Zaq's Snacks :D

Adventures in vegan baking

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Happy New Year!
sweedish chef
Happy New Year everyone! I had an awesome holiday and I hope everyone else did, too! :) The best part of my Christmas haul?

Hooray!! I also raided my dad's record collection and stole a record player that he won as a door prize so long story short my apartment is the place to be if you like classic rock and cupcakes (and I don't know who doesn't!). Oh, and here are the video-game themed gingerbread cookies I made my friend for his Secret Santa gift. I am also working on a Space Invaders scarf but I am a slow knitter so it's not done yet. Bonus points if you can name all the characters!

Anyway, I am back at my apartment after spending the holidays with my family and friends. The time passed much too quickly.. but the good news is that my cats have moved down to my new place so they can keep me company. And the other good news is that I spent New Year's eve with my friend and her new husband and they cooked me basically the best vegetarian chili ever! It was so good that the first thing I did upon returning to my apartment was to whip up a bastardized version of their recipe (which came out of Clueless in the Kitchen... which my friends are not, but I digress). Here is my horrifying concoction.

Monster Chili
2 yellow onions
4 cloves of garlic
1 eggplant
2 zucchini
2 green peppers
1 jalapeno pepper
2 cans of diced tomatoes (don't drain!)
~ 1.5 cups (or 1 can)* of black beans
~ 1.5 cups (or 1 can)* of kidney beans
1 cup frozen corn
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp allspice

* I am too cheap for canned beans so I buy 'em dry and soak them. I didn't measure them because I am an animal so these quantities are approximate.

Dice the eggpplant and place it in a colander. Sprinkle on the salt and allow it to drain while you do the rest of your prep.
Mince the garlic and dice all of the veggies into cubes (about 1 cm squared). Place a deep pot on the stove and heat to medium-high; add the oil and allow it to heat through. Saute the onions and the garlic for five minutes, stirring frequently, then add the zucchini and the peppers and cook for another five minutes. Add the eggplant, the beans, and the spices and stir well. Dump in the canned tomatoes with their juice. Heat until boiling, then cover, lower the heat, and simmer for forty minutes, stirring occasionally. Adjust the seasoning to taste. If you wanted, you could lower the temperature further and allow it to simmer for a few hours for extra deliciousness. When the veggies are tender, add the frozen corn and cook for a final five minutes. Devour with cornbread or fresh baked bread or tortilla chips or something tasty.

This is called Monster Chili to reflect its origins; my newleywed pals' last names can be mashed together into Monster, and I tried really, really hard to convince them to legally change their names (to no avail).


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