For what it's worth, I've been vegetarian (and mostly vegan) since September 2nd. (I can scarcely believe it, but it's true.) My last carnivorous meal was chicken picatta, prepared by my sister. Today marks day twenty-five, though it somehow feels longer.
Being completely vegan has proven to be a challenge for this broad. But I really adore the way I feel sans dairy, and jeans that haven't fit me in years are suddenly sliding on without a struggle. I wont lie; this is a bit of a thrill.
Oh, there have been a few stumbles: spanikopita was my first queso downfall, though entirely accidental. The eggplant parmesan I encountered last week, however, was purely premeditated. As in, I made it. (In my defense, I did go to three different stores in search of a local mozzarella.)
But I've eaten no meat. None! Zilch! Nada!
Initially, the thing that frightened me most about this endeavor was my deep love for all things food related: The Food Network, foodie magazines, my cookbook collection, my nightly trips to Trader Joe's, the moments spent puttering around my minuscule kitchen...
I'm the type of person who starts thinking about dinner before 10 am. And at first, I really didn't know what to cook. Everything vegetarian felt like such a side dish. But here's something tasty, meatless, and very much an entree. I found this recipe in my Ellie Krieger cookbook and simply omitted the beef and added some garlic. Vegetarian Chili!
1 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup thinly diced carrots
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels (Trader Joe's fire roasted corn works nicely)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 of a chipotle chili in adobo sauce, seeded and minced, plus 1 spoonful of the adobo sauce
1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes, with their juices
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 cups water
salt, freshly ground black pepper to taste
WHAT TO DO:
Add the cumin and coriander and cook, stirring, for one minute. Stir in the tomatoes, water, chipotle and adobo sauce, and oregano and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, partially covered, stirring from time to time, for 20-30 minutes.
Notes: If the chili seems too dry towards the end, add a little water. If you like your chili a little smokier, add the other half of the pepper and another spoonful of adobo sauce.
Hubby and I ate our chili with cornbread (NOT vegan, I realize, but it was made with whole grains, and I slathered it with vegan butter.) Very tasty! I didn't miss the meat at all!