I’m not usually gossip gaga even when celebs go vegan but it does bring some much-needed positive press to the cruelty-free lifestyle. Without further ado, Ne-yo has gone vegan for 2013 as a resolution to be healthier. I really shouldn’t be this excited, but I am. I totally support celebrities in making public attempts to commit to a huge lifestyle change, as the reality is, it can change unfair stereotypes. The way the media/producers of music videos tend to swing hip hop artists is to focus on the luxury aspect of their lives, which unfortunately tends to involve fur, leather, exotic pets; often promoting the objectification of women and animals thereby marketing them as a disposable commodity. Ne-yo if you are listening, I am really proud of you, I know you will find being vegan isn’t difficult and you feel better and, if possible, look better as well. Not to mention all the cute vegan ladies and gents who will think you are even more adorable.
Continuing on the gossip trend, another favorite celeb of mine Kaley Cuoco, who is both a vegetarian, a dog fanatic (and is a huge proponent of rescuing dogs, having three rescued pitbulls herself) was recently on the Ellen Degeneres show. She shared an adorable video of her youngest pit who loves the hot tub and was giving some much-needed good press to one of my favorite breeds. You can watch the video on YouTube here. After watching that, I could totally see one of my dogs being a lover of a hot tub as well as I now want the Compawssion book, if you do too it seems to be the best price directly off their website.
If you are now rolling your eyes at me because I went all gossip girl I’m sorry and I promise all roads on this blog tend to lead to food. January has been one cold month this year and all I can think about is food to warm me up. Soups and chilies and fresh bread out of the oven and steaming pasta out of the pot. I dream of hot chocolate and fancy teas, warm oatmeal and cream of wheat that stick to your ribs, maybe even some cornbread thrown in there for good measure.
Chili is my favorite clean out the fridge and pantry dish. You can add pretty much anything you have on hand, switch the white beans for black beans and add corn, don’t like mushrooms? Add olives or sun-dried tomatoes. Switch out the sauces and spices you like, add barley or couscous if you don’t have quinoa the list goes on and on.
I have to be honest, this chili recipe doesn’t stray far from my others on my site but it does include quinoa which makes this version soy and gluten-free while still being protein, and fibre rich. This chili is really filling and vegan so it would be a great option to serve for a group of people who may have food allergies or a restrictive diet. Heads up Ne-yo this one is for you!
White Bean and Quinoa Chili
serves 6-8 people
- 2-3 tbs olive oil
- 1 pint white mushrooms, cleaned and diced
- 1 small red pepper and orange pepper, seeded and diced
- 2 jalepenos (seeds removed for less heat) and minced
- 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 can of no-salt added diced tomatoes
- 2-3 tsp of tlalelolco spice blend or substitute it for chili powder plus extra ground chipotle powder
- 1/2 – 1 tsp of red chili flakes
- 1 tsp chipotle powder
- 1 tsp garlic salt or powder
- 1 can of white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups cooked quinoa, cooked according to package directions
- 1 bottle of your favorite pasta sauce (I chose Catelli Roasted Mushroom and Garlic)
- 1/2 cup – 1 cup of water
- 1+1/2 tsp dark cocoa powder
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Prepare all the veggies, by washing, coring and stemming and cutting into similarly sized bite sized pieces. Rinse and drain the beans.
In a large stock pot heat olive oil over medium. Stir fry the onions for about 2-3 minutes, add in mushrooms and peppers and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes until they start to get soft. Season with Italian seasoning, chili flakes, salt and pepper.
Next add in the minced garlic, jalepenos and the whole can of diced no-salt tomatoes and cook for about 1-2 minutes more. The pasta sauce is up next, stir well and add the remaining spices; cumin, chipotle powder, tlalelolco spice blend and garlic salt/powder.
Turn the heat down to medium low and let simmer for about 20-30 minutes. Add beans and quinoa and adjust the amount of water and seasoning to your liking. Stir in the cocoa powder, this adds depth of color and blends well with the spices. Let cook for an additional 10 minutes before serving.
This chili, like all other chilis before it, is better the next day. Serve alone or with cornbread, sliced avocado, daiya or shredded cheese.