Monthly Archives: September 2016

Vegan Cupboard Chili

It’s that time again! Time for soups, stews  and chili. Emphasis on the chili! This home cook had a craving for chili. What I’m about to share is nothing fancy, but it hit the spot! 

And of course I needed it to be vegetarian. Well, this recipe is actually vegan. And it all  came to be because I found this lovely package of plant-based zesty spiced protein crumbles! I just had to give them a try!


Ingredients
Olive oil
1 onion – diced
2 tsp chopped garlic (from a jar)
2 TBS chopped Jalepeno peppers (also from a jar)
4 cans of dark kidney beans
2 15-oz cans of tomato sauce
2 15-oz cans of chopped tomatoes (I used a zest mix of tomato, green pepper & onion)
2 pkgs if McCormick Chili seasoning (one regular/1 hot)
And one package of Beyond Beef Feisty Crumble

You can see by my list that this is one of those home style cupboard recipes. Like the kind I grew up with. The pre-made ingredients make it perfect for a work night when you don’t have a lot of time!

I started by sweating the onions, garlic and Jalepenos in a few tablespoons of olive oil. Then I added the protein crumbles (frozen) and tossed until thawed. Next up were the beans, stewed tomatoes and tomato sauce. And last but not least, the spice packets. I gave it a good stir and let simmer about 30 minutes stirring occasionally to keep from sticking. Ta dah!!! That’s all there was to it!

I don’t have a fancy plated version but you can always gussy it up by adding cheese (vegan if you prefer) or sour cream or alternative, crushed tortilla chips or a side of cornbread! Tonight I added a bit of mozzarella on top!


It was so good! Made a big pot full. Enough for dinner for two, a nice sampling for the neighbor who is always bringing over yummies for me to try, AND still enough for three days of lunch (since I pack my lunch everyday I’m set for the week!)

The reason I’m sharing this easy peasy, not at all fancy recipe is so I remember it, because I am definitely making this again! And also to encourage other homebodies that they too can do it! Yes you can! 

Until next time, happy cooking! 🙂


She Will Always Win

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She lets you believe
you are in control
she lets you believe
deep down in your soul
your wishes she’ll embrace
you are in control
beguiled by her grace
blinded to her verve
your wishes she’ll embrace
selfish to preserve
she cannot be crossed
blinded to her verve
that when you have lost
you won’t even care
she cannot be crossed
no one can ensnare
a force such as she
you won’t even care
stunned by her beauty
she lets you believe
a force such as she
she lets you believe.

kat ~ 26 September 2016
(a Terzanelle)


Magnetic Poetry Monday – 26 September 2016

warm

almost warm

she dazzles in cool porcelain
a voiceless work of poison
eye candy for fools
with an icy smile
and a broken heart
that forgot 
how to bleed

kat ~ 26 September 2016


Vegetarian French Onion Soup

I’ve been battling a change of season cold. After a course of antibiotics, it’s still lingering and it’s times like this that I want soup. But not just any soup. I needed something that would clear my sinuses and burn off the remnants of this blasted cold. Since I stopped eating meat over a year ago my first choice, chicken noodle was off the table.  I had a nice big bag of onions that needed cooking before they started to sprout roots in my kitchen. And while I’ve never tried the beef broth-based French onion soup from scratch, I figured there must be a vegetarian alternative.

There are, of course, several variations. Mine isn’t vegan, though you could easily replace the butter with a vegetable oil and the cheese with a vegan alternative. I read about a half dozen recipes and gleaned from each ingredients that sounded good as well as also being in my cupboard without a trip to the store.  I am happy with the results, as is my spouse (that’s the real test of course for any cupboard gourmet!)

Always remember to taste along the way and feel free to tweak and adjust any recipe to your own taste. That’s how you make it yours!

Ingredients


4 Onions – cut in half and sliced
(I used sweet onions because that’s what I had on hand, though next time I plan to try white or yellow onions, as most recipes suggest, to make the soup less sweet. I just added a bit more salt to balance it this time. It was still delicious!)
3 garlic cloves – finely chopped
1/4 cup butter
2 TBS all purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
1 32 oz carton of vegetable broth
1/2 cup cooking sherry
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
A pinch of thyme
3 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
———————
1 loaf French bread – sliced
Gruyere, Shredded Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese (any nice gooey melting white cheese works…I had some Muenster on hand. That sounds yummy too!)

You will need a Dutch oven (the non-stick kind will help caramelize the onions, leaving a nice brown layer at the bottom).

You’ll also need some oven-safe individual crocks, which I don’t currently have (adding a set of these to my holiday wish list) But don’t let that stop you from trying this recipe. It’s a yummy soup even if you leave the last step out!

Place the sliced onions, chopped garlic and butter into your pot and turn up the heat. I added a little salt, just because. And while you will want to be sure that the onions don’t burn, you can step away from it occasionally letting the bottoms brown, flipping and repeating. (I’m a “clean as you go” cook, so this is the perfect time to multitask!)

Not yet…almost there! 😊

Perfect!

This part of the process takes patience my friends. You want your onions to be nice and gooey brown, and the bottom of your pot to have a nice dark “crust”.


Once you get there, add the broth and flour, stirring to completely blend while also scraping the bottom of your pot to incorporate all that good stuff at the bottom. Add the remaining ingredients (except for the bread and cheese 😊) and let the soup come to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally, for at least 30 minutes. The longer the better. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.


If you have those fancy crocks, now is when you will want to fire up the broiler. Scoop the soup into your crock, top with a toasted slice of French bread and your cheese of choice and broil until the cheese is bubbly!

As for me, I’ll try that another time. This rainy afternoon I had a hankering for a warm savory soup and that is exactly what I got! Served in a bowl with a sprinkle of fresh shredded Parmesan and a few slices of French beard for dipping satisfied my craving just fine!


Bon appétit mes amis !


Shi Sai Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 25 September 2016


Happy Sunday to you! Today’s Shi Sai hit me between the eyes the moment I read it back to myself. Not literally of course…words don’t jump off pages or computer screens smacking us literally, right? Except, I am feeling smacked just the same.

I followed the rules this morning when lifting the verses, choosing a favorite line from each post from the previous week, listing them sequentially in the order written. My rules. But sometimes I don’t like a particular line once it’s merged with the others. I am tempted to revise it to make it “feel better”, to make it fit. But I don’t, and I didn’t today, even though I absolutely hated the last line:

there can be no peace

This is not what I believe! It’s not what I hope for at all. Today’s Shi Sai does not work at all as so many of them do, I thought. But I was wrong.

I read each line again, knowing that each one would lead me back to that parting unsettling line. It just didn’t feel right, but I decided to surrender to the process. This time as I read the verse back to myself I reflected on where I was and what I was doing the previous week.

The truth is, these lines are just the tip of the iceberg. The truth is, I spent the week, as I do most, caring deeply and being involved in trying to make the world a better place. It’s not immediately evident in these lines (that iceberg thing) but I was particularly “vocal” in my activism (not here necessarily, more so in other social media forums) and the distress I feel over the hate, violence and ignorance that I perceive in our world.

I struggled with this. I struggled because I started to think my words didn’t matter. That maybe I should just stop speaking my mind and do what is expected: silently comply, don’t rock the boat, don’t point out the truth, because in doing so you’re disrespecting someone else’s right to their own version (aka opinion) of it, because nobody really cares what you have to say anyway…you’re just wasting your words and your breath…just post selfies and thumbs up, smiley faces and throw in a few inspiring memes for good measure. If you really get stuck, a cute cat video will bring you back to…reality?!! Smack! Right between the eyes!

I finally scanned this week’s Shi Sai one more time, but I couldn’t wait to get to that last line. “There can be no peace.”

Of course there can’t! As long as there is injustice, pain and suffering in the world, there can be no peace for those of us willing to call it what it is; willing to care enough to want to do something about it. There can be no peace for those of us who seek and see the truth. It’s important for us to say, “the emperor has no clothes” or “this is wrong” or “that is a lie” if those things are true because some of us are asleep and some of us sadly don’t care, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t.

The final line in this week’s Shi Sai is not about shattering or denying my hope for peace. It is a personal charge and an answer to the question I’ve been asking myself all week. “Does it matter?”

The answer is, of course, a resounding “Yes! It matters!” We need positive change in our world and I am more encouraged now than ever to keep fighting that good fight because “there can be no peace” in my own heart, conscience and soul until I’ve done everything I can to make things better.

I give you then this week’s perfect Shi Sai. Yes, it’s perfect. Be sure to read it all the way to the end. 😉

Shi Sai Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 25 September 2016

be off out, ’tis extra nightfall, follow th’ stars ‘n find th’ gold
to brighten the earth
clouds are just vapor
of love’s undoing
some frogs are just toads
we are so much more alike in our hopes for peace than we are different
as thunder shook the house, neither of them moved, sitting there silently in the dark
of course I knew that there’d be pain
so anyhow, I jest been sitting here waitin’
but only by pure,
yes, I still hope…
there can be no peace.

~kat ❤️


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