When I first started this blog I asked my friends, because of course I started by sharing this with friends, what they would like to see. A dear friend I have known since 1996 requested a chili recipe. I honestly cringed. Every chili attempt I had made was mediocre to not great. Every recipe I explored had so many ingredients that I was uninterested. So I just didn’t do anything with that request, but kept it in the back of my mind.

I’m happy to say that I have cracked the code to easy and delicious chili. It fills my home with a smell that makes my mouth water. I place everything in my crockpot and come home at the end of the day for yummers!

What you will need:

1 and 1/2 cups dried beans, your favorite, or two cans of your favorite. I like to mix it up. Red beans, black beans, white beans, kidney beans, and garbanzo beans all work well.

1 4oz can diced green chili, Hatch is still my favorite

2 16 oz cans diced tomatoes

1 small onion, diced

1 small green bell pepper, diced

2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced, choose the amount based on how much you love garlic

2 to 3 tablespoons chili powder, based on how hot you want it 

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

If starting with dried beans, sort and rinse them, and set to soak the night before, at least 8 hours.

Place everything into the crockpot and add a can full of water. If ingredients are not yet covered with fluid, add a bit more water.

Turn on crockpot to low and let cook at least 8 hours. Before serving, check that the beans are fully cooked.

If cooking in a pot, simmer at least 30 minutes if using canned beans. Dried beans need to be cooked before cooking with chili on the stove.

Serve with your favorite toppings such as avocado, vegan sour cream, vegan cheese, or corn chips.



What To Do With Rainbow Chard

I’m sad I haven’t been able to post any new recipes recently. I have been cooking, just nothing new. Life has been keeping me happily busy. Then I got inspired at the farmers market, again.

Lots of people are unsure what to do with chard and can find it bitter. I think the leaves are incredibly beautiful and the stems stunning. I buy it every time it looks yummy.

This dish is very simple, as follows my entire approach to cooking. And not at all bitter. Just put everything in a pot and cook. What you will need:

One bunch of rainbow chard, cleaned and chopped into ribbons

One onion, diced

2 tbs garlic, minced

Polenta, one tube cut into bite-sized pieces

One can white beans, drained and rinsed

Pepper to taste

Chili powder, three shakes

1 tsp liquid aminos, more to taste

Smokey Parmesan cheese, shredded, or other flavorful vegan cheese, for topping

One pint baby yellow tomatoes, rinsed and sliced into halves

Put everything but the cheese and tomatoes in a large pan. I use a wok shaped pan to easily hold everything. Cook on medium to medium-high heat. Stir frequently until the onions are soft. The polenta will break up a bit and make the dish creamy. Turn off the heat and stir in the tomatoes. Serve with cheese sprinkled on top. Yummers!

Rice & Beans Stew

Get it? I took the rice and beans that I love to make and turned it into a stew. I had to give up my large crock pot when I moved to NYC. Luckily, I was just given a new one that is NYC apartment sized, four quarts. This means that the recipe will fit standard sized crock pots. What you will need:

10 oz frozen diced butternut squash

1 onion diced

1 can navy beans, drained

28 oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes

1 cup brown rice

1 cup coarsely chopped, stems removed, kale

1 not-chick’n bouillon cube

4 cups water

Vegan sour cream (optional)

Avocado (optional)

Place everything but the sour cream and avocado in a crock pot. Cook on low for eight hours. Ladle into bowls and top with avocado slices and a scoop of sour cream. Yummers!

Soyrizo and Black Bean Stew


This made my entire home smell yummy. I have a giant crock pot, so please half the ingredients if using a normal sized crock pot. What you will need:
1 package soyrizo
4 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 bunch kale, stems removed and torn into bite-sized pieces
2 not-chicken bouillon cubes
1 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp avocado oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
6 cups water
Fresh avocado
Tortilla chips

Sauté onion, bell pepper, and garlic in avocado oil until soft. Place everything but fresh avocado and tortilla chips in crock pot. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Serve with fresh avocado garnish and tortilla chips. Yummers!!

My Frito Pie

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I’m from Texas and grew up eating Frito Pie. The one I make today is healthier, but it remains an easy and crowd pleasing dish. What you will need:

Bag of Fritos, preferably the smaller sized Fritos, but any will do

1 can red beans, drained and rinsed

1 jar salsa

1 can black olives, olives drained and sliced into circles

Butter lettuce, torn into bite size pieces

2 tomatoes, seeds removed and diced

Vegan sour cream

Faux taco meat, I used a gluten-free mix that will get a review on Thursday

In a skillet, prepare faux taco meat according to package directions. Add red beans and a cup of salsa. Cook until warmed through. Layer plates with Fritos, faux taco meat mix, additional salsa if desired, lettuce, sour cream, tomatoes, and olives. Dig in. Yummers!

Piles of Quinoa

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I wan’t going to call this a recipe, but it looked so yummy I thought others might be interested.

I was trying to make balanced and filling lunches for work when I decided to pile a bunch of things together. It turned out fantastic. One batch made six different frozen lunches for work. What you will need:

3 sweet potatoes

2 bunches of kale, stems removed and torn into smaller pieces

1 cup red quinoa

1 can back beans

1 can corn

1 vegetable bouillon cube, no salt added

Cook quinoa according to package directions with the bouillon cube in the water. Steam kale to desired crispiness. Wash sweet potatoes and stab each one in multiple places with a fork. Place is a microwave safe dish with a lid and microwave for 10 minutes. Let cool and mash with a potato masher. Drain and rinse the back beans and place in a large bowl. Drain corn and add to bowl. Stir in the quinoa.

In six separate dishes, layer the kale, sweet potato, and quinoa mix. Cover a freeze each dish separately. When ready to eat, let defrost a few hours or run the bottom side of the container under water until to can easily slide out. It thawed, microwave for 2 minutes. If frozen, microwave for 5 minutes and check if ready. If needing more time, try another 2 minutes. Yummers!

Black Bean Soup

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A friend gave me a bunch of fresh spices from her garden and I have been trying to increase my protein intake. So, I decided to make a giant pot of black bean soup. It’s so yummy!

I made this in my crockpot, so it’s very easy. If you have a normal sized crockpot, make sure to half this recipe. What you will need:

6 cups black beans, sorted, rinsed, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed again

1 large onion, diced

2 cups diced mushrooms

3 cubes no salt added bouillon 

1/2 cup fresh chives, chopped

1 TBS fresh oregano

2 TBS crushed garlic

2 tsp red chili powder

1 and 1/2 tsp cumin

8 cups water

Sea salt to taste

Vegan sour cream (optional)

Avocado, sliced (optional)

Place everything but the salt, sour cream, and avocado in the crockpot. Cook on high for an hour and then low at least 7 hours. Taste and add salt if desired. Garnish with avocado slices and vegan sour cream. Yummers!


Hot Potatoes and Cabbage

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The CSA gave us a beautiful purple cabbage and some potatoes. They made this yummy dish. What you will need:

4 potatoes, the size of your fist, cleaned and diced

1 onion, diced

1 TBS minced garlic

1 tsp avocado oil

1 small head of purple cabbage, center removed and diced

1 4oz can diced green chilies, I always enjoy Hatch chilies

1 can red beans, drained and rinsed

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Saute the potatoes, garlic, and onions in avocado oil on medium high for five minutes. Add the cabbage and cover the pan. Stir regularly until everything is cooked, at least another 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in all other ingredients. Yummers!

Spinach And Alfredo Pasta

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I had this dish in a cooking class last year, but forgot to take a picture and only made it again recently. Our farmers market is open again and I am loving all the fresh produce.

This dish is modeled after something I used to make before being vegan. The dish is more healthy now and, IMHO, more delicious. What you will need:

One batch of my Alfredo sauce with a bunch of fresh basil added to the blend, about 1/4 of a cup

1 Package spinach pasta (4 cups cooked)

2 good sized tomatoes, heritage if you can find them, diced

1 can white beans (Great Northern or White Kidney), rinsed

Cook pasta according to package directions. In a large bowl, combine pasta, beans, Alfredo and tomatoes. Gently mix. Serve hot.

Can sprinkle with Parma if desired.

Wonderful fresh or as leftovers. Yummers!