I always have the highest hopes of blogging regularly. I know that it will happen, it’s just so easy for life to get in the way. I’m sure I’m not alone with this. In my perfect blogger fantasy, I am sitting at my desk every morning, relaxed with a nice steamy cup of tea, typing away. In reality, it looks something like this: Wake up in the morning and run to the kitchen, bleary-eyed, to get a pot of coffee going. Realize that I forgot to wash the coffee pot, and grind beans. Take care of both, so I can brew my beloved pot of coffee. Drink coffee, start to wake up, and then realize that my to-do list is way longer than I had remembered. Make a new to-do list, and get working in 6 different directions. Maybe 12. Work all day, stopping at some point to eat boring leftovers out of fridge. Have a startling realization at the end of the day that it’s 6:00, and I have forgotten to shop for or plan dinner. Start throwing something together so we can eat before 7:00. Force myself to stop working after dinner, so I can chill with my wonderful husband. Next morning, repeat…
So that is my typical day. Glamorous, isn’t it? I have to laugh though, because I love what I do, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. It just gets kind of crazy sometimes. Like right now, for instance. I have been working on two cookbooks at the same time. It wasn’t planned that way, but hey, the best laid plans, right? Fortunately one book is done, and the other is slowly coming together. Then, because I must like things to be a little cray cray, I decided to start a new business. Some of you may have heard me mention this recently, but I am in the process of launching a new baby. The business is called Julie’s Original, and we will have a line of delicious, gluten-free and vegan baking mixes. I can’t wait to fill you in on all of the details really soon.
Now, since I know that I’m not alone with busy work days, I thought that it would be fun to share one of my go-to quick dinner recipes with you. The recipe is from my cookbook Vegan Diner, and is a super quick, healthy and delicious chili. I love to serve this chili over baked potatoes (either Russets or sweet potatoes), along side a pan of cornbread, or over oven-baked crispy French fries. You could even serve it on top of polenta, or stuff it into corn tortillas. The possibilities are endless.
I’d love to hear what you make for quick, weeknight dinners.
Quick And Hearty Chili
I think that everyone needs a great, quick chili recipe in their repertoire. This is that recipe. It tastes rich and flavorful, as if it has been simmering on the stovetop for hours. In reality, it only takes 15 minutes to simmer, and you have a perfect pot of chili, ready to grace your table with some homemade cornbread.
Makes 4 Servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 bell pepper, any color, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups water
2 cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, pureed or tomato puree
1 tablespoon gluten free tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon regular chili powder
1 tablespoon dark cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 cup TSP or TVP (textured soy or vegetable protein)
In a large saucepan, add olive oil and heat over medium high heat. Add the onions and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are starting to soften and turn golden, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring, for another 3 minutes.
Add the water, and reduce the heat to medium low. Add the beans, pureed tomato, soy sauce, chili powder, cocoa, cumin, oregano, salt and paprika, stirring well. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Stir in the TSP, and reduce the heat to low. Add more water as needed.
Let the chili simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Adjust the seasonings to taste and serve.
Recipe adapted from Vegan Diner, by Julie Hasson, 2011, Running Press