Vegan Chili That is Amazing – Pressure Cooker or Instapot

bowl of chili with vegan sour cream and pickled jalapeño slice

I got this recipe from my mother, who was not a vegan or vegetarian, but was an excellent cook. Her version contained some beef. I’ve adapted it over the years to suit my veggie tastes. It’s very popular in my house and some version is made at least every couple of weeks. This week, VeganAsanaSon4 requested it so his girlfriend could try it, so it was our anniversary dinner. HA!

We typically have it the first day as chili and then the leftovers show up as nachos, burritos, and taco salad.

Ingredients

2 lbs pinto, kidney, black beans or a mix (use canned if you prefer but cooking them from dry makes better chili)
1-2 medium onions diced
4 stalks celery sliced thin
2 cups carrots shredded or chopped (sometimes I leave this out)
1 large can crushed tomato
2 large cans diced tomato drained
4-6 cups veg broth
2-3 jalapenos diced or sliced
3 T olive oil
6 T cumin
6 T cocoa powder
3 T smooth peanut butter
sea salt
pepper

Process

Sort and rinse beans and dice veggies. Put everything except the peanut butter and cocoa in your pressure cooker, using only 4 cups of broth to start. Seal and increase to high pressure, cooking for 25-30 minutes. Turn off heat and allow pressure to come back down. Unseal, add cocoa powder and taste test for seasoning. You may need to add more of the veggie broth. At that point, you continue to cook on a low simmer until everything is at the level you enjoy. More cooking will break down the texture of the beans and thicken the soup into a more creamy consistency – which some people like.  Less cooking will result in a chunkier chili.  When you are close to finished (within an hour of completion), add the peanut butter and stir in.

Each time you make this, it comes out differently based on how much of each thing you add, but it accommodates a lot of variation.  Increase the PB & C for a richer taste.  Add more diced tomato for a chunkier chili.  Put in extra veggies (bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplant are excellent, and squash adds a different flavor) for a little veggie boost. If you don’t have any fresh jalapenos in the house, this can be done with jarred peppers or chili powder.  You can even add browned beef, chicken, or pork (blarf) or tofu (yay) if you want even more protein than the beans provide.

Serve with sour cream and grated cheese (vegan or non) and crackers.  This and a side salad makes a full and delicious high fiber meal!

National Coffee Day – Vegan Version

A variety of medical studies have found that coffee actually has some impressive health benefits. That’s good news for those of us who are going to drink it either way. Today, on National Coffee Day, I thought I would devote a hot minute to a discussion of coffee and, in particular, seasonal vegan coffee beverages.

Now, it is important to note that some of the benefits of coffee on your health disappear if you overindulge, or if your coffee is frequently/always full of fat and sugar. Taking the animal fat out of the equation is helpful, but sugar is still something to keep an eye on. Still, sometimes, you might want coffee that feels a little more like a dessert. And at this time of year, that brings to mind the ever popular PSL (pumpkin spice latte).

If you are in the U.K. and some other locations, you can get the vegan version of the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks this year. In the U.S. that isn’t available yet, but there is no shortage of yummy seasonal drinks! Here are a few examples:

Starbucks
Salted Caramel Mocha Latte – Substitute mocha sauce for caramel sauce, skip the whip, and ask for non-dairy milk
Cinnamon Dolce Latte – Ask for non-dairy milk and skip the sprinkled topping and the whipped cream

Peet’s
Pumpkin Latte – Can be made all vegan, including the whipped cream! What? Truth
Vanilla Cardamom Lattee – Just ask for non-dairy milk (and/or whip) Doesn’t that sound amazing?

Your Local Coffee Shop
Frequently, smaller coffee shops can do some serious seasonal magic, so check in with your local shop and see what they have going on. I bet they can whip you up something seriously amazing. The one nearest me (Groovegound Coffeebar) can make a vegan Pumpkin Spice latte with non-dairy milk and pumpkin spice syrup and a gingerbread latte, along with other seasonally interesting options!

If a PSL is what you really want, and you can’t find a place near you that can make one, Califa, Silk, and Almond Dream all have Pumpkin Spice non-dairy creamers to add to your own coffee or espresso. Throw on a little pumpkin spice (McCormick, Frontier, and other brands make them) and you are ready to go!

Eating Well When You Aren’t Well

 

This week, this happened.

Yes, you guessed it. My foot was mauled by an angry bear*, resulting in severe injuries to the 4th and 5th metatarsal bones of the foot. Side note: I always thought metatarsals were toes, but they are foot bones and toes are phalanges!

While the healing plan is still not 100% formulated, it’s clear that I will be on one hoof for at least 2 months and likely longer.

The first couple of days, the pain was making me nauseated, so I really did not care about food. Then I had a day of eating whatever (i.e. pizza). Now I’m starting to think about how to best care for myself while I heal and am less able to get around.

I have a subscription to Splendid Spoon (review to come), so I think that will help me some, as those foods can be eaten cold or just microwaved. I’ll only need to figure out how to move hot soup from the kitchen to the main room in the little condo I inhabit during the week, as I have no kitchen seating. I tend to be a 2 meal a day person, with one of those being something small eaten at the office, so that can stay oatmeal, maybe with a little protein powder tossed in, since the splendid spoon meals are not high in protein. Since salads tend to be a multi-part lengthy process the way that I like them, I suppose that might be a little less common for a while.

I don’t really know if I should increase my calcium even more to support bone growth, but it’s something to investigate!

What I will have to fight is the urge to just eat crap as a way to assuage my irritation/pain because “I deserve it.”

I’ll also have to figure out how to get exercise besides what I am getting from moving around on crutches.

How do you manage eating well when you aren’t feeling like yourself for an extended period?

*Not really, but this seems much more interesting than the real story that I walked off a set of steps into the air and came down severely twisting my foot and breaking it.