Lentil and Sweet Potato Chili

Monday.  Let me tell you guys something…it is even harder to get excited about Mondays when you spent a weekend away in Las Vegas with friends.  Add to that the fact that it’s been raining all day and well let’s just say I was feeling cozy and lazy today.

Lentil and Sweet Potato Chili

This weekend was filled with pool time (think 80s and sunny), a few adult beverages, some gambling, lots of dancing, and even more laughter.  Seriously, I feel like Seattle and the relationships I have developed out here feel more like home every day :)  They say surround yourself with those on the same mission as you.   A room full of passionate, ambitious, young, and adventure-seeking humans… makes for one epic vacation.

Lentil and Sweet Potato Chili

Well now I am home, cozied up to a nice warm cup of green tea, reflecting on the weekend, and sharing this twist on chili with you.  I needed some veggies in my life, but with this rainy weather I wanted some comfort food.  Drum roll please…VEGAN CHILI.  I decided to avoid beans in this chili and stray even further from the traditional chili recipe.  Mainly because lentils are packed with fiber and protein and are a legume so they replace the beans that you normally find in chili.  If you really are craving that beany taste, feel free to add a can of rinsed kidney or black beans.   I kept my batch on the sweeter side (corn and sweet potatoes) and added heat and freshness by topping each serving with pickled jalapeño slices and cilantro.  This is a great hearty dish that will warm your soul.

Lentil and Sweet Potato Chili

As always,

Bon Appeteek

More nutritional tidbits about lentils: high in folate, thiamine, phosphorous, and iron.  I was shocked when I found out that Canada is the largest exporter of lentils in the world…who would have thought?!?!

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4-6

The Players: 

1/2 red onion, diced
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed (2 cups of cubed sweet potato)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 green bell pepper, diced
14.5 oz can  stewed mexican style tomatoes
1 C green whole lentils, rinsed
1 C frozen corn
3 C water (additional water if needed to thin out the chili)
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 heaping T ground cumin
2 t chili powder
1/2 t smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste

The Rules: 

  1. In a dutch oven, over medium high heat warm 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.  Cook onion, celery, and sweet potato for ~5 minutes, until sweet potato starts to brown/soften and onion is translucent.
  2. Add bell pepper and garlic and sauté an additional 1-2 minutes.
  3. Combine the remaining ingredients in the dutch oven and bring to a rolling boil.  Cover dutch oven with lid and reduce heat to medium-low.  Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add additional water if desired and adjust seasonings to taste.  Remove from heat and allow the chili to cool for 10 minutes before serving.  Serve warm with fresh cilantro and pickled jalapeños.

Buranija (Green Bean Stew)

Buranija (Green Bean Stew)

This weekend I caught up with my aunts and grandmothers in Bosnia (via this awesome little piece of technology called Magic Jack…look it up if you have family overseas).  And majka, my mama’s mama, asked me if I have been making Bosnian food for Andrew.  Of course I told a white lie and said yes, but I will be the first to admit (to you all, not to majka) I have been slacking on cooking Bosnian food.

Buranija (Green Bean Stew)

So with a slightly guilty conscience I was inspired to make a one of my childhood favorite stews: buranija (boo-raani-yah).  I did not want to fuss over the meat I used in the stew.  Traditionally, beef stew meat or chicken thighs/wings are used.  I wanted minimal effort, with a tasty end result.  I always keep frozen turkey meatballs on-hand for these lazy chef emergencies.  Usually, I do enjoy making my own meatballs, but it was a week night and I just wanted a one-pot, 30-minute meal.

Buranija (Green Bean Stew)

The starch from the potatoes will thicken the stew, you can always add extra water to thin the consistency if that is what you prefer. 

This stew is very similar to grašak (the pea stew I have previously posted on here).  Whenever people ask me what Bosnian food is like the answer is: stews, pita (savory pies), Ćevapi (grilled kebabs), and lamb.  Stews are a staple in bosnian cuisine.

Buranija (Green Bean Stew)

Enjoy this little piece of my heritage the next time you’re looking for a quick, hearty meal for your family.

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4-6

The Players:

1 T extra virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 russet potato, peeled and diced
2 carrots, rinsed and sliced (1/4 to 1/2 inch thick)
12 oz frozen cut green beans
10-12 frozen turkey meatballs
2 1/2 C water
1 T tomato paste
1/2 t smoked paprika
1 t garlic powder
1 t dried dill
salt and pepper to taste (I used 1 t Vegeta in place of salt)
optional garnish: 1 T fresh chopped parsley

The Rules: 

  1. Heat 1 oil in a dutch oven or stockpot on medium-high heat then add onions and carrots and cook until onion is translucent ~3 minutes.
  2. Add remaining ingredients (except optional parsley) and stir well.  Bring the stew to a boil, and reduce heat setting to medium.  Replace lid on pot and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Let the stew cool for 10-15 minutes before eating.  Garnish with optional parsley.

Coconut Curry Stew

Coconut Curry Stew

The season of holiday parties and getaways is officially underway!  We just came back from an amazing beachside cabin escape at Camano Island.  Picture an evening full of bonfires, charades, eagle scouts, champagne, beer, chips n dip, frozen pizzas, AND ugly Christmas sweaters.

How is it that December is always so full of social gatherings and junking out?!?!  I’m not complaining, but I was definitely in the mood for a cleansing meal today.

I love melding different cultures together when I experiment in the kitchen.  Enter this asian fusion, hearty, vegan stew.  The chili paste, curry, coconut milk, and fresh ginger provide a sinfully delicious asian flare to this take on a veggie and quinoa stew.

Coconut Curry Stew

I threw in the veggies I had on hand: mushrooms, peppers, onions, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, and parsnips.  This coconut and curry broth would taste divine with a large variety of produce.  Think about your favorite curry dishes and pull in any additional veggies ;)

As an added source of nutrition I finished off the stew with some quinoa.  Quinoa has been called a superfood.  It is packed with protein, calcium, fiber, phosphorous, iron, and magnesium.  For this reason, this grain-like food is great for vegans (and us non-vegans too).

Coconut Curry Stew

Seriously, this stew is the bomb dot com and it makes for great leftovers!

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

The Players:

1 T coconut oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 large parsnip, peeled and sliced (1/4-inch thick)
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced (1/4-inch thick)
1/2 t red pepper flakes
1 heaping tsp chili paste
1 heaping tsp raw minced ginger
2 oz red curry paste
14 oz light coconut milk
4 C water + vegetable bouillon cube (32 oz veggie stock alternatively)
1/8 C granulated sugar
1 roma tomato, diced
8 oz crimini mushroom, rinsed and sliced (1/4-inch thick)
1 C quinoa (I used a mixture of red and white quinoa)
salt and pepper to taste

Optional garnish: fresh cilantro

The Rules: 

  1. Preheat a dutch oven or large stock pot over medium-high heat.  Add coconut oil to pot once warm.
  2. Cook onion, garlic, and pepper in pot until onion is translucent (~3 minutes).  Add carrot, parsnip, sweet potato and cook an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add all the remaining ingredients, except the quinoa.  Stir, replace lid on pot, and bring to a boil (5-10 minutes).
  4. Then add the quinoa and reduce the pot to medium-low heat, replace lid, simmer an additional 15-20 minutes until quinoa is cooked.
  5. Serve warm with freshly chopped cilantro.

Okra and Blackeye Pea Vegan Gumbo

Okra and Blackeye Pea Vegan Gumbo

Tonight felt like a gumbo night.  You know when you’re craving something that will stick to your ribs without layering on extra guilt…since you’ve been splurging on all the holiday desserts??? Come on, I know I’m not the only one in that boat this time of year ;)

Okra and Blackeye Pea Vegan Gumbo

We just came back from spending Thanksgiving weekend in Anchorage and boy did we eat!  We had THE MOST AMAZING scones from a local Anchorage bakery called Fireside Bakery and that was just the start of the Thanksgiving gorging.  Literally, we woke up Thursday morning and bee-lined it for the bakery.  I promise I will try to recreate the scone recipe soon!  After catching up on sleep and eating everything in sight, I needed to get back into the weekly routine of gym time and clean eats.

Okra and Blackeye Pea Vegan Gumbo

So that’s what I did…I went completely vegan with this gumbo recipe.  I rarely omit all three animal products: cheese, dairy, and meat from a recipe, but you know what they say, “go big, or go home.”  If I was going to start the week off “clean,” I might as well load up on the produce and organic goodies.  I don’t normally shop all organic, but I somehow ended up with organic beans, broth, and veggies.

Okra and Blackeye Pea Vegan Gumbo

I am going to be honest with you all.  We can’t have a trusting relationship if I omit truths.  I went to the gym. check. I made a vegan dinner. check. I poured myself a glass of wine. ruh-roh.  Yeah we all have our weaknesses–blame it on the Monday after the holiday weekend ;)

Okra and Blackeye Pea Vegan Gumbo

Oh well, nobody is perfect hehe.  I am enjoying said wine and blogging this wonderful and hearty recipe I hope you all enjoy.

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Servings: 6-8

The Players: 

1/2 yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, scrubbed and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, minced (optional)
14.5 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes
3.3 oz can fire-roasted, diced green chiles
32 oz organic vegetable broth
15 oz can organic kidney beans, drained and rinsed
12 oz frozen blackeye peas
12 oz frozen cut okra
1 T cajun seasoning
1 T fresh sage, minced
1 T fresh thyme, minced
sea salt and cracked pepper to taste

Optional serving suggestion:
cooked red or white quinoa for serving over
greek yogurt as garnish (for a vegetarian dish)
nutritional yeast or freshly grated cheese as garnish (for a vegetarian option)

The Rules: 

  1. Place a large dutch oven or stock pot on your cooktop over medium-high heat.  Allow to heat up then coat bottom of pot with non-stick cooking spray.  Add onions and garlic to pot, cooking until translucent ~3-5 minutes.
  2. Once onion is translucent add carrots, pepper, and jalapeno (if desired), cook an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the canned tomatoes, diced chiles, and vegetable stock.  Turn heat up to high, replace lid on pot, and allow broth to come to a boil ~5 minutes.
  4. Add all remaining ingredients, stir to combine, bring to a boil; then replace lid, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook covered for 30 minutes.
  5. Optional serving suggestion: serve over cooked quinoa.  May garnish with greek yogurt/sour cream if opting for a vegetarian option or nutritional yeast if sticking to a vegan dish.

One Pot Turkey Chili Mac

One Pot Turkey Chili Mac

Sorry in advance for the quick blog post!  We are in the midst of packing and Christmas shopping before we head to Alaska for Thanksgiving.  I cannot wait to explore Anchorage and spend some quality time with Andrew’s family–they make me feel like I am home whenever I am with them (minus the sassy foreign humor of my Bosnian bunch).

One Pot Turkey Chili Mac

One of my co-workers recently requested that I feature some “one-pot” dishes.  I love the simplicity, efficiency, and minimal clean-up of one-pot meals.  Three of my favorite meals are chili, mac n’ cheese, and stew.  All three are comfort food and perfect this time of year.  So why not make a combo of the three, throw it all in my UW Badger red dutch oven, and call it a meal?  That’s exactly what I did for dinner tonight.

One Pot Turkey Chili Mac

I have to show my red dutch oven off…it was one of the thoughtful birthday presents Andrew got me :o)

One Pot Turkey Chili Mac

Feel free to play around with the spices, I favor the spicier side of things so I threw in a whole jalapeno, seeds and all.  You can also substitute whatever ground meat you have on hand or even use chicken breast that you shred before serving.

One Pot Turkey Chili Mac

Serve up a piping hot bowl of this turkey chili mac and ease your  weeknight meal worries.

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Recipe heavily adapted from Damn Delicious’s One Pot Chili Mac and Cheese 

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6

The Players:

1 lb ground turkey
1 C diced yellow onion (~1/2 an onion)
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bell pepper, chopped (I used a yellow pepper, feel free to use what’s on hand)
1 T extra virgin olive oil
15 oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
15 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 T cumin
1 1/2 t chili powder
1 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
1 cup whole wheat elbow pasta
4 15 oz cans of water and one vegetable bouillon cube
1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese, additional for garnish

The Rules: 

  1. Heat a dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add oil, onion, pepper, jalapeno, and garlic to the pot.  Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the turkey and brown the meat, cooking an additional 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add the beans, tomatoes, pasta, water, and spices to the pot.  Bring to a boil, replace lid, and cook an additional 10-15 minutes until pasta is al dente.  Remove from heat.  Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.
  4. Add the cheese to the pot and stir until well combined.  Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes and serve hot with additional cheese (and in my case Sriracha) sprinkled on top.