My job for the past 3 years has dominated a good part of my brain and my life, and therefore has left little room for tangential online ramblings. That being said, I’m endlessly seeking balance, and so while my resolutions … Continue reading
Once upon a time, when women were birds, there was the simple understanding that to sing at dawn and to sing at dusk was to heal the world through joy. The birds still remember what we have forgotten, that the world is meant to be celebrated – Terry Tempest Williams.
It is hard to explain Lopez Island.
To some people, it’s just another beautiful place in the Pacific Northwest. A tiny speck in a state already decorated in shades of green and grey, awe inspiring no matter if you’ve lived here for 30 years or are exploring for the first time. This tiny speck is where a large portion of my heart belongs.
For the past five years my best friends and I regroup on this island. For a few days we forget that we are adults with big decisions and real responsibilities. When we are on Lopez, all that matters is what time we’re going to get our morning coffee. These ladies have lived in my soul for a span of 10-28 years… They get me.
Last year, their dreams were of houses and babies. They’ve figured out half of the equation, and they’re now imagining little feet and sticky hands leaving pint-sized prints everywhere they look. Not wanting little ones of my own, I have gladly volunteered to take the title of Aunty C. Someday I will steal my nephew for a summer and show him how to build a fire and make the perfect s’more.
So much can change in five years. The first year, our dreams were to graduate college and figure out what it meant to be a real adult. It has been a beautiful shift towards a greater sense of self and the stability we needed to settle our hearts. Through all the moves, broken hearts, new loves, and careers, these ladies have been the constant thread. They have been my touchstone and my sounding board. I have seen them fall in love, get married, question their life plans, and I have witnessed them settle into their beautiful skin and embrace it.
This year we found ourselves on the very southwest tip of the island. We sat at the edge, in a quiet grace and thankfulness for each other. Celebrating the fact that we will always have people in our lives that understand us. The world is meant to be celebrated, and I wouldn’t want to do it without them.
Until next year, Lopez. It’s-Finally-Raining Chili
It has been a very warm summer. The grass was brown before July 15th, which is shocking and somewhat scary for our forever green state. We woke up to rain the last day on the island, and I couldn’t wait to get home and make chili. I haven’t had the desire to make soup in months, and all I wanted to do was nest and spend time in my kitchen. This will stick to your ribs and is delicious with some tortilla chips or cornbread.
- 1 can black beans
- 1 can kidney beans
- 1 can garbanzo beans
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 bunch kale, chopped
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup water
Warm one tbsp. of coconut oil on medium high heat. Add in chopped onions and sauté for 5 minutes. Add in minced garlic and sauté for another 3 minutes. Add in all the beans + spices and water. Mix everything together and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn to low and let simmer for 5-10 minutes. Last but not least, add in the kale and let it wilt for another 3 minutes. Serve with some goat cheese and tortilla chips. Yum. Just all the goodness, perfect for a rainy summer day.
Do you remember how when you were little skinned knees and elbows were badges of honor? There was never any doubt about your points and angles—every part of you was perfect because it meant you could climb trees, ride bikes and all the other little girl shenanigans that creates magic.
And then one day you wake up and your body is something to scorn. As a little girl you go from wearing leggings and Minnie Mouse shirts (the early 90s, am I right?!) to worrying whether or not your first day of school outfit would match everyone else. Your strong legs that got you to your best friends house? Now they’re those damn thunder thighs that one kid called “thick” in 9th grade.
My beautiful curves and valleys became something I started to criticize regularly. I promise this isn’t a pity party post, it’s just a reflection on what it’s like to be a woman. Every single girl looks at her body and finds the flaws. We skip over the strong shoulders and beautiful eyes, and focus on the wide hips and less-than-flat stomach.
If you were to head over to my dating blog, it is clear to the internet world that I am a single girl who dates. And (earmuffs parents), as a 27-year-old woman, that implies I also enjoy sex. It’s true! I do! I really, really do! And EVERY part of me wishes that I could drop the heavy shadow that follows me around, telling me I’m not skinny/toned/whatever enough to fully enjoy it.
I am falling head over heels in love with everything Amy Poehler does, says and writes. Her description of negative body image as this ever-present demon is perfect. And while I could try to summarize, it’s best left untouched (side note: read Yes Please… it’s amazing.)
“Hopefully as you get older, you start to learn how to live with your demon. It’s hard at first. Some people give their demon so much room that there is no space in their head or bed for love. They feed their demon and it gets really strong and then it makes them stay in abusive relationships or starve their beautiful bodies. But sometimes, you get a little older and get a little bored of the demon. Through good therapy and friends and self-love you can practice treating the demon like a hacky, annoying cousin. Maybe a day even comes when you are getting dressed for a fancy event and it whispers, “You aren’t pretty,” and you go, “I know, I know, now let me find my earrings.” Sometimes you say, “Demon, I promise you I will let you remind me of my ugliness, but right now I am having hot sex so I will check in later.”
I am so excited for when I get older, and that demon will quiet down. Because hot damn, I am excited to love my angles, points, curves and valleys again. I am excited to turn 30 in a few years and still love sex just as much, and be able to leave lights on and wander around my house naked with whatever fella I happen to have my eyes on. I’m excited to embrace my body for the tall and strong thing that it is. And that boy who called my legs “thick” in the 9th grade? Well… I guess he was right, but what in the hell is wrong with that?
2nd Date Soup
Let me explain the name. My best friend calls this her “2nd date soup”. Back before she met the love of her life, she (like me) was wading through the dating world. When she’d bring a date home, she’d make them this soup. Let’s just say I made my date this soup, and it went well… Maybe we should call it magic soup? Whatever you want to call it, it’s delicious. It’s my go to recipe, and it’s always changing. This time around I added apple, and it was INCREDIBLE, I highly recommend that addition. Enjoy & get lucky!
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 6-7 carrots, chopped
- ½ butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 1 cup Brussels sprouts, chopped
- 1 tart green apple, cored and chopped
- 2-3 cups water
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 1 + ½ tbsp coconut oil (for sautéing and for roasting the squash)
- 2-3 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- Dash of cinnamon
- Salt and pepper to taste (I never measure…)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix your chopped squash with ½ tbsp. melted coconut oil, some salt and pepper and a dash of cinnamon (if you’d like). Pop in the oven, and bake for 30 minutes.
While that is baking, heat up your additional tbsp. of coconut oil over medium heat. Once it’s warm, add in the chopped onion and minced garlic (this is when your date starts to drool, which is always a good sign). After a few minutes, add in the carrots, Brussels & green apple. Add in half of the curry powder, some salt. Sautee for 3-5 minutes, and then add in your 2-3 cups water. Add in the rest of the spices, and let simmer until your squash is done. Add in the squash and throw some more cinnamon in for good measure.. Mix in the coconut milk and then let simmer on a low heat for a few more minutes.
Remove from heat and use that fancy immersion blender until everything is creamy and delicious. Serve with some toasted multigrain bread and smile to yourself when your date/lover/friend goes back for seconds and thirds.
I leave Austin in five days.
This flat, hot and beautiful place has been my home for the past year +, and now it’s time to go back to Seattle. I’m returning to green trees, tall mountains, salty seas and family. I’ve come to the conclusion that a piece of myself will stay in Texas. This town will always be a second home. It wouldn’t be an honest departure without a love letter, so Austin… this one’s for you.
My Southern Love,
I will miss your warmth. I will miss your wet heat that felt like the biggest, sweatiest hug. I will miss riding my red bicycle through your streets in my cut-offs. I will miss eating tacos for breakfast, lunch and dinner and then for breakfast again. I will miss your friendliness and open arms. I will miss whiskey on tap, two stepping with strangers and late nights with my favorite people. I will miss swimming in any body of water I could find, just as long as it got me out of the heat. I will miss being in the land of fireflies and topo chico.
Austin, I will miss your people. The ones that welcomed me without question. Those people who I would carry around in my back pocket if I could, little reminders of what it feels like to be surrounded with goodness. This town is full of folks who live. Take all of it and shape it into something worthwhile. Austin, you are a neverland. Sitting outside of barton springs in my bathing suit, watching the stars in the 85 degree heat on a summer evening, I looked at my friend and said, “this place is magic…”
Austin, you are magic. You are sunshine, pants, bike rides, food, friends and dancing. So much of my heart will be left in Austin, forever.
I am moving on to the next adventure. I ate the Texas sun, I had year round freckles, I scuffed my boots and turned all my jeans into shorts. Now it’s time to go home. I’m bringing a bit of the south home with me. I’m determined to bring some of the warmth, some of the genuine friendliness, all of the dancing and you BETTER believe I will bring “y’all” with me…
Onward and upward y’all, onward and upward.
Black Bean & Avocado Salad with Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries & Cabbage Slaw
This is what my perfect plate looks like. Sweet potatoes are my jam, and when you add in the complete protein of rice and beans, I’m in heaven. And it wouldn’t be a well-rounded meal unless there were some greens, and the cabbage slaw fit the bill. It only seems fitting that I give y’all THREE recipes this time around, because everything is bigger in Texas. All of these dishes are great to mix together and stick into a tortilla, because EVERYTHING is better in a tortilla.
Black Bean & Avocado Salad
- 1 can black beans
- 1 cup brown rice
- 2.5 cups water
- ½ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 small shallots, diced
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- ¾ tsp ground cumin
- ¼-½ tsp salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 large avocado, chopped into ½ inch pieces
Cook the brown rice, I use a rice cooker, but you can cook it on the stove top, do whatever tickles your fancy. Drain the beans and rinse. In a large bowl add the beans and toss with limes, cilantro leaves, diced shallots and ground cumin. Season to taste with salt & black pepper. After your rice is finished, set it aside to cool slightly before you mix it in with everything else. Peel and slice an avocado, and serve the beans at room temperature, with chopped avocado on top or mixed in throughout the salad. This salad lasts for several days in the fridge, so it makes for the perfect lunch to bring to work.
Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into ¼ inch fries
- 2 tsp olive oil
- Sea salt
- Ground chipotle chile
- Garlic powder
In a medium bowl, toss sweet potatoes with olive oil, salt, garlic powder and chipotle chile powder. Spread potatoes on a baking sheet. Avoid crowding so the potatoes get crisp. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn and bake an additional 10-15 minutes. Ovens may vary so keep an eye on them and be sure to cut all the potatoes the same size. It’ll ensure even cooking. Cool and try not to shove them all in your mouth at one time. These are delicious.
- 1 head cabbage, cut into small pieces
- 2 carrots, shredded (optional, I didn’t have any, so I went without… delicious either way)
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
- Handful of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 ½ Tbsp olive oil
- 3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 Tbsp honey (or agave)
- Pinch of cumin
Generous pinch of salt and pepper
Chop up your veggies and mix with jalapeno and cilantro. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice and honey. Add to the veggies and season with cumin, salt and pepper. Toss until finally coated. Serve immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for 3-5 days.
The other day a friend asked me, “How come you’re single?” I think their heart was in the right place, but it definitely was a rage-inducing moment. The way it was asked was drenched in pity & wonder at how I could be 26 almost 27 and be as single as can be. I laughed it off, shrugged my shoulders and used my age-old adage, “I hate everyone?”, which of course isn’t true. I love people. I really do. But I also have so many deal breakers I find myself tripping over them on the daily.
It’s not for lack of trying or wanting. It’s just for lack of interest. I have had two great loves in my short life, and they’ve set the bar pretty high. While the heaviest of issues gnawed at us until we split at the seams, I loved them with every cranny of my being. You know what I mean, the kind of love that sinks down into your soul and settles there. And without meaning to, I size up every potential partner to what I had… Yes, it’s horrible, but it also means I won’t ever settle. I know what it feels like to be loved so completely that even my bones felt embraced. I know what it feels like to trust and admire and adore. There’s no point in pretending with someone unless I feel the sparks. I know what true, gut wrenching, heart swelling love feels like, and I’m going to wait this one out until it comes around again.
Of course loneliness scratches at me again and again. I pride myself in being fiercely independent, and while my job, friends, dog and yoga keep me busy 80% of the time, that 20% can be achingly lonely. I remind myself that my life is filled with so many beautiful things, but I still have to brush off those self-deprecating thoughts that come up when I reflect on why I am alone.
I suppose my honest answer to my friend should have been, “I’m single because there hasn’t been a person to sweep me off my feet in a long time. I’d rather be alone and occasionally lonely than settle for someone who makes my heart simply pitter. Give me pitter-patter or it’s a no go.”
And that’s what I need. The pitter with the patter. The whole hog or nothing at all. Who knows if or when that will happen, but I’m going to hold out until I feel that again. I remember what it’s like to be filled up to the brim, and I won’t settle for anything less.
Wild Rice & Kale Salad
I had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebrating with good friends. We ate, drank and loved for 7.5 hours. Just how Thanksgiving should be. As a vegan(ish), Thanksgiving has always been hard. Yes, I indulged in some cheese this Thanksgiving, but I also gorged on so many vegetable side dishes I felt ill for two days (over eating for the WIN…?) Either way, this dish is great for Thanksgiving, potlucks or just as a side for your dinner. I had so much left over it was my lunch for a week, and I wasn’t complaining.
- 1 cup wild rice, uncooked
- 1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and roughly chopped/torn
- 2 red bell peppers, chopped
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Start with your rice. Bring 2 cups water and your rice to a boil. Bring heat to low and simmer for 50-55 minutes. While the rice is cooking, wash and chop all your veggies and walnuts and prepare your dressing. Combine the lemon juice with the olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste. After rice cooks, cool before adding in the vegetables, walnuts and dried fruit. Then add in the dressing and enjoy! This is one of those salads that gets better after sitting for a while. Eat and eat and eat.
Is it cliché to claim fall as my favorite season? If seasons can “trend”, fall is definitely the new summer (gross. I apologize). Regardless, fall has been my favorite season since I was little, as I come from a family steeped in tradition.
With the return of fall comes all of those things that make me feel warm inside. It starts with a trip to Craven Farms with my dad to get pumpkins, spending far too long in the fields with apple cider and sugar cookies as our sustenance. We each pick out a few pumpkins and line them up, like a casting call. When I took an old boyfriend of mine to the farm I had to warn him that it’s not just a “go out into the field and pick whichever gourd looks okay” situation, it’s serious business.
Pumpkins lead us into changing leaves at Greenlake and cold morning walks. From there it’s grandma’s kitchen for Thanksgiving, the window perspiring as we warm up the kitchen with the smells of home. After that? That is when the magic really happens. I’m entirely obnoxious when it comes to Christmas. I watch Elf on repeat, force those around me to listen to holiday songs, and spend hours making a wide variety of christmas cookies and crafts.
One important detail: all of these traditions are from my life in Seattle. I am not there. Instead, I am sitting in the Texas sun in November and it’s 80 degrees. Don’t get me wrong, this weather is relatively spectacular, and I understand why people are happier in sunny climates. But as a girl who grew up with seasons, mountains and warm coffee in mittened hands, I am just not sure how I feel about a holiday season without my family. This will be the first time in 26 years where I am not going to be home for Christmas. I am not going to go see the nutcracker with my uncle, not going to wake up early to open my stockings, not have Christmas breakfast with my mom. Yes, yes, I am getting weepy as I type this.
It may seem trivial to care so much about the holidays, but it’s more than that. My traditions, regardless of how silly they are, are why I am who I am. I grew up with an extremely strong and supportive family. There was never a lack of love, a lack of understanding or a want for anything. My family, they are my people. Not being around them (well, most of them, thank heavens my sister lives with me) has made me realize how blessed I am to be so close to them, how lucky I am to have so much of my heart in one place.
What I’m trying to say is… Take me home.
Butternut Squash Vegan Macaroni and “Cheese” with Kale
From: Oh She Glows
When I get nostalgic, I cook. This means I have been whipping up all kinds of creations in my kitchen in the past month. Oh She Glows has become one of my favorite blogs, she’s got so many delicious healthy recipes on the website. Seeing as macaroni and cheese used to be staple in my childhood diet, my cravings for something similar have been pretty intense. If I made traditional macaroni and cheese, I would have a stomach ache for eternity. Instead, I made her butternut squash macaroni and cheese and used gluten-free macaroni. It RULED.
- 1 fresh butternut squash
- Extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper
- 1 Tbsp Earth Balance
- 3/4 cup unsweetened, unflavored almond milk
- 1 tbsp arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
- 6 Tbsp nutritional yeast, or more to taste
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/4-3/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 – 1 tsp salt (to taste) & ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 servings gluten-free pasta (I used quinoa macaroni)
- Mix-ins (I chose kale and spinach, gotta get your greens!)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and mix your chopped squash with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Roast for about 40 minutes, uncovered, or until tender. Keep your eye on the squash to make sure it doesn’t burn.
While your squash is cooking, prepare the sauce. Over low-medium heat, melt the earth balance. In a bowl, whisk together the milk and arrowroot powder (or cornstarch) until clumps are gone. Add into pot and whisk. Stir in remaining ingredients (nutritional yeast, dijon, garlic, lemon and salt & pepper) and whisk over low heat until it thickens (about 5 minutes).
Cook your pasta according to package directions. The sauce will make enough to cover 4 servings of pasta. In a blender, blend the sauce with 1 cup of roasted squash. Add cooked, drained, and rinsed macaroni into pot, along with your sauce and mix-ins. Heat and serve.
Promise me, you’ll add this recipe to your collection… it’s amazing.
I have been in Austin for almost a year. As the months have gone by my hair has gotten shorter, all of my pants have become cut offs and Gertrude (that’s my bike) has become my best friend. The beginning of my time here was tough. Change has never been my forte, and although my sister was here, this place didn’t feel like home.
My heart was tethered fast to the mountains and coastline of Washington. It’s the place where I took my first steps, where I’ve held best friends for over a decade. Washington is where my grandma hosts Thanksgiving and Christmas, where I’ve left bits and pieces of my heart. My first few months in Texas, I wore homesickness and nostalgia like a hat, a constant reminder of the comfort I had willingly left behind.
I came down here with the intention to will myself into a new person. Texas was my stepping-stone into shaping myself into a person that shed lingering jealousy, resentment and anxiety. I looked to the Lone Star state as a refuge from all those mountains I had built out of mole hills. Washington, albeit my safety net and comfort, had left me wounded. I hobbled to Texas, hoping that I could sweat out all that had held me from happiness.
Thank the heavens that I found my stride. Back in December, I had it in my head that by August I would be loading up my Subaru and heading back into the grey and green. It was my every intention to stay in Texas for one year, get my “wiggles” out, and then return to normal.
Except normal isn’t a thing anymore. The place I left won’t be there when I go back. My people are growing, changing and shifting into their new roles in life… as they should. We are all figuring out what it means to be real adults—new jobs, new boys, new adventures.
The only constant thing in life is change, and although every part of my nesting self wants to deny it, there’s a momentous freedom in rolling with it.
Texas, with its warm air and wide sunsets has become my home. I have fallen for Austin, with its endless bike routes, swimming holes that make these 105 days tolerable and so many tacos it makes sense to eat them for every meal. This town has swallowed me up and enveloped me in the biggest, sweatiest hug.
I now dream of days riding my red bicycle on the east side, taking pictures when I feel inspired and eating popsicles by the train tracks. My future is my sister and I making cupcakes in the kitchen, walking the pups before the sun rises and watching her nanny boys grow into little men.
I’m here because I chose to start something new. I’m here because life felt hard, and now it doesn’t. I’m here because I goddamn want to be.
Amen to choices, change and new starts.
Garden Fresh Pesto
- 2 cups firmly packed basil
- ½ cup walnuts
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- Salt and pepper to taste
I got this recipe from Choosing Raw, one of those amazing food blogs I follow.
Put the basil, walnuts and garlic in a food processor and pulse to combine. Keep the motor running and drizzle the olive oil in a thin stream. Add in the salt, pepper, lemon and nutritional yeast and pulse until everything is combined. I ate mine with some quinoa pasta that I mixed with sun-dried tomatoes, spinach and kalamata olives. It was amazing. Vegan pesto… yes, please.
To say I need to detox is the understatement of the year.
As it turns out, I give in to peer pressure. Only when this peer pressure dresses itself as old friends from high school who are here to play SXSW. In my head I had every intention of doing what I always do when large crowds of people come around… flee. Instead I found myself in the thick of the madness. 6th street is a place I avoid like the plague when there aren’t an extra billion people in the city, yet I found myself there again last night.
Yes, you heard me correctly. AGAIN. I ended up being there, or nearby, almost every night this week. What can I say? It’s hard to say no to adorable, goofy boys from my past. I was literally walking home barefoot last night at 3 o’clock in the morning after consuming a bit too much whiskey and lone star. Don’t even get me started on the things I ate this week… Ugh.
See?! Detox is an understatement.
All of February I was so good to my body. I cut out wheat, sugar, dairy, caffeine and alcohol. I did yoga four times a week. I walked at least three miles a day. My body was beginning to feel healthy in a way I didn’t know could happen, and I felt SO strong.
March has not been good to me.
My back hurts from forgetting about yoga, I feel like my legs are turning into literal jello and my head hurts from the lack of sleep and alcohol that is pumping through my veins. Turns out that when you put your body through the ringer it rebels by giving you a cold and a lot of “I’m-going-to-be-huge” zit possibilities.
Do I regret a majority of the things I have consumed in the past week/all of March? Absolutely I do. Do I regret staying out late and wandering the sidewalks of the capitol building with crazy friends? Absolutely not. While slightly (or was it extremely?) intoxicated last night I’m PRETTY sure I kept saying “yolo” (as a joke, of course).
You DO only live once though, am I right? SXSW comes around every March and perhaps it’ll be my tradition to throw ALL rules out the window. Or perhaps the next time this festival rolls around and I have five silly boys sleeping in every nook and cranny of the house, I’ll make them a big batch of strawberry popsicles, send them out the door with granola (good performance food) and get to bed at a reasonable hour. Being an old lady DOES have its perks.
Honey Strawberry Popsicles
While it may seem weird to have a popsicle recipe in March, y’all have to remember that I live in Texas. Yesterday it was 86 degrees. It’s prime popsicle weather. If you are in somewhere that still involves scarves and mittens, just dream of summer and keep this in mind the next time the sun decides to come out.
- 3 cups strawberries, washed and hulled
- 1/4 cup local honey
- 3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice.
This is quite possibly the easiest recipe around. All you’ve gotta do is pop these ingredients in a food processor or blender, blend until smooth and then pour into the popsicle molds and let set for at least four hours. So good, so simple.
The weather is perfect in Austin. I hate that I have become one of those people whose conversation starter is, “can you believe this weather?”, as if I have nothing better to talk about.
But this weather! Oh man, oh man. I love it.
The mornings have been cold enough where I get to wear mittens and a hat and the afternoons find me in shorts and a t-shirt. The days feel like summer in the pacific northwest, except there are carved pumpkins on the steps and a little girl dressed up as superwoman next door.
Of course real life had to bring my unhappiness down a tad by giving me a cold. It is the kind of cold that is just waiting around the corner. I can feel is brewing in my throat and my head, and I’m doing everything in my power to combat it.
Lots of water? Done. Weird herbal drink that tastes like ginger meets butt? Done. Warm tea with honey? Done. Nine hours of sleep? Yep.
Last but not least, I wanted to make a soup of some sort and because the weather is so perfect I couldn’t resist making chili. I was inspired by the thought of chipotle, as everything about it warms my soul. The thing I love about chili (and soup in general) is you really just throw everything into a pot and call it a meal. As a vegan, I stuck with a three bean chili loaded with vegetables and some peppers for good measure. It soothed my throat and kept me happy and full for hours.
Perfect chili for perfect weather and my not-so-perfect cold.
(oh, I also put down my iPhone and took REAL pictures of my food this time around. Shocking, I know.)
3 Bean Vegan Chipotle Chili
1 tbsp olive oil
1 sweet onion
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 sweet potato
3 cloves of garlic
1 can of black beans
1 can of kidney beans
1 can of pinto beans
1/2 can of chipotle peppers (in sauce)
1/2 can of mild peppers
1.5 cups of vegetable broth (you can use more if you want, I like a thick chili)
1 tbsp chipotle chili powder
2 tsp salt
Heat up olive oil over medium heat. Add in chopped onion and sweet potato, and turn heat to medium high. Cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in chopped bell peppers and zucchini and mix in salt. Cook for a few more minutes before adding in the minced garlic.
Next you add in the peppers. I added in an extra spoonful or two of the chipotle sauce, as I wanted the chili to have an extra kick to it. I also chopped up the canned peppers so they kind of melt into the rest of the vegetables, and you don’t even realize they’re there until the flavor hits your face (in a good way). I also threw in half a can of mild peppers for good measure. Why not?
Lastly throw in the beans and the vegetable stock. Mix everything together and add the chipotle chili powder and any more salt your taste buds fancy.
I let this simmer for about 30 minutes, until the smell was too much and I wanted to eat all of it. I served mine with some gluten-free sweet potato corn chips, because they are perfect for scooping and add some texture to the dish.
So many veggies, this cold can’t stick around.
Words aren’t coming to my brain these days.
In a good way.
This weekend was slow and comfortable and healthy and perfect.
All I can say is that I am happy that the universe loves me. It loves my decisions. It has decided to make everything line up. Bless that Universe.
I leave you with pictures, as I can’t really come up with anything else to describe the immensity of my bliss.
If I were to sum up my weekend in a dish it would be this noodle dish. You take one bite and it is all over. You’ve found it. Then you just keep eating it. Forever.
Eat-The-Entire-Bowl Noodle Dish
– 1.5 pounds of whole wheat angel hair pasta or soba noodles
– 3/4 cup tamari
– 1/2 cup sesame oil
– 1 tsp cayenne (I was more heavy-handed… oops)
– 1 red pepper cut up
– 1 bunch cilantro, cut into pieces
- Cook the pasta and add all the other ingredients. That’s it. SO EASY. SO GOOD. EAT FOREVER. Next time I will probably add more veggies to up the nutritional value of the dish… Make it okay to eat the entire pot in one sitting. No big deal. We decided this would be the perfect dish to sell late at night to drunk people. Oily, delicious, addicting. Money maker? I think so.