A few interjections must be made, and will be done so at this time.
1) I love cooking. I cook a lot. I make meals that make grown men drool. It’s what the women in my family do; we are blessed with natural ability and a developed palate. I made a roast over winter break that almost made my father hold me hostage from going back to college. The reason I never blog about “real” food is because I do love cooking, and I rarely have written recipes. I cook by taste. I throw this in throw that in and if doesn’t taste perfect I add a little more of this or that. Even when I bake I have to stop and think about how much of what I put in, so that I can share it with you all later.
2) I’m not a vegetarian, at all. Once at Sam’s Club bought a case of Boca Burgers because they are so low in calories and when I diet I’ll eat dirt if it fills me up without being caloric. Anyway, with a case of Boca Burgers in my cart I instantly ran and bought a 3 lb slab of bacon because I didn’t want people to think I was a vegetarian… as if that was a bad thing. “That girl only has Boca Burgers in her cart, she must be a murderer!” But seriously, I’m a carnivore, and have been my whole life. Truthfully I never realized steak was considered a treat to some people until I was like 13 because we ate it almost nightly growing up. As a kid I use to be like “ugh, steak again??” and demand a bologna sandwich or frozen pizza again. My father could eat steak 3 times a day, and probably has.
3) I’m dieting, and truthfully I always feel ashamed when I talk about dieting. I’ve lost a lot of weight, close to 40 lbs. Anyone who has lost weight knows it takes a while for the mind to catch up with the new pants size (which may I add I’m wearing the smallest pants size I’ve ever wore), and truthfully I’m awesome at dieting and feel like I can help others diet too. I’m counting calories and eating great. I will tell you my secret to dieting. Get as full as you do on Thanksgiving, everyday but on awesome awesome food. (example: I eat a sandwich FULL of veggies, so full I can barely put my mouth around it, with healthy lunchmeat and good cheese, an apple, a yogurt cup, and a serving of baked cheetos. I am always full halfway through my lunch but press on. It’s amazing how you feel when you are THAT full on such great foods.) Eat real food and eat lots of it.
But anyway, back to the actual point of this entry. I saw a bowl of soup on foodgawker that looked delicious so I clicked on it, and it turns out it was vegetarian chili. I love chili. I love eating healthy so I thought, why the hell not.
This is hearty, delicious, spicy, and… awesome. I wouldn’t call it soup and I wouldn’t call it chili. If soup and chili had a love child, it would be this recipe. Here are the ingredients as listed by Pickycook, and I’ll add my helpful (or snide) comments.
-1 package “meat crumbles” (I know, I know)
-1 onion, chopped (I used a sweet yellow onion)
-1 pepper, chopped (I used an orange bell pepper)
-5 cloves of garlic, minced
-1 large bottle of V8, hot & spicy variation
-28 oz can (or 2 14 oz cans, whatever) fire roasted tomatoes, diced
-2 Tablespoons of chili seasoning (That is what the recipe called for, but I don’t even know what that is. Put what you normally put in chili, I used a random mixture of cumin, cayenne pepper, hot chili powder, oregano, garlic salt, a few dashes of "chipotle tabasco sauce" adds smokiness, dried chives, and coarse ground black pepper.)
-1 Teaspoon Chili Powder (I used hot)
-1 bay leaf
-kosher salt and black pepper to taste
-1 lb macaroni cooked 2 minutes less tah instructions (I used a box of Healthy Harvest 7 grain fusilli)
-1 can black beans, rinsed (I used Bush’s seasoned Black beans)
-I also put some Jalapeño rings (the ones you put on nachos that come from the jar) and Green onions (because I put green onions on everything) and I topped it with Sargento’s Reduced fat Mexican Shredded Cheese blend
Get started: In a large pot get a pot of water boiling and throw in some kosher salt. When the water has reached a rapid boil add in your pasta. Remember you will want it a little “under done” as it will cook a bit in the pot later.
In another large pot, coat the bottom with olive oil and sauté the chopped onion and pepper until tender. Add the garlic and let it all do it’s business for a few minutes. Add the dried spices and bay leaf. Stir to combine. Pour the crushed tomatoes and the V8 into the pot. Let it come to a boil, and then reduce the temperature to a simmer for around 15 mins. Check your seasonings, does it taste good? Does it need something? Let your tongue tell you what’s up!
Okay, brace yourself and add the crumbles and black beans and let it all cook for another 5 mins or so. Then dump in your pasta and let it cook for like 2 more mins. Don’t forget to remove the bay leaf!!
Bowl it up and add some shredded cheese and green onions on top!