Make a bed of lettuce and then place the shredded beets, chopped egg and almonds in little piles. Use a creamy dressing such as ranch or blue cheese.

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Backbone house salad with honey-chili dressing

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Romaine hearts, torn into small pieces

Garden spring mix

Jicama, sliced into matchstick sized pieces

Toasted pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)

dehydrated corn

Sliced fresh fruit: strawberries, cherries, plums, raspberries, peaches, pears or apricots

 

Honey- chili dressing:

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup honey

3/4 teaspoon ground star anise

1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon Chimayo red chili powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup canola oil

 

Combine all ingredients except oil in a blender. With machine running, slowly dribble in oil. This dressing will keep for 10 days in the refrigerator.

 

Source: With a Measure of Grace, the Story and Recipes of a Small Town Restaurant by Blake Spalding and Jennifer Castle