Chili, Crock Pot Style

    One of my favorite things to experience is coming home from a long day of whatever and opening the door to a wave of wonderful aromas rushing over me.  I appreciate it more during the winter months, but it’s welcome anytime.  I like using the crock pot because you throw everything into it in the morning, do nothing with it all day and voila!  A dish anyone would think you slaved all day over.  You can adjust the seasonings to your own preference as I don’t always use measuring spoons when I add spices.  I like making Chili because you can have so many variations of it depending on your mood or your supplies.  In my pre-vegan life I had the opportunity to attend a chili cook off in Poultney, Vermont.  It was so much fun! For a small fee you were given a little cup and a plastic spoon and you went to the different stands set up on Main Street, tried their samples and judged their chili.  I can’t remember if all the stands were representative of local businesses only or businesses and private citizens, but each stand had their own version of chili.  When we first started I thought, ‘Gee, this cup doesn’t hold much. I’m still going to be hungry when we’re done’, but I was sorely mistaken.  They had meatless chili, venison chili, smoked chili, tongue melting chili, and more.  I like hot chili but after that tongue melting chili, I was useless.  I’ve never forgotten that day and I try to be creative with my chili. I hope you enjoy this version and feel free to experiment with your own choice of ingredients.

Chili: Crock Pot Style

2 cans beans, dark kidney, light kidney, or your choice                                    

1 onion, lge, chopped                                      1 green pepper, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped                                    3 cloves garlic, minced

1 pkg mushrooms, chopped                          1 28 oz can tomatoes, diced, or crushed                                                                   1 14.5 can tomatoes, diced or crushed                                                                   2 tablespoons chili powder

1/2 tsp cumin                                                        1/2 tsp black pepper

olive oil                             1/4 tsp red pepper, powdered or crushed (optional)

1/2 pkg Boca Crumbles, (optional)

Wipe a thin layer of olive oil on bottom and part way up the sides of the crock pot.  Layer ingredients starting with some tomatoes, then beans, then veggies, then spices, and repeat until everything is used up, leaving about 1 inch head space for bubbling.  Add water until just below food level.  Veggie broth can be used if you want. Cook for 4 hours on high or 6-10 hours on low. 

Enjoy with some nice warm corn bread.


Farmer’s Market Booty!

Here in Delta, PA, the Farmer’s Market starts up in May and ends in October. It’s every Saturday morning, 9-1, and you can find us there every weekend.  I’m like a kid in a candy store! There are maybe 5 or 6 Amish families who sell their produce and plants, and then there are a few other entrepreneurs who sell their handmade, homemade or home grown goods.  We pretty much have a routine. First we go to a stand where a young couple sells their veggies and we get washed, cut and bagged spinach, washed, cut and bagged lettuce, green onions, beets, strawberries, radishes and rhubarb.  Later in the season they’ll have other veggies.  We also go to an older couple and get home made potato chips (small baggies) and sugar snap peas. Sometimes I will get a few plants at another stand. Plants are one of my weaknesses. I might not need them or even have room for them, but like men who have to get one more tool, or women who love shoes, I have to stop and get something. 

Finally, we stop and get 2 pretzels with no butter. We are usually lucky in that there always seems to be a pan of pretzels just about to come out of the oven, so we can get them before they get buttered.  We sit at one of the picnic tables and enjoy them and just being outside.  It’s a nice sense of community. It’s not crowded, at least when we get there it’s not. It’s a small scale event and I like it like that.

Anyway, Saturday, when we got home, I put our veggies on the counter and looked at them thinking, ‘Now, what will I make first?’  And I thought, gee, this would be a good topic for discussion.  So, here’s my pic, and here’s what I came up with.

The Sugar Snap Peas get sautéed with veggie broth, soy sauce, beans and minced garlic, and served over brown rice.

The lettuce, radishes and green onions will go in a monster salad.


 The zucchini will be sautéed with sweet onions, garlic, and a touch of olive oil. 


The beets will be roasted with red or white new potatoes, rosemary, black pepper, olive oil and garlic. 


Of course we won’t have it all at once but I like to think of their purposes as soon as I get them so nothing withers away in the fridge.  (Yes, I have to admit there are times when things don’t always make it to the table, but I am improving.)


Baked Fries

Good Morning all.  One of our goals is to eat healthier and you might think,  ‘How much healthier can you get than being vegan?’ Well, you can over do the olive oil and technically, you can fry with vegetable shortening, even though shortening has a few multi-syllable ingredients in it, but we try to avoid using these too often. 

Since we both love French fries, I decided to see how good baked fries would be.  Now, we treat ourselves to these potatoes a couple of times a month.  We share them with people who stop by to visit whenever I make them, and they love them. 

Baked Fries

8 potatoes, cut into fry wedges                         1 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp black pepper                                              1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp garlic powder                                                  1 tsp onion powder

ground red pepper, to taste (optional)           olive oil

Preheat oven to 400′.  In a medium plastic bag, put all spices in.  Shake to mix;  add potato wedges and shake to coat.  I use the bottom of a broiler pan, cover it with foil and apply a thin layer of olive oil.  Put the wedges on the foil and spread evenly.  Place in oven and bake for 45 min to an hour or until golden and crispy. 

If children are here for dinner, I go light on the spices, otherwise for us, the hotter the better.

Have a great weekend!

By veganforthemeateater