Happiest of New Years!
I hope 2016 brings you great health, much love and joy, and a little adventure. I feel we should never stop seeing and experiencing new things, nor should we ever cease to be amazed by all the wonderment in this world, don’t you agree?
In case you noticed, I took a little hiatus… a little time to focus on my other work, and most importantly, focus on my family. I find that additional attention and caring always pays back in tens if not hundreds. Sometimes I need to remind myself that my children will not stay little and young, and that what I say to them and do with them now is what matters most. And just like people constantly tell other parents who have babies or toddlers, children do grow unbelievably quickly, and every day is a treasure, a chance to build a memory that will last a lifetime.
I hope your holiday was cheerful and warm. We spent ours close to home, making two short trips to the snow just before and after Christmas. Last year we skied in T-shirts, but this year mandated we buy extra protection so that not one millimeter of skin was exposed to the freezing temperatures, fierce winds and blowing snow. I will share some great winter skin savers in the next couple weeks along with some recipes for nourishing, warming food, which is what I crave most during these cold–in our case, wet, months.
These are two of my favorite chili and cornbread recipes, both of which I’ve made vegan as well as with animal products. I’ve included notes about how to alter each so you can easily adapt the recipe to your dietary preferences.
The addition of cocoa powder and chipotle peppers makes the chili recipe extra delicious. And I love that I can cook a big pot made mild enough for all ages, and easily add in the chipotle peppers at the very end for those that like the extra kick. The turkey chili recipe (with very small adaptations) is from Cookin’Canuck.
Ingredients (serves 8)
1 tbsp avocado oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 lb ground turkey meat*
1/4 cup chili powder
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp coconut sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 14 oz can whole tomatoes (with juices)
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 chipotle pepper in adobo, chopped
2 tsp adobo sauce (from chipotle pepper can)
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth*
1 15oz can black beans, drained and well-rinsed
1 15oz can small white beans, drained and well-rinsed
sour cream, grated cheese and chopped fresh cilantro, optional as garnish
*You can easily make this recipe vegan by substituting Beyond Meat Beefy Crumble for the turkey and by using vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth.
Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add onions and saute until tender and slightly translucent, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional 3 minutes.
Add cumin and oregano. Stir for an additional 30 seconds.
Increase heat to medium-high. Add ground turkey, breaking it up into small pieces using a wooden spoon. Make sure the turkey is cooked through.
Add chili powder, bay leaves, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon. Add whole tomatoes, including juices. Break up the tomatoes using a wooden spoon.
Mix in tomato paste and chicken broth. Note: if you want to serve the chili to children or anyone who might be sensitive to too much spice, wait until the end to add in the chipotle peppers and adobe sauce, or split your chili into two pans at this time so you can add the “heat” to one pot while keeping the other mild.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Add beans and simmer an additional 10-20 minutes.
Serve hot, and garnish if you like.
Now for the cornbread! I love this recipe because it’s rich, moist and full of texture. It’s heavily adapted from a recipe a friend gave me a year ago, and I like that it can be made vegetarian or vegan and is gluten-free.
3/4 cup butter, softened or 3/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
1/2 cup evaporated cane juice
4 eggs or equivalent of Ener-G Egg Replacer
2 tbsp milk or milk substitute
1 tbsp honey
1/2 cup mild green chilies
1 1/2 cup cream-style corn
1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal, medium grind
2 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 325F.
Grease and flour a 9-inch square baking pan.
Mix dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
In a large bowl, cream butter or oil and sugar using an electric mixer or large whisk. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each or if using, beat in egg substitute. Beat in milk and honey. Beat in cream-style corn and chilies. Fold in dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Serve warm with butter and a drizzle of honey if you like.