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Don’t Call It a Comeback: Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili February 6, 2012

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in dairy free, good for a group, quick meal, soup, vegan.
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Oh, hi.  Long time no recipe.  I almost don’t want to post this because it’s been SO long since I posted a recipe, and this is just a chili recipe.  With an iPhone photo, taken of chili leftovers in the kitchen at my work.  It’s not glamorous or exotic or even all that exciting, but it is good, and that’s what counts with food, isn’t it?  I use this blog a lot as my own personal recipe collection, and even if it’s not the most exciting recipe in the world, it’s one I will want to make again, so I’m putting it here for safekeeping, and for sharing.  Because you can never have enough chili recipes!  I made this last night for three non-vegetarians and everyone devoured it.  It’s a keeper for sure, and super easy, which is my main criteria for recipes these days.  I was able to get it in the slow cooker in about 5 minutes time, and let it simmer there for the better part of the afternoon until it was time for dinner.

Next time, I’ll try to come back with something a little more interesting—but no promises!

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili

Ingredients:

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup frozen corn
½ small can tomato paste
1 small can diced green chiles
½ onion, chopped and sautéed
½ red pepper, chopped and sautéed
½ green pepper, chopped and sautéed
1 cup water
1.5 tablespoons chili powder
1.5 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon oregano
2 tsp smokey salt

Method:

Saute your onion, red pepper, and green pepper in a little olive oil until tender. Throw everything in a slow cooker and simmer on low for at least 3-4 hours.  Taste for spice level—as made, this is not a spicy chili but you could easily up the spice factor with some cayenne or hot sauce.

Topping suggestions: diced avocado, sour cream, tortilla strips, shredded cheese.  The more, the better!

A Pumpkin Feast for Two October 10, 2010

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in bread, dinner, good for a group, soup, vegan.
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The weather has been gorgeous in Michigan all weekend.  Temperatures in the upper seventies and clear sunny skies.  It doesn’t seem like the middle of October—more like the middle of August, prime grilling season.  I am completely in the fall spirit, though, and spent Saturday evening decorating the house for Halloween and cooking up a few pumpkin dishes for dinner despite the unseasonably warm temperatures. If the calendar says it’s mid-October, it’s pumpkin time, no matter what the weather might be saying!

Since it is autumn, you’re probably starting to see these appear on grocery store shelves:

pumpkin puree

100 percent pure pumpkin.  No spices, no filler—just pumpkin, pureed and ready to be put to work.  You could buy a pumpkin, seed it, peel it, roast it, and puree it…but in this case, I prefer to let Trader Joe do the heavy lifting and just buy the can of puree, ready to be used in so many recipes.

This one can was split and used in both recipes I made last night, pumpkin chili and pumpkin knots.  Both recipes were modified from/inspired by a great blog, (never home)maker. I tweaked both slightly and will be putting my modified versions here, but please visit (never home)maker to see the recipes in their original, intended form, with really beautiful step-by-step photos and write-ups.

This meal was hands down one of the best we’ve had in a while.  The pumpkin knots are out of this world delicious. They take a little bit of time to prepare but it’s largely hands-off time, and if you have a stand mixer, these come together in a snap.  If you don’t, you’ll just get a little extra arm work-out kneading them by hand! 🙂

Pumpkin Chili
(Inspired by (never home)maker)
(Printable Recipe)

pumpkin chili

Ingredients:

1 small onion, finely diced
1/2 red pepper, finely diced
1/2 green pepper, finely diced
1 can diced tomatoes (undrained)
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can kidney beans, rinsed
1/2 can pumpkin
1/2 cup ( or a little more) pumpkin beer
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp smoked paprika
Salt

Method:

Finely chop your onion and peppers. Saute in a dutch oven or large pot until softened. Add the rest of the ingredients (everything, as described above in the ingredients list) and let simmer over low heat for at least 30-45 minutes.  Taste and add more spices if you like more heat.

Pumpkin Knots
(Ever so slightly modified from (never home)maker)
(Printable Recipe)

pumpkin knots

Ingredients:

1 packet (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
1 cup warm (110-120F) water
1 tsp sugar
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
2 tbl olive oil
Spices: a pinch of each—oregano, thyme, and sage
Additional olive oil and parmesan for finishing

Method:

Start by proofing your yeast.  Put your warm water in a bowl, and stir in the packet of yeast and teaspoon of sugar.  Let it sit for about 10 minutes.  It should start to get foamy on top—that means the yeast is working.  If you don’t see the foam, your yeast is probably old and should be replaced.

While you are proofing the yeast, mix together the bread flour and salt in a large bowl (if you have a stand mixer, do this step in the mixer bowl).

When the 10 minutes is up and the yeast is ready, stir the olive oil, pumpkin puree, and spices into the water/yeast/sugar bowl.  Whisk until the mixture is smooth.

Pour the wet ingredients on to the flour/salt.  Using a spatula, mix until the ingredients are combined.  At this point, if you have a mixer, attach the dough hook and knead the dough with the mixer for about 5-7 minutes, until the dough is elastic and has a sheen to it.  If you don’t have a mixer, knead by hand for about 10 minutes until you get the same result.  Cover the dough with a tea towel and let it rise for two hours.

When the two hours is close to up, pre-heat your oven to 425F with a baking stone or baking sheet inside.

You will notice at this point that your dough has expanded and you now have a HUGE amount of dough.  You can do a few things with this:

  1. Make a giant batch of pumpkin knots
  2. Divide it, and put half in a storage bag or container in the fridge for use in the next day or so
  3. Divide it, and put half in the freezer for use in the next couple of weeks
  4. Divide it, and give half to a friend
  5. Divide it, and make half pumpkin knots, half pizza dough with it

Start making your knots.  Break off a piece of dough (go by feel with this—it should be maybe the size of a golfball) and roll it between your hands to make a cord of dough.  Tie it into a knot, and set aside. Continue until you run out of dough.

pumpkin dough

Bake the knots on your pre-heated baking stone or cooking sheet for about 12 minutes.  They will start browning on top when they are done.

While the knots are baking, prepare a large bowl with about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and some garlic powder (or fresh minced garlic if you are brave!).

Remove the knots from the oven, and while they are still warm, toss them in the bowl with the olive oil and garlic.  Crush them around in the bowl to make sure they are evenly coated. Sprinkle parmesan cheese in the bowl, and toss again.

These are SO GOOD.  Try them!  Eat them two nights in a row! And then for lunch again the next day!