5 Nights of Vegan Dinners – Night 5

This is an extremely delayed night 5 post (I think it’s been a few weeks since night 4?) but honestly, I did make this for the fifth night – it was not what I had planned, but it is an awesome winter vegan dinner and it was very fitting for a Friday after work when I had zero energy. I needed to go on autopilot for dinner which for me usually means – Vegan Chili.

My mom made this for us all the time when I was younger. She called it vegetarian chili, but turns out it’s also vegan. It’s also the most delicious chili ever, according to several meat-eating friends/family who have tried it. So now I make it at least twice a month once it starts getting cold. It makes a huge amount and I serve it over whole grain brown rice. Yum!

It’s really easy to make. You peel and chop up a butternut squash into cubes (which may seem like a daunting task – just check out YouTube for instructions), slice a few carrots, slice an onion and green pepper, and mince some garlic. Then the canned items; a tin of diced tomatoes, a small can of tomato paste, a can of black beans, kidney beans, and baby corn. The spices are simple; lots of chili powder (I probably use a couple tablespoons) and 1 tsp of oregano. IMG_20151026_175411

The squash and carrots go into the pot and cover them with water, cook them up until they start to soften. Then you add the rest of the veggies and garlic. Cook for a couple minutes and add all of the canned goods. Another couple minutes of cooking, then add in the spices and mix everything around well. Cook it on high until it starts to bubble, then turn it down to cook on med-low until done (you decide when it’s “done”). Stir it a few times throughout that process. Done! So easy and sooo good. As you can see, it makes a huge colorful pot of deliciousness.

It also freezes well, so I usually set aside a pretty big tupperware container to freeze – make sure to leave a bit of room at the top for it to expand. However most times when I make this, we eat all of it within the week. Probably because it’s great for both lunch and dinner.

IMG_20151124_121710(1)
with hemp seeds & spring mix

I like to add hemp seeds and some kind of leafy green to it as well. Especially if I’m not eating it with any rice or quinoa. I also will melt some Daiya (non-dairy) shredded cheddar “cheese” if I happen to have some in the fridge. To me, it doesn’t really taste like cheese but when I was eating cheese, I would put some on the chili so it’s more of a texture thing I think.

I could easily eat this every single week all winter long. I suppose this concludes the 5 night challenge, but I will continue to post new vegan recipes I try! It’s getting easier and easier to eat vegan as I experiment with new recipes and ingredients. There have been a few total disasters, but that’s just part of the learning and transition process! I hate wasting food/ingredients when I make the mistake meals, but all I can do is laugh about it when it happens. Really though, the majority of them have been edible and that is what I call success.

– L.

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