On the Menu: Veggie Chili, Mixed Greens Salad, & Corn Bread

Recently quite a few people have asked me about easy vegetarian dishes, so here is one of my all-time favorite meals. Excuse the food photography, which is really not my thing, and just try the recipes if they sound yummy to you. I promise these taste better than I can make these look!

Yummy Veggie Chili

1 small chili pepper, minced 

2 medium onions, finely chopped

2 medium red bell peppers, diced

3 carrots, diced

1 cup corn 

2 crushed garlic cloves 

1 cup water or veggie stock

1-1¼ cups bulghar wheat

1 large bay leaf

4-5 large tomatoes, roasted and finely chopped

2-3 cups cooked kidney (or black) beans 

2-3 cups cooked chili or red beans 

2 tablespoons honey

2 generous teaspoons chili powder

2 generous teaspoons coriander

2 generous teaspoons paprika

Sea salt to taste

Cayenne pepper or chili pepper flakes to taste

Sour cream or plain yogurt

Grated cheese, cheddar or Monterey Jack

Scallions, chopped 

Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 325ºF, and cut tomatoes in half horizontally. Sprinkle with a pinch each of thyme, salt, and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and toss. Then place each half cut side down in a baking dish. Bake for two hours, or until the tomatoes are completely softened and wilted, and start to wrinkle. Meanwhile... 

Sauté chili pepper, onions, carrots, red peppers, garlic, and spices in a large saucepan with a generous lug of olive oil for 10 minutes.  Add water or stock, bulghar wheat, bay leaf, and corn, heating to simmer; cover and steam until bulghar wheat is softened. Add tomatoes, beans, honey, and sea salt to taste. Dust w/ cayenne pepper or add chili pepper flakes for additional “heat” if desired. 

Heat to simmer, then reduce heat.  Cook for thirty minutes, stirring as needed to prevent bottom from sticking.  Serve with sour cream, cheese, and chopped scallions, as desired.

Note: if you don't have time to roast tomatoes, skip this part, and saute tomatoes with the other veggies instead...

Corn Bread

1 cup corn flour or all-purpose flour 

1 cup yellow, white, or blue cornmeal

2-4 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup milk

¼ cup cooking oil or melted butter

In a mixing bowl, stir together *flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  In another bowl beat together eggs, milk, and melted butter or oil.  Add to flour mixture and stir just till batter is smooth.

Pour into greased 9x9x2-inch baking pan.  Bake in a 425º oven for 20-25 minutes or till golden brown. 

*I like Bob's Red Mill Organic. Beyond the fact that all of their products originate from identity-preserved, non-GMO seeds, and contain no additives or preservatives, it's an employee-owned business thanks to the foresight and generosity of the founder, Bob Moore. Here's his awesome story (and no, I have no formal affiliation with Bob or the company, just in case you were wondering.)

Mixed Greens & Avocado Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

Mixed salad greens (choose your favorites)

1 to 2 diced avocados 

Mix salad greens and avocados in salad bowl. 

Note: purple on the left is chive flowers, which I like to toss into this salad from time to time.

Cilantro Lime Dressing

1 tsp red pepper flakes or 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

    1 clove minced garlic

      Juice of 1 lime

        3-4 tablespoon honey

          2 tsp balsamic vinegar

            ½ tsp sea salt

              ¼ cup minced cilantro, all but 1″ of the stems removed

                ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

                  Place all ingredients, sans oil, in a bowl, and whisk until mixed. Slowly mix in the olive oil until properly emulsified and dress salad right before eating.

                  This pairs nicely with a citrusy ale and lemon sorbet for dessert. Buon appetito!

                  And please feel free to share your favorite recipes too... I'd love to learn from you.

                  Photo credits: Moi :)