Tag Archives: Spicy

Three Bean Slow Cooker Chili

5 Oct

Hello MoFo’ers, after a lovely day off for cooking and baking, I’ve returned with a new comforting recipe for the season! Besides my toaster (I really love toast), there is no other kitchen appliance I love more than my slow cooker. I think it’s because both of these appliances make the kitchen smell great when they’re doing their job right. Also, they make tasty things to put in my mouth. But slow cookers are particularly awesome because they’re the only necessary kitchen tool for making great food if you’re someone who is often too busy to be home or stand over a stove.

Years ago, my mom gave me her cool, ugly, orange slow cooker manufactured and purchased in the 1970s. When I was growing up, I remember it always being kept in our basement and never in our kitchen. Every time we moved, it came with us for some reason, but it wasn’t because it was being used. I didn’t know what it was until I was older and it’s not because my mom decided to bring it upstairs and make something incredible. It’s because I saw one of the potpourri slow cookers and I put two and two together (it equals four, by the way). I’m not sure if it’s something my mom had ever used, to be honest. I don’t think she grasps the concept of how awesome it is to have an entire meal cooking slowly while you do something else. I keep telling her, it’s multi-tasking at it’s finest, but I think she’s scared of cooking in a way she’s not used to.

Anyway, when I moved to NH last year, I finally made use of it because I’d be gone for long hours at a time for class or work. I wanted to come home to something hot and ready to eat. And this is one of the recipes I would often put together because it’s simple and easy, and lasts a long time if you’re only one person. Oh, and of course, it’s delicious! I know, it’s not really “chili” if there isn’t a ground up dead animal in it, but I didn’t even want to take the steps to fake it. This is just a really vegan, product free, easy to make meal. Anyone with a crockpot can make it. I know it doesn’t look like much, but I swear, if you have a slow cooker, it’ll be one of your basic go-to’s too. Enjoy!

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Spicy Basil Black Bean Burgers

4 Aug

I love bean burgers — and not just because I’m vegan. I honestly think they just taste better. I could eat one every day, especially these. And yes, because they’re not made with tempeh, soy, seitan, or TVP, they tend to be “mushier,” “crumblier,” or whatever other adjective you want to use to deprecate these fabulous edible entities. But who cares? The fact remains that bean burgers rule. And black bean burgers are king and queen. This should come as no surprise.

I had my first ever, true bean burger at a vegan restaurant just last year. What made it so true? Well, it wasn’t a pre-made-frozen-boxed-grocery store-bought disappointment. It was homemade, just like a good bean burger should be. And that “not-so-meat-like consistency” was actually what I liked most about the bean burger besides how good it tasted. So, here I am, a year later, deciding to take the bean burger into my own hands, because honestly, I’ve gotten to the point where I just want to be able to eat one whenever I want without having to go out.

This burger is fabulous and very easy to make. Don’t be deterred by the size of the ingredients list — it’s mostly made up of spices. This recipe is really, very simple. And once you have your veggies chopped, it’s very quickly made too! These were just the right amount of spicy for me, but if you want to kick it up a notch, add more cayenne or better yet, more chipotle chile pepper. It goes without saying, but the smoked paprika gives it a really nice smoky flavor, you’d be sad to go without it.

If you don’t have access to an oven (like if you’re camping or in a dorm with just a stove top), no worries! You can still enjoy these, just omit the oven step. They will just be a bit less firm. Since it’s summer and everyone’s firing up the barb-y, you’ll be happy to know that you can also grill these. Now, I haven’t tried this myself, but I’m sure if you wrap ‘em up tightly in aluminum foil and toss ‘em a bit on the grill, they’ll be just fine!

Wherever you are, however you cook them — I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! Continue reading

Mexican Polenta Pie

6 Jun

Recently at dinner one of my friends remarked that he wishes Boston had an all vegan Mexican restaurant. I thought to myself, “Well that would be wildly popular, no doubt!” Then I thought about what kind of items besides the standard burrito and taco would be on the menu. Then I remembered that Daiya Foods had just released this behemoth of a vegan cheese — pepperjack — and that I had picked some up after having been shocked out of my boots at its appearance at my local natural foods store, in my current town of Middle Of Nowhere, NH. And so, with Daiya pepperjack shreds in hand, a pie dish, and some beans — I got to work. And this delicious, belly filling, comfort food creation is what came of it.

This is a great dish to take to your next potluck or party, or just to make for your next Mexican inspired home cooked dinner. My one word of advice is to go easy on the hot peppers (or omit them) if you can’t take the heat. I originally made this with one full cherry pepper. I don’t recommend it unless you like really, really spicy food. Either way, this dish is delicious and you are bound to impress!

*If you can’t find the Daiya pepperjack near you yet, try the cheddar shreds. Those would work well too. And if you can’t find Daiya near you or in your country, try ordering some online, asking your store to carry it, or when all else fails, use another vegan cheese you like or omit the cheese altogether.

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Plaintain and Avocado Rolls with Spicy Cilantro Dipping Sauce

24 May

Hello again, friends! Here’s a fun and easy little summer treat I like to call: tonight’s dinner. This one’s inspired by one of my favorite foods — plantains. No matter how they’re cooked, I love ‘em! One of my favorite ways to eat them, however, is in the form of “mangú.” Yeah, yeah, I’m Dominican, can you tell? “Mangú” is basically mashed plantains, and nothing more. It’s traditionally served doused in fried onions and oil, with fried cheese and sauteed salami. Yeah, we won’t go there…yet. One day I’ll make all of that the vegan way. But for now, here’s a different, simple, delicious way to eat plantains. This was so easy to make; the most involved part was wrapping the plantains and that only took a few seconds. This is a really fun “finger” food that’s basic enough that you can substitute whatever favorite sauce or wrap you want. Try it on your next “Taco Tuesday,” you know, when you don’t feel like eating tacos but you want something just as easy and with a little spanish kick! PS: This is great beer food, just sayin’! Continue reading

Breakfast Polenta with Field Roast Mexican Chipotle Sausage and Daiya Cheddar

29 Jan

For all you hungry Mexican food aficionados who enjoy a hearty, (a bit spicy) and savory breakfast or brunch, but have grown tired of the omnipotent tofu scramble, I give you this: The power of polenta – for breakfast!

Call me a fat kid, I don’t care, but when I couldn’t decide between oatmeal and muffins, I made oatmeal cakes, and when I couldn’t decide to only eat oatmeal cakes for breakfast – I made this too. And thank the vegan kitchen gods I did! I couldn’t stop eating it. In fact, I made enough for two (so I could save some for later), but I ate the whole thing! Oh boy.

This was inspired by my recent trip to NYC where I had brunch at a little restaurant in the lower east side called, Caravan of Dreams. I got the french toast. My best friend got the polenta. When our food came out, it was obvious I would be secretly seething with jealousy no matter how good my french toast was.

Need I say more? Oh yes, on thing more: enjoy!

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