This weekend, I will be hosting the Carnival of the Recipes. Surprised? Actually, food is a passion of mine, one that I don’t often blog about but still follow all the time. In fact, I’m in the middle of The Ominivore’s Dilemma and it’s blowing my mind!
The theme of my upcoming edition will be Meatless Recipes for two important reasons. The first is that, considering the overarching message of 10,000 Birds, it should be unambiguous that when I say I love birds, I’m not talking about dinner. Promoting animal conservation and consumption at the same time requires a lot more nuance than I can muster.
My second reason for focusing on meatless recipes is that I eat vegetarian as often as possible. Why I’ve made that decision is a topic for another day, or more likely many other days. But my point is that preparing traditional meals without meat can be extremely difficult for those of us raised on steak and potatoes. I’ve devoted countless hours of culinary experimentation to trying to find ways to satisfy various food cravings with a minimum of attendant bloodshed. With hope, my edition will aggregate enough quality veggie recipes to keep us all fat and happy for months. I’ll kick things off this week with my own humble offering. After years of painstaking experimentation, I’m ready to share my finest culinary achievement, a simple yet sumptuous vegetarian chili:
Mike’s Manly Veggie Chili
1 yellow or sweet onion, 1-inch dice
1 leek, sliced lengthwise then chopped
2 bell peppers (red, orange, and/or yellow) seeded, 1-inch dice
2-3 jalapeno peppers seeded, small dice
2 cans stewed tomatoes
1 can red kidney beans
1 can great northern beans
1 package veggie crumbles (I recommend Smart Ground)
1 tbs olive oil
Lots of chili powder, 2 bay leaves, salt, cayenne pepper
1. Saute the vegetables in olive oil over medium heat in a large pot.
2. When vegetables are soft, add stewed tomatoes, bay leaves, and chili powder. Chili powder is what separates chili from meat sauce, so don’t be shy. This is also a good time to experiment with a pinch of cinnamon, a dash of turmeric, or a shot of tequila. Bring to boil, then lower to simmer.
3. After 45-60 minutes, add beans.
4. After 15 minutes more, add crumbles and salt to taste. Add additional cayenne if you like it hot.
5. After 10 minutes more, serve with baked potatoes or tortilla chips and cheese. Serves 8-10.
This dish responds well to experimentation, as long as sufficient chili powder is added. In addition, it scales extremely well; just double the ingredients for a large group. Perceptive readers will note that there’s nothing inherently masculine about this recipe. It’s just that, in my experience, men need more convincing to embrace a meatless dish where a meaty alternative exists. As if ingesting factory-farmed livestock accrued honor to anyone…
Now I’d like to invite everyone to post their favorite meatless recipe this week and send me a link by Friday for my 4/15 presentation of the Carnival of the Recipes. A little food blogging is good for the soul.
Ok, I don’t have enough time in the day to read all of the bird blogs and now I’m going to start reading food blogs. I love to cook. Beth and I cook together all the time and watch the Food Network way more than we should. We like both veggies and meat products though. I’ll see if I can dig up a good, tried-and-true, pro-veggie recipe.
What the heck is a Veggie Crumble? Is it a ground beef substitute?
Patrick, I should have clarified that veggie crumbles is a generic term for ground beef substitute or textured vegetable protein (TVP.) I’m looking forward to seeing what recipe you come up with!
Soup has a lot of possibilities for meatless recipes if you vary the vegetables involved. I never follow any particular recipe for soup, though, so I am not sure I could post one.
Having just initiated monthly potlucks that include a vegetarian on the guest list, I’m brushing up on my no-meat recipes. During college, I was an economic vegetarian, so it’s not that foreign of a concept (c:
Mike, any chance you can point me toward blogs with slow-cooker recipes? I’ve joined the Crock Pot cult.
A monthly potluck sounds like a lot of fun, Amy, assuming your dining companions know how to cook. Since we don’t have a crock pot (yet) I’ve been steering clear of recipes that only serve to taunt me, but I’ve asked my brother-in-law to post his amazing vegetarian cassoulet recipe.
This is a fun idea. Question: how meatless can the recipes be? Is this vegetarian or vegan? I have a recipe that uses eggs, cheese, and butter.
Vegetarian is great, Sharon. Though there are a lot of great vegan dishes, cooking without dairy is tough!
I love chili and I love trying new chili recipes. I’m not a vegetarian, but I love vegetables and can’t wait to try this recipe.