Cinco De Mayo Party

So we like tequila in my house.  Cinco De Mayo seemed like a great excuse get some friends together and have some festive edibles and beverages, and that we did.  We did more of a Tex-Mex theme so it was easier to stay away from the carbs.  We had a potential visit from our vegan friends so I had to make something them-compatible.  A few friends who aren’t fond of beans, and the list goes on.  So with all of that in mind I grabbed my 3 pot slow cooker and got to work.  (Just a warning, I am addicted to my crockpots and slow cookers.)

We adore chili in my house, and it is so easy to customize it so I went with that.  I made a Vegan Chili that was really nice, a heavy on the meat light on the beans chili, and a white bean turkey chili (because we had a friend who isn’t a fan of chicken).

I am going to make this blog just about the Vegan Chili.  I also found this chili to be awesome mixed 2:1 with the Heavy on the meat chili, which makes for a really nice way to have essentially 3 different chili’s that can please most people.

Vegan Chili With Soy Beans (This is one of the most simple recipes in the world)

15 oz can Black Soy Beans, with liquid

15 oz can White Soy Beans, with liquid

20 oz diced tomatoes with green chilies, with liquid

1/2 package taco seasoning (it tastes better if you make it yourself, use about 1 TBSP)

Optional:

1-2 cups corn kernels ( I love corn in chili but it raised the carb count so I tend to leave it out these days)

1 cup TVP (this is great to help soak up the broth if it has too much liquid for your liking)

Alternatively: This recipe is great in its higher carb variation.  Replace the Soy Beans (or in addition to) with 1 can each Chick Peas, Kidney Beans, Pinto Beans, and Black Beans.

Ready for the tricky part?  Put it all the stoneware for your slow cooker.  You may want to give it a quick stir.  Put the lid on, turn in on high if you want to eat it in 4 hours or so, turn it to low if you are thinking more like 8 hours.  That is it.

I like this topped with a little salsa verde, some cheese (go with vegan cheese if you are presenting this as a vegan chili)  and some crumbled tortilla chips.  This is not a spicy chili.  If you want it to have some kick, you can add some diced Serrano peppers, some jalapeño peppers or just a tablespoon or two extra of chili powder.

Pictures to come – This one didn’t last long enough for me to get any pictures of.  (None of them did actually so I will be making them all again this week.)

The heat Is On

So around here, things have been crazy busy.  It was a great week, filled with friends, new and old.  The best part was the pin party hosted at a local shop that I helped with.  There where make and take crafts, snacks, drinks, and tons of awesome folks.

It was a little chilly out, I want to say mid-50’s, and so the recipes that everyone loved were the ones that brought a little heat.  There were two that I made that fell under that category.  The Michelada’s, a new to me spicy beer and tomato cocktail, and Fire-Roasted Chili.

Now, I’m a chili fan in the extreme.  I am also deeply in love with my crock pot.  I think, one lead to the other, but I don’t know which started it all, but either way, you could very easily make this recipe on the stove or in a large dish baked in the oven if you so choose.  For me, chili never turns out the same twice, and I think that is why I love it.  I get bored easily with the same foods, and while I do love to cook, standing in the kitchen baby-sitting a pot on the stove, isn’t my kind of fun.  I am more of a fit-it-and-forget-it kind of a cook.  I got the inspiration for this recipe from Emily, a Pittsburgh blogger who has killer recipes and is a great lady all around.

Since I do the low-carb thing, and our hosts are vegan, it did limit some of the possibilities of the food we could do.  A good thing in my book, it helped to keep the party manageable.  Emily’s recipe called for kidney and garbanzo beans, two that I love but stay away from due to the carb content.  So I switched it up with white soy beans and black soy beans (These are the ones my local grocery store carries.  If you haven’t tried them, I highly recommend that you do.  They are awesome and I have never gotten them mushy no matter how long I cook them.)  I also left out the corn, though I do adore it in chili, it just has a bit too much natural sugar for me right now. Finally, in place of the veggie broth I added 2 cans of regular diced tomatoes with green chilies.  I knew I was going to mix it up the day before in order to make my prep work on the big day less stressful, and I do not know what it is about those tomatoes/chilies, but the always get hotter when stored in the fridge overnight, so just a warning, if you make this dish ahead the way I did, or plan on having leftovers, it will get hotter.

chili shots

The Fire-Roasted Chili recipe as I made it:

2 cans (15 oz) Fire Roasted Tomatoes, with liquid

1 can (15 oz) Black Soy Beans, with liquid

1 can (15 oz) White Soy Beans, with liquid

2 cans (10 oz) Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies, with liquid

1 Tbsp Chili Powder

1 Tbsp Oregano, dried

2 tsp Ground Cumin

1 tsp Ground Coriander

1/2 tsp Ground Cayenne

Salt and Pepper to taste

Round Tortilla Chips (optional)

As I was serving these in shot glasses to be more finger food friendly, I did pulse all of the tomatoes in the food processor 3-4 times just to get them in smaller pieces.  I them dumped everything in a crockpot including the liquids from all of the cans, gave it a quick stir, placed the lid on and set it to cook on low for 6 hours or so.  Recipe makes about 80 ounces, or 50 shot glass servings.

If serving in shot glasses, I recommend letting the chili cool a bit before ladling into glasses and top with a tortilla round.  Makes for a very cute presentation, and easy to eat while milling around talking with friends.

Tomorrow I will be posting the Michelada recipe we used for an interesting, refreshing yet spicy beer and tomato cocktail that was a big winner at the Pin Party.