Vegan Quinoa Chili

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This vegan quinoa chili has become a common dinner – easy to pull together, and makes great leftovers [plus 17 grams of protein per serving]- it’s hard not to love it. My meat-eating boyfriend devours this, apparently not missing the meat. Head on over to DailyBurn for the recipe.

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Vegan Spicy Black Bean Soup

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Today is Easter and today I am not posting about cute bunny desserts or baskets stuffed with chocolate eggs. Instead, I offer you a lighter, yet still hearty, Vegan Spicy Black Bean Soup recipe–the perfect way to recharge after over-indulging.

Being a college student with an ill-equipped kitchen (I’m looking at you, mixing bowl that’s actually a Tupperware container), I took the liberty to make some shortcuts. For instance, the original recipe called for pureeing the soup, which I avoided by using one can of black beans and one can of vegetarian refried beans. To easily boost flavor, I used vegetable broth instead of water. Ultimately taste was not sacrificed and this soup now goes on my roster of favorite soups.

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Vegan Spicy Black Bean Soup

Adapted from Eating Well

Makes approximately 5 cups

1 tbs olive oil

1 white onion, chopped

1 tbs Mexican chili powder

1 tsp ground cumin

1 15oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 15oz. can vegetarian refried beans

3 cups vegetable broth

1/2 cup prepared salsa [I used Newman’s Own, Medium heat]

1/4 tsp salt

1 tbs lime juice

Cilantro, chopped

Heat olive oil in large stockpot over medium heat. Add onions and stir for 2-3 minutes, just until softened. Stir in chili powder and cumin, mix for 1 more minute. Add vegetable broth, beans, salsa and salt. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add lime juice. Serve with chopped cilantro as a garnish.

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Corn Chowder

If you have ever tried to photograph soup, you will know that it is hard to make it look appealing. It usually looks like a bowl of mush, or a bowl of a solid color. No glamour, that’s for sure.

But just because a food may not look great in a photograph doesn’t mean it’s not delicious. 

Here’s a recipe for Corn Chowder, which doesn’t involve cream but instead skim milk. I froze it, stupidly, and the leftovers were not good. So if you try this soup out, plan on either eating it in one sitting, or refrigerating for a few days.

Corn Chowder

2 tbs butter

1 large onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

1 red pepper, seeds removed, diced

3 tbs minced poblano pepper

2 Yukon Gold potatoes

2 cups vegetable broth

2 cups frozen or canned sweet corn

1/3 C All-Purpose flour

3 1/2 C skim milk

1/2 tsp dried thyme

salt and pepper

In a large pot, heat butter at medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cook for 2-3 minutes. Add celery, carrot, peppers, and potatoes. Add vegetable broth and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. In a medium bowl, whisk flour and milk. Pour into soup pot and stir. Add corn, thyme, salt and pepper. Let soup simmer for 20-30 minutes on stove.

A Success Story

Sitting around the Thanksgiving dinner table, my cousin and I were trying to discern whether or not a particular food was a yam or a sweet potato. And this is the moment when I realized I will never ever be the next Betty Crocker. Of course, the delicious food we were eating was neither of our guesses. It was butternut squash. Everyone at this point should be shaking their head at me and saying “Duh.” Thanksgiving and butternut squash go together like Christmas and candy canes. Apparently not in my mind, though.

This moment immediately reminded me of the time in second grade when I tried to bake peanut butter cookies with my father. They looked perfect, with a fork-made criss-cross on top. Just a few minutes after I put the cookies in the oven, the kitchen filled with plumes of jet black smoke. It turns out that our oven was broken and so the cookies started burning. But as a seven year-old, I correlated smoke to fire and so I ran out of the house screaming at the top of my lungs that the house was on fire. It was not.

The following day, I took the solid, black, burnt cookies into school for show and tell. I guess I was proud of my failure, or about my seemingly scary experience in the kitchen.

And so, it is true that I’m not always cooking up delicious things in the kitchen. It’s also true that I still can’t tell the difference between butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and yams. This may discredit my cooking abilities, I realize.

However, there is one success story that recently happened in my kitchen. After a hefty dinner on Thanksgiving Day, I decided to make something light: Roasted Tomato Basil Soup. Click here for the recipe:

http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/roasted-tomato-basil-soup/#more-11845 

My initial thoughts were: I have never roasted anything, this is a good opportunity to fail again. My second thoughts were: if I fail, at least it won’t be the first time. Roasting the tomatoes was perhaps the easiest cooking preparation I have done, and the soup came out spectacularly, much to my disbelief. My parents equally enjoyed the soup. The leftovers are perfect for freezing, as well as continued detoxing after holiday dinners.