Five-Bean Chili

I read the reviews on this recipe before making it, and several said “this is really good, but this isn’t chili”. And they are right. It’s more of a stew, I think. But dang, is it good! I wasn’t expecting too much out of a big pot of beans, but this was really tasty. My 7 year old had 3 bowls of it! This is not a last minute recipe, since it does need to cook for 45 minutes. And remember, that kale shrivels down to nothing! Don’t be alarmed at the amount going in!

rating: 9

Five-Bean Chili
(Cooking Light, Sept. 2014)

serves 8
time needed: 1 hour, 15 min.


1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cups prechopped onion
1 cup chopped carrot
2 tablespoons unsalted tomato paste
2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
4 cups stemmed and torn kale
3 cups organic vegetable broth
2 red bell peppers, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 (14.5-ounce) can unsalted diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (15-ounce) can unsalted black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can unsalted kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15.5-ounce) can unsalted chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1 (15.8-ounce) can unsalted Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 (16-ounce) can unsalted pinto beans, rinsed and drained


1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add onion and carrot; sauté 10 minutes or until tender. Stir in tomato paste and next 5 ingredients (through paprika); cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add kale and remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer 45 minutes.

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Shakshuka (baked eggs) with Kale

I have been into these baked egg dishes lately! Of all the ones I have cooked recently, this one got the best reviews! The other ones involved tortillas of some form (chips or strips), but this one had kale instead. Man, was it good! The only oven-safe dishes I had were two cast iron frying pans, so that is what I used. Be sure and serve this with some bread (I had pita on hand). My 7 year old said this was one of the best things I’ve ever made. SO good!

rating: 9.5

Shakshuka (Baked Eggs) with Kale
(Real Simple, Sept. 2014)

serves 4
time needed: 20 min.


2 tablespoons olive oil
5 ounces baby kale
1 24-ounce jar marinara sauce
8 large eggs
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 ounces Feta, crumbled (about 1 cup)
Toasted flatbread, for serving


Heat oven to 400° F with a rack in the top position.
Heat the oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the kale and cook, stirring, until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the marinara and bring to a simmer. One at a time, break each egg into a small dish, then slide it onto the sauce, spacing evenly. Season with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Transfer to oven. Bake until the whites are just set, 10 to 12 minutes.
Top with the Feta and serve with the flatbread.

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Copycat Coleslaw

This coleslaw is supposed to taste like the awesome slaw at KFC. And…it does! Husband said that the only thing it needed was for the slaw to be chopped up a little finer and it would be a perfect match. The reviews of this slaw mention that it turns out very “liquidy”and the amount of cabbage added should be doubled. I didn’t do that…I just figured I could dish it out with a slotted spoon, which is what I did.

rating: 9

Copycat Coleslaw
(Allrecipes magazine)

makes 6-8 servings


1 (16 ounce) package coleslaw mix
2 tablespoons minced onion
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice


1. Combine the coleslaw and onion in a large bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, salt, pepper, milk, mayonnaise, buttermilk, vinegar and lemon juice; mix until smooth. Pour mixture over the coleslaw and onion; stir well and chill for 1 hour.

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Red Beans-and-Rice Veggie Burger

These patties are oh-so-delicate, but I think that might have been because I didn’t mash up my beans all the way. It doesn’t really say how much to mash them, but I did leave a lot that were whole. Maybe that’s the secret? Anyway, some stayed together, some fell apart. But they tasted great! The patty with the butter lettuce and the mayo-mustard combo? Awesome! I will make these again, but will put the beans in my food processor instead, and see if that helps them stay together.

rating: 9

Red Beans-and-Rice Veggie Burger
(Southern Living, Aug. 2014)

makes 6 burgers
time needed: 40 min.


1/2 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
2 (16-oz.) cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup minced green bell pepper
1/3 cup minced sweet onion
2 tablespoons minced celery
1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons Creole mustard
2 tablespoons minced green onions
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
6 butter lettuce leaves
6 (1/2-inch-thick) crusty bread slices, toasted

1. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat; stir in rice. Reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring constantly, 15 minutes or until water is absorbed and rice is tender.

2. Mash red kidney beans in a large bowl with a fork or pastry blender. Stir in bell pepper, next 5 ingredients, and cooked rice until well blended. Shape mixture into 6 (1/2-inch-thick) patties.

3. Cook 3 patties in 1 1/2 Tbsp. hot oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat 5 minutes on each side or until golden. Repeat procedure with remaining oil and patties.

4. Stir together mayonnaise, Creole mustard, green onions, and parsley. Place 1 lettuce leaf on each bread slice; top each with 1 patty and desired amount of mayonnaise mixture.

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“Chicken” Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce and Coconut-Cilantro Rice

I made this recipe using Beyond Meat for the chicken. Everything was good, except for the Beyond Meat! It’s weird, because I have had Beyond Meat before, but maybe not this flavor (I used the Grilled Strips). Anyway, the coconut-cilantro rice was good and the sauce was good. The bell peppers were especially good in this sauce (not sure why). The Beyond Meat was just really thick and kind of “gummy” for lack of a better word. Not very chicken-tasting at all (but the other flavor I have had was really good).

rating: 8

“Chicken” Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce and Coconut-Cilantro Rice
(Cooking Light, Nov. 2014)

serves 4


2 teaspoons dark sesame oil, divided
1 pound chicken cutlets, trimmed- I used Beyond Meat Grilled Strips
2 cups broccoli florets
1 large red bell pepper, sliced
1/4 cup light coconut milk
2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon Sriracha- I omitted
2 teaspoons grated lime rind
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup unsalted cashews

Coconut-Cilantro Rice:

Combine 1 cup light coconut milk and 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Stir in 1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 17 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup chopped cilantro.

1. Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil; swirl to coat. Add chicken; cook 1 minute on each side. Remove chicken from pan; cut into thin slices. Add broccoli and bell pepper to pan; stir-fry 4 minutes or until vegetables are lightly browned.

2. Reduce heat to medium-high. Combine remaining 1 teaspoon oil, coconut milk, and next 7 ingredients (through cumin) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add chicken and coconut milk mixture to pan; cook 30 seconds. Sprinkle evenly with cashews.

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Product Review: Simply Balanced: Mushroom Miso Meatless Turkey

Simply Balanced is a Target brand of food, and they have frozen meat substitutes! I bought several different kinds, and this is the first we have tried. It comes with two containers of gravy. I put those in a bowl of hot water to soften up, then warmed them up in a small pot. I pan-fried the “turkey” with a little bit of olive oil. I thought the texture was really good. I liked the “turkey” more than the gravy. Neither of my kids liked it, but husband, boy, he loved it! He kept going on and on about how he wanted to fool meat-eaters with this, and how this has really set the bar high for meat substitutes. Me? Eh.

rating (me): 6, husband (10)


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Vegan Mac ‘N Cheese

I thought my kids would be all over this, but my 7 year old hated it. However, my very picky 4 year old ate all of hers! She does love mac-n-cheese, but I thought the broccoli might turn her off, but nope, she ate it all! Husband ate several helpings of this, too. I thought it was good, and definitely tasted cheesy.

rating: 8

Vegan Mac ‘N Cheese
(Chloe Coscarelli)

serves 4-6


1 pound elbow macaroni or piccolini (I used nuggets)
3 cups broccoli florets
¼ cup vegan margarine
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (or gluten-free all-purpose flour)
3 cups soy, almond, or rice milk (I used almond milk)
½ cup nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon agave


Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook according to package directions. Add broccoli for the last 5 minutes of boiling and let cook until broccoli is fork tender. Drain and return to pot.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, make a roux or paste by whisking the margarine and flour over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Add nondairy milk, yeast, tomato paste, salt, and garlic powder to the saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Reduce heat to low and let simmer until the sauce thickens. Adjust seasoning to taste and stir in lemon juice and agave. Toss the noodles and broccoli with the sauce and serve immediately.


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