It’s Christmas Eve and all I can think about is food. Shocker. As I said in an earlier post, I am out of commission for a big, extravagant Christmas menu. Thanksgiving left me beat and I have been way too busy and overtired from work to even sit down and commit myself to looking up recipes or to try to invent something on the fly. Maybe next year. Definitely next year. Suffice it to say, that I have to feed my family something. I just haven’t figured out what that something is yet. For now, I’ve just had my mind on all those Christmas parties people go to in which they need to bring a dish to share. Why not a fun appetizer that will go flying off the table? Why not a nice festive looking dip?
So, here’s the final piece to my Christmas appetizer trio. This dip is something that came up out of need for something quick and easy to snack on and it hit the spot! The flavor is bold without being overpowering. What I love most about it though, is the festive presentation of the green kale and red kidney beans against the white bean background. It’s also thick and hearty and will serve as a nice lunch, if you’re so inclined. I recommend serving it with crackers that can hold up to it–I used sesame melba crackers. I prefer not adding oils to food if it isn’t necessary (and this dip doesn’t need it) but, if you’re using crackers that are more inclined to break in a dip, you can smooth out the dip by adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
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!
The impending threat of losing power because of Hurricane Irene has got me wondering about what the hell I’m going to eat if the power goes out. Mind you, if the power goes for a few hours, everything in my fridge will be safe. I have plenty of dry goods and raw vegan recipes to keep me well fed for several days. But I’ve been in situations where the electricity hasn’t come back for days (ice storms, living in a rural part of NH, etc.) and on a scale of no fun to awesome…it’s cruel and unusual punishment. Yes, yes, I know I sound like a spoiled American.
Anyway, I went shopping today for raw veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds, crackers, and canned goods — all things that will keep if the power goes. It’s like vegans were made to survive the apocalypse! And hell, even if all we get is a “tropical storm” (how exotic) and the power doesn’t go, then I’ll just use these delicious goods to make myself something fancy while I enjoy staying in, hearing the rain pound on the ceiling while I sip on a glass of wine and curl up with a good book or movie and my lovable old pup.
Here’s a super simple, limited ingredient, delicious recipe that I love to make for lunch on a regular, full power day or for picnics, beach outings, and vegan barbecues. Its resourcefulness and use during power outages has made itself apparent many times! As well as how very filling it is! You can enjoy this many ways: in a wrap, on bread, inside a raw bell pepper or cabbage leaf, in salad, or just on its own in a bowl! Make sure your beans aren’t canned in animal products and be wary of those sneaky “natural flavor” claims!
Also, while I have your attention…if you’re in New England this weekend, please be safe, check on your elderly neighbors and bring your pets and any strays you find indoors!