Saturday Walk in the Woods

Homemade chili, self made

Homemade chili, self made (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No football today – hooray!!! The boys are at another house. My husband has called to tell me the food isn’t as good as mine and the guys are ribbing the host because of the food put out by his wife. Chips, microwave popcorn, sodas….the number to the local pizza delivery place.  I said, oh well – I’ve paid my football dues.

I am taking today to be by myself – fix the apple pie I posted earlier today and before I leave on a walk in the woods, I’m putting the fixings for vegetarian chili into the crockpot to simmer while I wander.

I am going to several spots I know to pick up hickory nuts for drying for later and pine cones to put in the big basket by the fireplace for adding to the fire on cool nights.  I love autumn – the smell in the air of crisp pine, leaves mellowing before they explode into color and drop to the ground, the cold water of the spring.

I’ll post this when I get back – chili for supper, apple pie for dessert, the jalapeno cornbread I posted on another post about football food.

The walk was lovely and soothing.  A small spritz of rain started and softly pattered on the leaves.  The smell of earth, rain, and leaves was the ultimate in aroma therapy.  Nature always trumps human created scents.  When I opened the door to the kitchen, the smell of the chili made me start drooling.  I may not wait for hubby to come home.  I think I’m going to have some NOW!

Vegetarian Chili

3 cans beans (pinto, kidney, chickpea, black, cannelloni)
1 can corn kernels undrained
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies (mild or spicy)
1 small can (6oz) tomato paste
1 bell pepper chopped
1 small onion diced
several cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp dried cilantro

Saute veggies. Put all ingredients in the crock pot, stir and cook on low for 5 hours (3 on high should be fine.)
This can be made as spicy or mild as you choose. I make it mild and then add some Crystal hot sauce afterwards.

If you eat as it, it is vegan. I like to top with low fat sour cream and some chopped green onion.

Slow Cooker Recipe: Part II Meatless Chili

People have an opinion about chili.  Ask them.  They’ll tell you.  It has to be just meat and no beans, it has to be hot enough to scorch the small hairs if dropped in your lap, it has to have special home crafted chili powder, it has to be made with lots of veggies, it has to be served over spagetti noodles….on and on.  Whatever.  IMHO, my take on chili is: easy, full of flavor, cheap.  Easily adjustable to individual palates and diets, this chili is just plain ol’ good.  Start it at breakfast and scarf it up at supper time with your family or some good friends.  Wash the slow cooker….done!!!!


Olive oil – 1 – 2 tbs4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
Small bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
Small zucchini, chopped (or not or small chopped sweet potato). 
1 28 ounce can tomatoes (if using whole, peeled, chop or mush up with your hands)
Several shakes hot pepper sauce or to taste (Crystal, Franks, Tobasco, etc.)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp chili powder
1/3 tsp cumin
1  1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
4 standard size cans beans, drained and rinsed (I used  dark kidney, pinto, great northern, and red beans drained and rinsed, basically, what I had in the pantry) 

How To:
On medium heat, sauté chopped veggies, garlic and onion about 3 minutes, until al dente.  Add the cumin and chili powder and cook for another minute. 

Place sautéed ingredients into slow cooker.  Add remaining ingredients and stir well to combine.  Cover and cook on low setting for about six – eight hours.  About halfway through cooking, I checked for the need to add some additional liquid or adjusting seasonings.   

Serve over cooked brown rice, quinoa, or not. You can do it southwestern style and serve with tortilla chips or old school with saltines, crackers, or bread.

Non-vegan serving option:  top with low fat sour cream or plain yogurt, shredded cheese, chopped scallions, any or all.

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