Vegetarian Chili

Veggetarian Chili
Vegetarian Chili

I am trying to redeem myself after all of my unhealthy posts (ah-hem…monster cookies, peanut butter mousse, carrot cake) Clearly I have a wicked sweet tooth, but in my defense much of what I make are gifts for others.

This recipe is nothing new or inventive, however, it was easy to make as I had everything in my pantry/fridge. It is a healthful option to traditional Chili and surprisingly satisfying. I was also able to bring the left-overs to work for lunch the next day.

This should serve about 2 – 4 people

Mise en place
1 – 2 cans of black beans (or pinto or kidney, whatever you have), drained & rinsed
2 cans of diced tomato, do not drain
1/2 c. chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 T.+ chili powder
1 t.+  cumin
1/4 t. crushed red pepper
3/4 can frozen corn (fill your empty bean can with the corn)
1/2 can water (fill your empty tomato can with water)
Olive oil – enough to coat the pan
S/P to taste
Sour cream and shredded cheese to garnish – optional

  • In a large sauce pan saute the onion in oil until soft, about 4 min.
  • add the garlic and saute for 1 minute
  • add the chili powder, cumin, red pepper and saute another minute
  • Add the beans, tomato, water and corn. Season with s/p to taste
  • Cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes.
  • Garnish with some lite sour cream and 2% milk shredded cheddar.

Enjoy!

Jalapeno Corn Muffins

This was the very first thing I made in Culinary school. These muffins are considered a quick bread because there is no kneading involved and are mixed using the well method which involves adding the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mixing only until combined. Another characteristic of quick breads is the addition of baking powder or baking soda as is the leavening agent as opposed to yeast .

Side note: Did you know baking powder is essentially baking soda with cream of tartar added? The cream of tartar is the acid that activates the baking soda. Notice this recipe does not use buttermilk, which typically acts as an acid, but rather heavy cream. There is no need for the acid when using baking powder.

Mise en place
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2 c. cornmeal
2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. sugar
2 t. salt
1 T. baking powder
1 c. frozen corn
1 c. chopped red/green pepper
1/4 c. chopped jalapeno pepper
3 oz. grated cheddar
3 eggs
2 c. heavy cream
2 oz. melted unsalted butter (1/2 stick)

  • In a large bowl mix all of the dry ingredients (cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, bk. powder)
  • Add the corn, peppers and cheese – mix to combine
  • In a separate bowl mix the eggs and cream, then add to the bowl of dry ingredients.
  • Mix only until barely combine, add the melted butter and mix only until just combined*
  • Fill muffin tins 3/4 of the way full and bake at 375 degrees F. until golden.

*anytime you add liquid to flour you activate the gluten which is the protein in the flour. The more you “work” or stir/knead flour, the more you activate the gluten. In the case of theses muffins you want a tender texture. In the case of french bread you want a more chewy texture and will knead the dough to activate the gluten. You can control the gluten not only by working it but also based on the type of flour you use or the amount of fat in the recipe, but I won’t get into that right now.