Recipe – Vegan Slow cooker White Chili

Slow Cooker Thursday

It’s slow cooker Thursday!

Who says all veggie chili is the same? I made this yesterday and it turned out great. It was my first time, so I was prepared if it didn’t go over. It’s quick to put together and it cooks all day in the Crockpot so it ready and waiting when you get home! I made it a little different than I listed on menu plan Monday – mostly I was too lazy to make beans from scratch.

White vegan chicken chili

  • 2 cans white beans
  • 2 cups veggie broth
    (or water mixed with 1Tbl chicken-less seasoning)
  • 1/2 chopped onion
    (if you are really pressed for time you could use onion powder)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1Tbl chopped cilantro
    (I used the little freezer cubes from Trader Joe’s – they have garlic and basil too!)
  • Lightlife chicken strips
  • 1 small can green chilies
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 Tbl oregano
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
    ( I used a blend of dried crushed spicy peppers that I got at the farmer’s market)
  • 1/4 tsp cloves

Here’s the best part – dump everything except for the “chicken” into the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 – 9 hours. Add chicken about 15 minutes before you want to eat. Cook until “chicken” is warmed through, you may want to turn it up to high to accomplish this if you’re impatient like me.

Another slow cooker recipe that looks good from the list is spaghetti squash casserole, warning – music starts playing, but you can turn it off on the lower right hand side. It uses tuna, and you could substitute slightly mashed chickpeas to make it vegan! I’m going to have to make some variation of this in the next few weeks.

Sock update and the curry that shouldn’t have been

So you may have noticed that after my post about the rebirth of my sock, I haven’t posted another word. I have, in fact, made progress. and yes, I’m mad at it again. The leg went along fine, the heel, and at turning the heel the amount of stitches didn’t meld with the instructions. Why? Well, I still have some leftover of “not really paying attention” floating around.

The direction had me place 28 stitches on one needle, said nothing of the odd number on the other 2 needles (except for the fact there should be a total of 32). Or at least that’s what I saw when I read it about 4 times. Then I read it again when the stitch count seemed off, and yes I was supposed to be knitting the 32 stitches for the heel. I missed that part – the knit the 32, instead of plunging in with both hands and knitting whatever found its way on to one needle. From my single mindedness you would have thought it was 5:00 on Friday and that needles of 28 stitches was a frosty top shelf margarita.

So the plan is to not frog the sock. If I frog at this point no more socks will be cast on my needles and I have sock yarn for at least 5 more pairs. I will try to improvise from here and get the pattern right for the foot. Unfortunately this is my first patterned sock, so I have to put on my big girl pants and get it done. Yes, the second sock will be a little different. At least it will if I can learn from my  past mistakes! Unless I make them again on purpose… I don’t think I can cope with that right now. The plan is these socks will be mine to wear, and while the mistakes might bother me a little I will be happy having non-perfect hand knit socks on my feet. And maybe the next pair I make I can actually give to someone.

Dinner last night was not the best. It was my first time trying Indian Cauliflower and Kidney Bean Stew with Coconut milk from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker. I added some Thai curry paste after we ate to doctor it up, so maybe I will buck up and eat the leftovers. It was kinda bland – even when I added more spices.  So hopefully it won’t meet its fate at the composter. I make no guarantees…

On the bright side the white chili was smelling yummy before I left the house – I have high hopes for it. and I’m getting a massage tonight, so I may actually relax!

Vegetarian Recipe – Vegan Pepper “Steak”

I wanted to share the lunch I made yesterday because it turned out pretty good. I know, I really need to start taking pictures, so you can see it too.

I used lightlife steak strips for this dish, they are low in calories, but as all premade foods – a little high in sodium. I’m trying to reduce the amount of salt I eat, but sometimes convenience trumps that.

Serves 2 (but can easily be multiplied)

  • 1 package steak strips
  • 1/2 pepper of any (or assorted) colors in strips
  • 1/2 onion in strips
  • 2 Tbl vegetarian worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup (or s) Whole Foods 365 Ginger Soy Sauce (if you don’t have a whole foods or feel like making it from scratch I found a recipe here that I want to try.)

Heat a non-stick pan (or a spray or 2 of oil, or in a pinch a little water), once hot add onion strips. Once they start to be translucent, add the peppers and steak strips. Through out this entire process you’ll need to keep stirring so the food doesn’t stick. Once the peppers are about as done as you like them, add the sauces.

Serve over steamed brown rice, or add cooked whole wheat spaghetti to make a lo mein. During the summer I think I’ll try it as a steak salad with raw peppers instead of cooked, and serve it over super crunchy lettuce.

Vegan Menu Plan Monday

You too can participate in Menu Plan Monday, just go over to I’m an Organizing Junkie

Ok, I’m posting my draft on Sunday. I actually had time to think about menu planning, though I have skipped out on some weekend cleaning.

Last week went pretty well, though Friday we ate thai food with friends, I sure do love that red curry.

Monday: Chickpea Noodle Soup from Veganomicon

Tuesday: Indian Cauliflower and Kidney Bean Stew with Coconut milk and brown basmati rice from Fresh from the vegetarian slow cooker by Robin Robertson p.75

Wednesday: White Veggie Chili – a combo of a few recipes. It is my first time making this, so try at your own risk!

  • 1 lb great northern beans
  • 4 cups veggie broth (chicken-less flavor if possible)
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • fake chicken or seiten (I’m using trader joe chicken strips)
  • 1 can green chilis
  • lime juice
  • some blend of : cumin, oregan, coriander, cayenne pepper, cloves

Tuesday night I’m going to put the beans in the slow cooker with broth, then in the am I am going to saute the onion and garlic and dump everything else in with the beans till dinner time. Wish me luck!

Thursday: Boca burgers, cascadian fries, and salad – having friends over for dinner

Friday: Slow cooker nut loaf, sweet potatoes baked in another slow cooker and steamed green veg

This would be the same nut loaf I have avoided making the past 2 weeks – only cooked in a crock pot. I saw a meatloaf recipe cooked in one and it can’t be that different, right?

Saturday: dinner out?

Sunday: Morningstar farms corndogs and crock pot corn chowder

A new sock is born

I have the top ribbing done (again), and tonight I will begin the leg – again. But I’m not nearly as bummed out as yesterday. I think my yarn order coming in from eat.sleep.knit certainly put me back in the sock mood.

I was lucky enough to catch the valentine sale at Eat.Sleep.Knit and got 20% off most pink/red/burgundy yarns, plus the 10% ravelry discount (RAVROX). I got Smooshy, Lornas Laces, Supersock and Noelles Noodles. They tucked away a couple of surprises in my package – a cute purple ruler with their logo and a couple of mini tootise pops. I though it was very sweet and the turn around time was super fast. I’ll try to post a picture of my yarn, if I can stop petting it long enough.

Now all I can do is think about trying a new sock pattern with each one of my new beautiful yarns. I have enough sock yarn in my stash to last me all summer. And if I frog every sock as much as the one I’m working on, it may just last me the rest of my life!

sock sadness

Last night I had the whole leg of the sock down and was starting to work on the heel, when I realized I didn’t repeat row one of the leg pattern before I began. I tried to rip it to that point and, of course, messed it up even worse. So I frogged the whole thing – all because I stopped paying attention. Ugh!

It is my and C’s 2 year anniversary, so that makes the day a bit better. I’m taking her out to a surprise dinner at the Melting Pot. They have a vegetarian entree with tofu, artichoke, and portabella. I’m very interested in trying it out, and between cheese and chocolate fondue it must be good. We’re going at 6:30, so I have some sock knitting time before we leave.

Wish me luck on the sock. Third time’s a charm, right?

Gearing up for menu plan monday

You too can participate in Menu Plan Monday, just go over to I’m an Organizing Junkie

Ok, I’m posting my draft on Friday again just in case life is too busy this weekend. This pasta dish looks like a yummy backup as well.

Last week went pretty well, though I didn’t make the nut loaf or split pea soup. We ended up going out with friends on Friday, and then Sunday got away from me and 6:30 was far too late to start cooking dinner. So we had frozen mexican from trader joe’s.

Monday: Leftover nut loaf and various veggies with salad Since I didn’t make nutloaf…. Boca Chicken Parm on whole wheat angel hair pasta, with salad and steamed broccoli

Tuesday: Anniversary Dinner(out? or special dinner in with lightlife steak strip made into pepper steak stir fry with wonton soup)

Wednesday: Dinner out before concert at Carburritos Boca burgers with organic fries and broccoli cole slaw. went to Twisted Noodle for Tofu red curry and jasmine rice – yum!

Thursday: baked potatoes cooked in the crockpot served topped with chili and cheese – steamed green veg and carrots on side

Friday: soup and salad (crockpot split pea parsnip or wonton)

Saturday: eating at Dawn’s – maybe make a lentil chili or pasta dish there

Sunday: Indian – dal, mixed veg curry, brown basmati rice and garlic naan (I love Kitchens of Indian – just open the foil bag, heat and serve!)

Longing For Spring Swap

 I’m so excited! I am participating in my very first knitters/crocheters swap. And it’s about my favorite season – Spring. They are taking sign-ups through today at Longing For Spring Swap Blog.

Questionnaire

  1. Do you knit or crochet? Knit
    How long have you been at your craft?4 years
  2. What are your favorite yarns/fibers? Alpaca, bamboo, wool, cotton
    What are your least favorite yarns/fibers? Acrylic because it rubs my fingers raw
  3. What are your favorite colors? Blue, purple, red, green, and earthy colors.
    What are your least favorite colors? Orange, yellow and any neon colors.
  4. What ‘warm weather’ project are you looking forward to making this year? Socks and maybe a shawl
  5. What are you favorite scents? Lavender/floral, musky, and “green” scents like eucalyptus or grass
    Least favorite? Food scents like raspberry or chocolate (unless I’m eating them of course!)
  6. What is your favorite flower? All bulbs, but especially irises and crocus, sunflowers, almost all flowers really
  7. What are you favorite spring time hobbies/activities? Gardening,walking, and sitting on my deck reading.
  8. Do you have a garden? Yes.
    If you do, tell us a little about it.  I have 2 raised beds for veggies and some marigolds, zinnias, and nasturtiums to keep away the bad guys. I have lavender, rosemary, lime thyme, parsley and other herbs as well. I usually plant some bright colored annuals around int he yard.
    Do you like to plant flowers or vegetables? Both
  9. What are your favorite sweets? Dark chocolate, chocolate with unusual flavors like earl gray or chili are a plus – just know I’m a vegetarian, so no chocolate with bacon. I just gave a bacon bar to a friend, so as weird as it sounds, it really exists! 
  10. Do you collect anything? I like anything japanese, badtz maru, bento box containers, and silly garden art, oh and sheep!
  11. Do you have any allergies? Dust and some pollen.
  12. Do you have any pets? I have 2 cats and one silly dog.

Oatmeal and noodle soup kind of day

I may not be feeling too good today, but I am still eating well. I just finished some Thai noodle soup (lemongrass flavor) from Thai Kitchen, which is my veggie version of chicken soup – only no chicken and nothing crappy in it. I grew up on Campbell’s soup – nothing much natural there!

I thought this would be a good day to praise oatmeal. Here in Durham it’s cloudy and raining, and in the 50′s. Definitely a change from 70 degrees on Sat., now that was a nice day! But back to oatmeal – it’s healthy, fairly cheap, and there’s nothing like waking up to it ready and waiting in the crockpot in the am.

Crockpot Oatmeal

serves 2 large portions

3/4 cup steel cut oats
2 cups water

Sleepily throw these two ingrdients in a small crockpot,like the little dipper.
(If you use a larger one you may need to add extra water and definately cook it on low.)

And then plug it in, the little crockpots cook on low. You can oil the pot first so you have no oatmeal sticking to the sides, but I just soak it all day and the stuck oatmeal comes right out. Plus the dog loves the leftovers as an afternoon snack.

Cook all night and wake up to breakfast!

Additions:

  • Chop a peeled apple and put a handful of frozen blueberries in the mix with cinnamon – then cook all night
  • Add a handful of dehydrated strawberries and same ground ginger in after cooking
  • Add Orange flavored cranberries with a touch of cinnamon
  • Try it with other fresh and frozen fruit and let me your favorites!

I know you can use other styles of oats in the crockpot, but I’m not sure of the water to oats proportion.

Soup and socks

I finished the garterlac bath rug and started a pair of socks with some yarn from knitpicks. I had about 3 inches done this afternoon and had to frog the whole thing. I’m trying to do something besides stockinette stitch and dropped a stitch and noticed it too late. Oh well, I need the sock practice I guess.

I got a craving with the temp dropping, and made a big pot of Hungarian mushroom soup. It’s weird that it was 70 degrees yesterday and tonight it’s going to be 20. This weather is nutty.

I started a small crockpot of blueberry apple oatmeal for tomorrow’s breakfast. And a big crockpot of super-easy sweet potato black bean chili (recipe). I love it served with a big dolap of lowfat sour cream and some Tabasco. I also love having dinner hot and waiting for me when I get home from work!

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