Chipotle Harvest Chili and Classic Cornbread – From Happy Herbivore Light and Lean

Do you ever have one of those days where you get home and work/study/play until 9 PM and then suddenly realize you’re starving?  Today was that day.  I came home and worked on a project for school all night, then spent some quality time with my hubby before he went off to bed early.  This is how I ended up making chili at 9 PM.  Don’t judge me.  I needed something quick, easy, and filling – and enough for leftovers (because I’m tired of eating the Tofu Pot Pie Casserole that I made earlier in the week.  Four times is enough for one dish!).

Enter: Happy Herbivore Light and Lean.
I’ll be honest, some of the Happy Herbivore recipes are hit or miss for me.  I don’t usually go “WOW!!” when I make them and some of them have been downright awful (I’m looking at you, dijon mustard pasta), even though there are some standout recipes that I make over and over again.  However, they are all very easy to prepare and generally don’t require much prep time.  I have all four Happy Herbivore cookbooks, but Light and Lean is my favorite one because it has a fantastic tofu yogurt recipe that only requires me dumping ingredients in a blender.

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This is the chili, simmering away on the stove.  It’s got sweet potato, kale, corn, black beans, and a few other delicious ingredients to make it sparkle.
Pro Tip: The recipe calls for 1 cup of veggie broth.  I had to use about 2 cups, maybe a little more even.  Otherwise all those veggies wouldn’t fit.  Unless you like your chili super thick, you’ll probably need to use a little more veggie broth.  It may also depend on the size of your sweet potato.  Watch the chili while it’s simmering and stir occasionally, to make sure it doesn’t suddenly start sticking to the bottom of the pan.  If it’s sticking, stir more, or turn down the heat.

Proposed time to prepare: Not listed
Actual time to prepare: 35 minutes
-Prep Time: 5 minutes to chop initial veggies, the rest of the prep can be done while it is cooking.
-Cook Time: approximately 20-30 minutes, depending on how high the heat is and how much sweet potato you put in.

Easy to find ingredients: 10/10. I had every ingredient already in my pantry.  If you don’t stock tomato paste, you might have to make a trip to the store for that
Cooking techniques used: saute, simmer

YUM factor: 7/10.  It’s a nice, solid chili recipe.  I especially like that it is not super heavy on the beans, because I’m not a huge fan of all bean chili.

Link to recipe: Not available online.  See page 115 of Happy Herbivore Light and Lean for recipe.

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I also made the Classic Cornbread to go along with the chili.  Unfortunately, I hated it.  The outer corners were edible, so I kept those and threw the rest away.  HOWEVER, I do not blame the recipe for this.  The cornbread had a very strange texture that I am fairly certain came from me using the cornmeal that has been in my cupboard since I got married three years ago.
Pro Tip: Don’t use three year old cornmeal.  There will be consequences.

The taste was okay, but the texture of stale cornmeal killed it.  I will be making this recipe again with fresh cornmeal and posting a review of it then.  You can find this recipe on page 55 of Happy Herbivore Light and Lean.

Do you have any favorite recipes from Happy Herbivore Light and Lean, or a recipe you’d like me to test for you?  Tell me in the comments!

These recipes originally published in Happy Herbivore Light and Lean.  If I am unable to locate a link to the recipe online, the recipe itself will not be posted here due to copyright laws.  You can purchase the cookbook on amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Happy-Herbivore-Light-Lean-Low-Calorie/dp/1937856976).  Please note that this is not an affiliate link and I do not make any money if you purchase the cookbook.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Tofu Pot Pie Casserole – From Produce on Parade

For my very first recipe creation, I made something I’ve missed dearly since going vegan – pot pie!  Well, kindof pot pie.  This is no tiny frozen dinner with 1200 calories and more sodium than you should eat in a week.  It doesn’t contain any animal products, and you don’t have to worry about making pie crust of any kind.  So basically this is better than the pot pie I grew up on!

This recipe can be found at one of my favorite vegan food blogs, Produce on Parade.  I knew I was going to make this recipe the second I saw it, and I’m ever so glad I did.  It is delicious!!

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This is the potato and celery sauteing away.
Pro tip: make sure you chop the potato and celery small so that it actually has time to cook.  Also, use a much larger pot than I used.  I recommend using a pot with a very wide bottom, or even a large skillet.  Otherwise you will need to lengthen the sauteing time for the vegetables.  My potatoes turned out slightly crunchy, even after baking.

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The recipe calls for oil to saute the vegetables with.  I omitted the oil and instead used vegetable broth for less calories/fat (water would work here as well, although it would be slightly less flavorful).
Pro tip: you do not have to press the tofu here.  I am slightly afraid of tofu, and this is the first time I’ve used it in a recipe without pressing it first.  Trust me, you don’t need to waste time waiting for the tofu to press.  Simply drain it and dice.  You won’t notice the difference.

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This recipe makes one 13 x 9 casserole dish.  This is what it looks like before the final layer of phyllo dough goes on top.
Pro tip: you can use more than four sheets of phyllo dough on the bottom and middle layers, but don’t use more than four on the top.  Count them!  Otherwise they will get a little papery.  More is not better.  Follow the recipe!

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The phyllo dough gets wonderfully browned on top.
Pro tip: use cooking spray on the bottom of the casserole dish to prevent sticking.  The recipe calls for a drizzle of oil on the top of the dough before popping it in the oven.  I used a very light mist of cooking spray, and it browned up just fine.

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The final product was just fantastic.  It was also super filling.  I ate one serving five hours ago, and I’m still not hungry.

Proposed time to prepare: 55 minutes
Actual time to prepare: 1 hour (I chop vegetables pretty slowly, so as not to cut my fingers off)
-Prep Time: 5 minutes of initial chopping, then you prepare the rest of the ingredients while the potatoes and celery are sauteing.
-Cook Time: 30 minutes active cooking, 30 minutes in the oven.  The oven time is nice, as you can accomplish other things.  I did the dishes and even put on a load of laundry!

Easy to find ingredients: 10/10.  All of the ingredients were readily available in my local grocery store, and rather inexpensive, to boot.
Cooking techniques used: dice, saute, bake.

YUM factor: 9/10.  It was truly delicious and I’m just so glad that I can be vegan and still have pot pie.  I might add a bit more salt next time (I like things saltier than most) and I think it would be delicious with some fresh dill.

Link to recipe: http://www.produceonparade.com/produce-on-parade/tofu-pot-pie-casserole

Is there a particular recipe from Produce on Parade you’d like me to try?  Let me know in the comments!

This recipe originally published on Produce On Parade.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Eat Rice, Have Faith in Women

What is vegan?  What does it mean to identify as vegan?  What is plant-based?  How do you get enough protein?  Haven’t humans always eaten meat?  Is it really wrong to eat an animal if it was raised humanely?  What about eggs?  Is it even possible to give up cheese!? What about holidays?  Do you have to eat salad every day?  What about eating out?  Who cares, anyway?

These are just a few of the questions I asked when I decided to become vegan.  These are a few of the questions everyone asks when they decide to become vegan.  Or if they meet a vegan, or hear about a vegan, or even think about vegans.  They all have answers, of course.  But the most important question of all is, “What about the food?”  I’ll be honest, I’m not that great of a cook.  I’ve almost taken fingers off chopping onions, and my idea of a fancy home cooked meal is spaghetti with sauce (from a jar).  But if you can’t cook and you decide to be vegan, you might starve to death!  I’ve been doing this for over a year now, and I’m happy to say I’ve gotten a bit better at making dinner.

This is a space to document all the fun foods I’m learning how to make.  I have lots of vegan cookbooks and will be following their recipes and writing reviews on how easy the recipe is to make and how yummy it is.  Sometimes I might talk about life, ethical vegan issues, and fun events/activities.

Vegan: a person who does not eat or use animal products.
Whimsy: playfully quaint or fanciful behavior or humor.

Eat food.  Not too much.  Mostly plants.
Eat rice, have faith in women.  This is my philosophy in life and food.

Eat Rice, Have Faith in Women