Monday, January 22, 2007

Vegan Chili Beans & Cornbread

Well, needless to say, I ended up not trying the veggie burger recipe that had me all stirred up last week (the one I wanted to modify and make "chicken patties" with). The main reason I haven't tried it yet is because I still don't have any chickpea flour. I just wasn't anywhere near the health food store this weekend and my local grocery doesn't carry it. Another reason is because I checked on Boca's website and there are apparently still stores near me selling the vegan version of their chicken patties, just not the store that I go to. So, I am going to check on the other local stores that supposedly sell these things and I might be set then in the vegan chicken patty department. I just love 'em. But I admit, it would be cool to be able to make them from scratch.

Even though I didn't try the veggie burger recipe, I was still in the kitchen a little bit. Something else that caught my eye last week was the chili recipe over at SusanV's Fatfree Vegan Kitchen blog. It's finally cooled down outside here and some hot chili sounded like it would be really yummy. I, of course, had high hopes that I would try making it from scratch, but discovered that I was (once again) short of a few ingredients, plus I located some other items like a tomato that I really needed to use before it was past the point of no return. So I ended up making chili beans the lazy way that I normally do, but with a few changes.

The chili started with a couple of cans of beans from the store. Sometimes I mix pinto beans, navy beans or great northern beans, it depends on what's in the cabinet. Last night though, I just had a couple of cans of Kroger brand chili beans. It's already a mix of beans with the seasonings already in there. First, a chopped onion was sauteed until nice and tender and then the two cans of chili beans got dumped in. I chopped up a tomato that I really needed to use and threw that in there too. Then I added some more storebought chili seasoning (the stuff that comes in the envelopes) just to season it up a little more, and then, for the first time, I tried something new. I added 1/2 cup extra water and 1/2 cup of TVP granules. Then just let the whole thing simmer for a little while and it's done. YUM! Adding the TVP like that really makes it seem like there's meat in there. I will definitely be doing that from now on. I still want to try SusanV's recipe though. Perhaps someday I won't be in such a hurry.

The organic baby greens were on sale at the grocery store this week so I threw some in for a salad. In the dressing container I've just got 1 Tbsp. of olive oil mixed with 1 Tbsp. of red wine vinegar. I just couldn't bring myself to bring that poppyseed dressing again. HA!

I also made some cornbread muffins using my favorite vegan cornbread recipe from over at the Post Punk Kitchen. These are always good. Sometimes I make it in the cast iron skillet, but when I am planning ahead for lunch, I usually make muffins because they fit into the lunchbox so well.

And to finish things off, I just whipped up my own little batch of trail mix by mixing some stuff I had around. There's raw sunflower seeds in there along with raisins and some dried cranberries. I must admit, I have been tempted to make some more of those peanut butter & chocolate bars from last week, but I thought I would give it a rest and try to have a healthier dessert at least one or two days this week. Don't be surprised though when you see me bring those bars again. Those things were so good. You know, the more I think about it, I am really surprised that Reese's hasn't come out with a version of their peanut butter cup that has crisped rice in it (not that I would eat it). Maybe they did and I just missed it. Of course it doesn't really matter because the homemade ones are better and they're vegan.

So that's lunch for Monday.



NightOwl said...

Mmmmm, chili and cornbread! How perfect! And keep bringing that poppy seed dressing if it makes you happy! I always have Annie's Goddess Dressing. I love that stuff. Lately however, I've been having the Tarragon Vinaigrette out of Vegan Lunchbox, and it's also delicious.
I don't know if Reese's makes it, but I believe there is a peanut butter bar with crisped rice in it called Whatchamacalit, which I'm sure describes perfectly all the less than healthy ingredients in it. Definitely best to stick to the homemade, vegan version, which looks and sounds very yummy!

kennyboy said...

Oh yes. I remember those Whatchamacalit things now. I used to love those before I became vegan. No wonder I like the PB & Chocolate bars then.

The homemade version is definitely yummier though.

Veg-a-Nut said...

Hi Ken,
You have to make Susan's chili when you get a chance. I made it last week, posted it on my blog. It is absolutly wonderful. I had never used the dried chilies before and boy were they fun. Have you tried the Gardenburger brand of Chik'n patties or their Breaded cutlets they are fantastic. I like them so much better than the Boca brand.