Saturday, September 3, 2011

Chili anyone?

Today was a chili day for lunch.  I was craving the spice, the warmth, the melt-in-your mouth feel of perfectly cooked beans.  I used dried anasazi in place of the kidney or pinto beans.  If you've never tried anasazi beans you are in for the quintessential bean experience.  They are so rich tasting!  I topped my cup-o-chili off with some parsley from the garden (didn't have any cilantro) and a generous scoop of guacamole.  YUM...

Here is the recipe from my cookbook The Natural Vegan Kitchen.  Hope you give it a whirl and let me know what you think!
Chili con Veggie  gluten free
Makes 6 servings

According to an old American Indian legend, the first chili recipe was recorded on paper in the seventeenth century by a nun, Sister Mary of Agreda of Spain, known to the Indians as La Dama de Azul, the lady in blue. Ironically, Spanish priests during the nineteenth century warned against the aphrodisiac effects of chile peppers, and this likely inadvertently contributed to the popularity of chili.

1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon grapeseed oil or other oil
1 cup diced onion
2 cloves minced garlic
Pinch sea salt
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 tablespoon finely minced beet
3 cups cooked or canned kidney or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup seitan, minced (optional)
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
4 cups vegetable broth or water
2 tablespoons kuzu starch, or 3 tablespoons arrowroot starch, mixed with 1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon wheat-free tamari
1 tablespoon umeboshi vinegar
1/3 cup minced fresh cilantro, for garnish

Heat the water and oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and salt. Cook and stir for 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent and tender. Add the celery, carrots, and beet. Cook and stir for 5 minutes. Stir in the beans, optional seitan, chili powder, cumin, and optional cayenne. Add the broth and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, decrease the heat to low, and simmer for
30 minutes.

Stir in the kuzu mixture, tamari, and vinegar. Stir until the chili thickens. Serve hot, garnished with the cilantro.

Friday, September 2, 2011

All hail Super Slaw!

I have unspeakable feelings of euphoria at the first taste upon my tongue...

Yes, I'm talking about none other than Super Slaw, from my cookbook the Natural Vegan Kitchen. And the coolest part is that it's soooo easy to make. Today I was inspired by the red cabbage, red radishes, bok choy and carrots, so I made a variation of my Super Slaw recipe using these ingredients. I seasoned them oh so lightly with a touch of umeboshi vinegar, which is a sour and salty Japanese vinegar found at health food stores. Just before serving this heavenly salad I drizzled it with hemp oil, which is my new favorite omega-3-rich oil.

Ahh, the crunch, the divine unification of sour, sweet and salty. Could anything be better? On this day, I think not. I hope you give it a whirl, using a variety of veggies such as green cabbage, red cabbage or nappa cabbage, red radishes or daikon radishes, carrots, bok choy, beets or cucumbers. On my Zen days I use only 1 or 2. Other days I go crazy with 4 or 5. Have fun with it and prepare yourself for unbridled gastronomic excitement...

Super Slaw gluten free
Makes 4 servings

Loaded with enzymes, this colorful slaw is great for digestion. To make the slicing go faster, use a mandoline or a food processor fitted with the slicing blade.

3 cups very thinly sliced green cabbage
1 cup very thinly sliced red cabbage
1 cup thinly sliced cucumber
1/2 cup thinly sliced green or red apple
1/2 cup thinly sliced red radishes
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
2 teaspoon umeboshi vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup sliced almonds
salad dressing (optional)

Put the green cabbage, red cabbage, cucumber, apple, and radishes in a large glass bowl. Add the brown rice vinegar, umeboshi vinegar, and salt. Use your hands to rub the vinegars and salt into the vegetables and fruit by gently squeezing and pressing. Marinate at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes, or until the vegetables and fruit are tender and the water is released from them.
Squeeze out the excess water from the vegetables and fruit. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with the almonds. Serve with your favorite dressing, if you wish.