Today is Wednesday, which means time for yet another earth-shaking, mouth-quaking, belly aching (in a good way) edition of What I Ate Wednesday sponsored by Jenn over at Peas and Crayons. Check, check, check, check her out. See what, what, what she’s all about.
I’ve decided to share my Monday eats with y’all and while it may have started off in summer staple-y fashion, it definitely didn’t end that way. Let’s begin, shall we.
My day started cloaked in darkness at the ungodly hour of 5 a.m. All was quiet and eerily calm in my neck of the woods, even though I don’t live in the woods. I deliberately and carefully crept out of bed (you underestimate my sneakiness) and tiptoed down the stairs and around the corner to the kitchen, where I slowly and achingly inhaled the sweet, sweet aroma of a freshly made pot of Columbian coffee: the amber waves of grain, the purple mountains majesties, it was better than the plain.
Pardon my, ahem, creative liberties, which I can only sustain for a single paragraph, so back to the food. After coffee, I inhaled a mixed berry smoothie with frozen raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries (in order of appearance, which today trumps alphabetical) with a splash of pineapple juice. It tasted like dessert going down.
A few hours later, my stomach started to bellow (really, it was embarrassing), so I gave him some granola topped with a scoop or two of vanilla soy yogurt and some fresh raspberries. In case you were questioning my pronoun etiquette, I’ll have you know my stomach is a “he,” which is short for Poncho the Paunch. I no longer have the bulge, but he will always be Poncho to me.
After second breakfast, or snack, or whatever you want to call it, I went spinning and got all sweaty and sloppy (some of my favorite things). I don’t know the reason, but my legs felt like lead, sheer weights just strapped into the pedals. I was fighting to make them rotate (the legs on the bike go round and round, round and round, round and round). Despite my body’s unwillingness to cooperate, I’m glad I went because let’s be honest: not every day is all rainbows and puppies at the gym, but I never regret going. Plus, I worked up an appetite, so I got to reward myself with some pasta. This ain’t your mama’s pasta either; it’s Thai Peanut Noodles, another score from the Bin.
Their prepared lunches are made fresh every day and come in these cute little to-go containers with all the ingredients spelled out. No dirty buffets here where random people can just touch things and sneeze over things and cough at things. And by things, I mean my food…so gross.
After lunch, I snacked on some Energy Bites and a drip down my face juicy peach. I’m not exaggerating, and did I mention my office is in a fish bowl, where everyone can see me…pretty soon people will come for the afternoon show.
Excuse the simple white backdrop (er napkin), but it’s the best I could do at work. My coworkers already think I’m a little (or a lot) food obsessed, so it’s better I keep the linens and props at home. I’m not sure they’d embrace my kind of crazy.
After work, the Hubby and I returned to our lovely abode, where we pretty much relaxed all evening, since dinner was already done. I might have mentioned, I spent the better part of the weekend cooking since we have an abundance (understatement) of fresh produce on hand. As a result of having copious amounts of tomatoes, peppers and homemade black beans at the ready, I did what any good veggie loving gal would do.
I made a Three Bean Vegetarian Chili. Oh! My! God! Whoever says you need meat to have a good time is wrong. If you skip the meat, you skip the side of saturated fat; although if you added a little beef to your bowl, I wouldn’t judge.
Now typically the Chili urge doesn’t strike me until Fall, but with the temperatures dropping (I needed a comforter last night), the leaves changing (already?!), and football season starting (too soon), it’s really starting to feel like October. And since I have a hefty amount of veggies at the ready, I figured I can’t go wrong.
I used a golden onion, three of my beefsteak tomatoes, a couple of cloves of garlic, one and a half green bell peppers, three Hungarian sweet peppers, and about eight jalapeno peppers, which is normally way too many but I was told, they weren’t “overly hot.” I also added my homemade black beans (I am now a professional bean from scratch girl), a can of Red Kidney Beans and White Beans (Boo Hiss – license revoked) because the more beans, the better. Remember, fiber is your friend; it keeps you fuller longer and um, regular.
Not only is three bean Chili a great way to meet your daily fiber quota, it’s coupled with a heaping dash of protein (can you say Beefcake), and once you add in your veggie love, you’ve got yourself the perfect meal. Fiber, protein, and vitamins, oh my.
You throw all these marvelous things into your crock pot with whatever spices you are feeling (I used Chili Powder, Red Pepper, Garlic Powder, Hot & Sweet Spicy Pepper Blend, and Paprika) and let it sit all day long on the low setting. By the time dinner has arrived, you’ll be sitting in a pool of drool.
I didn’t make it up, but folks have been saying it for centuries, which means it must be true and good for your heart so go make some Chili.
Vegetarian Three Bean Chili
- 15 ounces of each of the following: Black Beans, White Beans and Red Kidney Beans (or really any three kinds of beans you prefer).
- 3 Large Tomatoes, cubed.
- 3 cloves of garlic, diced.
- 1 large onion, cubed.
- 2 Bell or Sweet Peppers, cubed (minimum – you can always at more).
- 2-3 Jalapeno Peppers, cubed (depending on how spicy you like it).
- 1 15 ounce can of Diced Tomatoes
- 1 6 ounce can of tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp of olive oil
- 1 tsp minimum: salt, chili powder, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp minimum red pepper and black pepper
- Add 1 Tbsp of olive oil to skillet on medium to medium high heat. Add onions and saute for 3 – 5 minutes until onions start to turn translucent. Add garlic and bell peppers and continue to saute for another 3 minutes.
- While the onions, garlic and peppers cook, add all the beans, the jalapeno peppers, the tomatoes, and the tomato paste to a crock pot set at low heat.
- When onions, garlic and peppers are done, add them to the crock pot along with all the spices and seasonings.
- Let simmer all day long, or as long as you can stand, but for at least four hours.
Note: this is a very basic Chili recipe, and the ingredients are pretty fluid; you can always add more or less of any kind of peppers, tomatoes and other veggies (I’ve been known to toss in some cubed celery). I also tend to chop the onions, peppers, and tomatoes in large chunks to give more sustenance to the Chili. I highly recommend tasting it throughout the day and adding more spices as you see fit. I always like to throw in some extra heat. Other seasoning options could include cumin or cayenne pepper. I typically serve the chili over brown rice or quinoa for an extra oomph and sometimes I garnish with cheese (I’m no purist).
Does anyone else think it feels like fall? Are you starting to dream of soups and Chili, and would you eat a meatless Chili?