Wednesday, October 19, 2011

not quite a prius

When I said I've been cooking a lot since moving in, I wasn't kidding.  Most of that cooking occurred over the weekend, and I am still catching up in posting! It's nice to be back to cooking healthy lunches for work, and this week's lunch choice was a definite winner.

I've been craving some fall comfort food, even though the weather has not been quite as cool as I'd like. I debated chili's of all kinds, beef stew, and soup and in the end settle don developing my own vegetarian chili- or so I thought. Turns out the veggies in Trader Joe's looked too good and I came home with too many veggies (not that that is even possible) and not enough beans for a veggie chili. The result is a soup-stew-chili hybrid that is nonetheless quite delicious. 

Veggie Chili-Stew 
(serves 6-8)

1 zucchini 
1 red bell pepper (I used a few mini bell peppers) 
1 medium zucchini
1 yellow onion 
3 carrots (peeled) 
3 celery stalks 
2 Russet potatoes 
1 container Cremini mushrooms
1/2 cup frozen corn
15 oz can red kidney beans (rinsed)
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 TBSP chili powder 
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 
1 -2 teaspoons smoked paprika 
1 bay leaf 
salt + pepper 
1/4 cup EVOO

  1. Chop all vegetables (except corn). Make everything about the same size; make sure the potatoes are on the small side so that they will cook through.
  2. Heat stock pot and add EVOO to hot pan. Saute onions for 1 minute. Add potatoes, carrot, and celery. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes or until carrots are beginning to soften.  Stir frequently with a wooden spoon.

  3. Add peppers and mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes. Add zucchini and cook another 3 minutes. Season with more salt and pepper. Stir frequently throughout to avoid sticking.
  4. Add crushed tomatoes, beans,  and 1/2 cup of water or vegetable stock. Add frozen corn, chili powder, cayenne, smoked paprika, and bay leaf. If the mixture looks too thick, add more water or stock. 
  5. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender. Taste after 30 mints and season with salt, pepper and other spices as needed. Remove bay leaf.
  6. Serve hot. Suggested toppings: avocado, sour cream, croutons, cheddar cheese, chopped tomatoes.
Note: Flavors develop a lot overnight. This is one of those recipes that tasted OK in the pot, but great when reheated after two days in the fridge. I froze about half of the recipe for lunch another week because it made so much. 

I'm still adjusting to the luxury of time that my new place gives me... I should work out every day or close to it because I now have the time to do it, but laying on my very own couch is just so much more tempting  some days. Today the rain made it that much more tempting, but I did sign up for a 15K in December (YIKES) which means this shoe lazy thing is going to have to end SOON. I really need to find a training plan... then again, we all know how I did with a training schedule for the triathlon. 

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