Meatless Monday: Hearty White Bean Chili

When starting off a new year with painfully cold temps, the only way to deal is to bake and cook up a big pot of something warm and hearty and cozy to fill your belly and heat your whole body from the toes up. This chili is so simple, but so layered with flavor and warmth. Four types of beans, sweet corn, spices, and a creamy surprise ingredient elevate this from a basic to a really special bowl of hearty chili perfect for welcoming in a new year (or otherwise driving out the chill). Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED
* 1 large yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped
* 1 sweet onion, chopped
* 3t minced garlic
* 32oz vegetable broth
* 4 15.5oz cans of white beans, any type, and a combination is great. Possibilities: garbanzo, cannelini, Northern white, navy, butter, etc.
* 4oz can mild green chilis
* 1T chili powder
* 2 1/2t cumin
* 1t dried oregano
* 1t paprika
* 1/2t salt
* 1/4t ground black pepper
* 1/4t cayenne pepper (optional)
* 1C frozen sweet corn
* 3/4C tahini
* fresh chopped cilantro for garnish
* fresh lemon wedges for serving

WHAT TO DO
Heat a large pot over medium hear. Add a few tablespoons of water, and when its just shimmering, add the peppers, onion, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, to begin softening the vegetables and release the aromatics.

Add everything else but the frozen corn and tahini, and bring the pot to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 40 minutes.

Add the frozen corn and the tahini. Raise the heat back up to medium and cook until heated through, just a few minutes.

Serve with a sprinkle of fresh chopped cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Meatless Monday: Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry

caulchickcurry5Hey! You should make your own curry! Seriously. Homemade curry is so easy to make. And fast! It’s not as easy or fast as prepared curry, but it’s easy and fast enough (and fun to make!), that it’s totally worth it. Plus, the smells. Making curry makes amazing warm, delicious, intoxicating smells fill your home. You want that. Also, fast. Totally weeknight-able. Once you nail a basic curry down, you can mix and match ingredients easily. Try other veggies, add a starchy potato, add a protein – whatever your fancy. In this case we were keeping it veg (actually this worked out to be vegan!), so I was trying to make it hearty and balanced. This little number here is where I ended up. So here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED
* 1/2 a small sweet onion, chopped
* 2t minced garlic
* 1-2T olive oil
* 1 small head cauliflower, broken down into small florets and bits
* 15oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
* 15oz can coconut milk
* 1T curry powder
* 1t turmeric
* 3/4t salt
* 1/2t pepper
* 1/2-3/4lb fresh green beans, cut into about 1in pieces
* 6-7 large fresh basil leaves, chopped

WHAT TO DO
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat, then add the onion and garlic and cook just a few minutes until the aromatics begin to release. Add the cauliflower and cook, stirring frequently, for 4-5 minutes, allowing the cauliflower to begin to soften. Add more olive oil if the pan is too full or your concerned about sticking/burning.

Next, add the chickpeas, coconut milk, curry powder, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine everything. Reduce heat to medium-low to low, and simmer about 10 minutes.

Add the green beans and half the basil, stir, and simmer another 5 minutes.

caulchickcurry3

Serve over rice and garnish with a bit of fresh basil.

caulchickcurry4