Hearty Veggie Chili

I’m finally on winter break from grad school, which means I have time to catch up on blogging! I always say I’ll find time to blog during the semester and then all the homework and work and life gets in the way. So now is my catch up time! I made this chili when it first started getting cold this fall. It is very filling and the addition of grains give it a richer, heartier taste. You’ll forget there is no meat in it! It’s the perfect recipe for Meatless Monday or just for those who love veggies!

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Hearty Veggie Chili

Adapted from: Cooking Light Magazine

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cups mirepoix mix (chopped celery, carrots, and onion)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 10 oz mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 3/4 cup uncooked freekeh (or another grain, like wheat berries or quinoa)
  • 1 bottle beer
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained

Directions:

1.) Heat a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the olive oil. Once hot, add the green pepper, mirepoix mix, jalapeno, mushrooms, and garlic. Saute for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables begin to brown.

2.) Add the tomato paste and spices (through paprika), cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the diced tomatoes, corn, and beef broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

2.) Cook freekeh (or other grain) according to package instructions. Add the cooked freekeh, beer, soy sauce, and beans to the chili and cook for 20 minutes. Serve topped with your favorite ingredients.

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Cheesy Apple Beer Soup

This recipe is perfect for cold fall/winter days, preferably in some cozy sweatpants by a fire. I rarely get a chance to hang around in my sweatpants by a fire, but I certainly have had plenty of cold occasions to enjoy some soup! This soup was really easy to make and is very hearty. It’s got lots of cheese (which is always a good thing), the slight sweetness from the apples, and the rich flavor that comes from the beer. It’s the perfect comfort food! I served it with a roll and a side salad with blue cheese, apples, and walnuts. Delicious and filling!

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Cheesy Apple Beer Soup

Adapted from: Half Baked Harvest

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Pinch brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cooked bacon, chopped
  • 2/3 cup apple cider
  • 1 large apple, chopped (I used Granny Smith)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 12 oz. beer (I used Sam Adams)
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk (I used soy)
  • 12 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8 oz brie cheese, rind removed and cubed

Directions:

1.) Heat a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the olive oil. Once hot, add the onions, garlic, and a pinch of brown sugar. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened. Then add the bacon and cook for about another minute.

2.) Slowly add in the apple cider, let it cook into the onions, add some more and continue to cook. Do this until the onions are caramelized.

3.) Add the apple and thyme to the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring, until softened. Add in any remaining apple cider, the beer, chicken broth and red pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook 5-10 minutes or until the apples are tender. Season with salt and pepper.

4.) Meanwhile, whisk the flour into the milk until smooth. Set aside. Once the apples are soft, bring the soup to a low bowl. Whisk in the milk mixture and boil until the soup thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.

5.) Stir in the cheddar cheddar cheese and brie until melted and smooth. Simmer the soup 5 minutes or until ready to serve. Top with a little extra cheese and serve!

Crockpot Beef Ragu over Polenta

It’s officially fall and the time for warm, easy crockpot meals is here! This recipe was so easy and the perfect comfort meal. I think next time I might add some more spices or veggies to amp up the flavor of the sauce. I didn’t drain the tomatoes, and I felt the sauce wasn’t thick enough, so my advice would be to drain them. But I just like things extra sauce-y, so maybe it was just me. I topped with goat cheese and served over polenta. The roast gets very tender and shreds apart – yummm!

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Crockpot Beef Ragu over Polenta

Adapted from: Pinch of Yum

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs beef round roast
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups dry polenta

Directions:

1.) Add beef to crock pot. Add rest of ingredients up until tomato pasta. Stir well and cook on low for 7-8 hours, or until beef shreds easily.

2.) Cook polenta according to package instructions.

3.) Top a heaping scoop of polenta with beef mixture and sprinkle with goat cheese. Enjoy!

Delicious and Easy Crock Pot Chili

I made my tried-and-true favorite crock pot chili the other night, since our oven has been broken and we’ve had to be creative. Sometimes I will saute the onions, peppers, and garlic with the meat to brown it, but since I couldn’t this time I just threw it all in the crock pot and set on low for about 8-9 hours. Feel free to switch up the type of meat, add more or less beans, and add any additional veggies. Chili is such a versatile but yummy dish and has always been one of my favorite comfort foods!

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Crock Pot Chili

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 1 green/red pepper, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 packet chili seasoning
  • 1 lb ground turkey/beef
  • 1-3 cans beans, drained
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can stewed/diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 12 oz tomato sauce
  • 12 oz tomato paste
  • 1 can beer (I usually use Bud Light/some other beer I wouldn’t drink 😉 )
  • 4-8 oz water (depending how thick/thin you want it)
  • 4 oz green chilies, diced (optional)
  • Seasonings, to taste (I use red pepper flakes, cumin, garlic powder, Italian seasoning)

Directions:

1.) In crock pot, add beer and chili seasoning and let sit for a few minutes.

2.) Saute onions, peppers, and garlic in olive oil. Add meat and cook until brown. Then, add meat, onions, peppers, and garlic to the crock pot. Or simply throw it all in crock pot raw if you don’t have time to saute!

3.) Add the rest of the ingredients and stir. Cook on low for 3-4 hours (if meat is browned) or about 8 hours if meat is raw.

Nutrition Info (Per serving, without cheese, from Fitbit):

Calories 340
Fat 6.6 g
Fiber 9.2 g
Carbs 43.9 g
Sodium 809.1 mg
Protein 25.3 g