Recipes, Photography, Musings

Tag: vegetarian dishes (Page 2 of 2)

Colorful Vegetable Chili

This chili is as pleasing to the taste buds as it is to the eyes.  Sweet potatoes, black beans, tomatoes, corn, lime juice and cilantro give each spoonful vibrant color, flavor, and nutrition.  Serve it with some tortilla chips, sliced avocado, and shredded cheese, and you have a festive, healthy meal.

In a previous post, I mentioned a cookbook my husband somewhat recently bought, called Thrive Energy Cookbook, by Brendan Brazier.  This chili recipe I am sharing below is based on a recipe in that book, though I did change and substitute a few things.  The flavor of the this chili is absolutely rich and warm-tasting, with a subtle zing from the lime juice.  My son, who normally won’t go near a sweet potato, even likes it, and my husband loves it.  All the vegetables blend together beautifully.

colorful chili 1 It really is a good meal to have right now, in early March, when we are longing for color, but our gardens have not caught up to that longing yet.  And though our snow has all melted and it has warmed up some, it is still cold and damp enough outside to appreciate a nice warm bowl of chili.

chopped sweet potatoesSpeaking of gardens and color, I did see some crocus and daffodil shoots poking up just above the soil in our yard yesterday.  Spring is coming, though here in Michigan I’m sure we have some cold days ahead of us before spring really settles in.

Until then, there is the fresh wind, the brighter sun, the earthy smell of the wet ground as it prepares itself for new growth.  I saw some red-winged blackbirds the other day–one of the first signs that spring is coming.  Soon we’ll be looking for fresh greens and asparagus!

daffodil shootsFor now, it is the perfect time to tromp around in my favorite boots through mud and wet undergrowth, cleaning up the yard or hiking down to the lake. My friend and I came across these beautiful milkweed pods on a walk the other day.milkweed pods

If you are longing for spring, but still shivering in the evenings, this chili has just the right amount of warmth and bright color to cheer you up and nourish your body for challenges ahead.  I hope you all have a great weekend!  There is a Fiesta Friday going on at Angie’s blog, co-hosted this week by Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook and Aspara @ Eating Well Diary.  If you are looking for food inspiration or to find great blogs, it’s a great place! I’m looking forward to checking it out!cilantro and lime 3colorful chili with cilantro

Colorful Vegetable Chili

  • Servings: 5-7
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  • 3 cups of sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 cup of sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder (more if desired)
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cumin (more if desired)
  • 3 cups of tomatoes (fresh, or if canned, I like the San Marzano kind), quartered
  • 2 cups of corn (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 cans (14 oz cans) of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup of lime juice (about 2 to 3 limes’ worth)
  • 1 cup of vegetable broth (I like to add a cup of water and a teaspoon of the Better than Bouillon vegetable base)
  • 1 handful of cilantro leaves, stems removed
  • shredded Cheddar cheese for topping (optional)
  • sliced avocado for topping or garnish
  • tortilla chips


Wash and cube the sweet potatoes.  Place them in a large pot.  Cover the sweet potatoes with salted water, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until just barely tender (about 6 minutes, depending on the size of the cubes).  Drain and rinse with cold water. (If desired, transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking, and drain again.) Set aside.

In the same large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and garlic, and cook until the onions are tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the chili powder and cumin and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add the sweet potatoes, tomatoes, corn, black beans, lime juice, and vegetable broth.  Simmer gently, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, at medium-low heat.  Add a little more water if the mixture is too thick.

Spoon the chili into bowls and top with cilantro and shredded Cheddar cheese (if desired). Serve with sliced avocado and tortilla chips. Enjoy!

This recipe is adapted from the Thrive Energy Cookbook by Brendan Brazier



Refreshing Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh is one of the most refreshing salads I have ever tasted.  With lots of mint, cucumber, lemon juice, parsley, and ripe, juicy tomatoes, it not only quenches my thirst and naturally cools me down, but it is also full of nutrients and tastes delicious. The grain in tabbouleh is bulgur wheat, which tastes similar to couscous.  close-up of tabboulehI really like bulgur because it is a hundred percent whole wheat and full of fiber, iron, protein, and vitamin B-6.  Bulgur is also a relatively low glycemic index food, so it causes less fluctuations in blood glucose levels than many other carbohydrates. Plus, it is filling without giving one that stuffed feeling.

mintWith the heat wave we have been experiencing this week, it is the perfect dish to satisfy a body in need of nutrients with a light touch.  It is also a perfect dish to take to potlucks and picnics, since this salad does not wilt easily.

I can’t believe I forgot about this dish all summer until now, since my whole family loves it, and I made it numerous times last summer.  We have some of the ingredients growing in our very own garden right now, including parsley, tomatoes ripening on the vine, and mint growing rampant.  That makes it even better, because the freshness of the vegetables is key to the wonderful flavor.  Luckily, I am now back on track again with the tabbouleh, and there is still time to make more, with the tomatoes still rolling in!  After eating a big bowlful during dinner tonight, my son said that he likes tabbouleh so much, he would rather eat a bowl of it than eat an Oreo (!), and with him, that is saying something.  With that kind of endorsement, I am going to make another batch tomorrow! In fact, I plan to double the recipe so it will last for more than one meal.

veggies and bulgurThe recipe I am sharing below reflects the balance of traditional tabbouleh ingredients we like best in my family.  Feel free to adjust the levels to your personal tastes.  It only takes about a half hour to whip up a batch, though it tastes best after it has chilled at least an hour.

Until the next time, stay cool, and savor what remains of the beautiful summer! The mornings have been so misty and lovely here lately, before the day starts to really heat up.  The insects are humming and there is a golden hue to the light. I hope you have a great Labor Day weekend! I am off to visit Angie’s Fiesta Friday, co-hosted today by Effie @ Food Daydreaming and Steffi @ Ginger & Bread.bulgur and veggiestwo bowls of tabboulehclose up tabbouleh

Refreshing Tabbouleh

  • Servings: 4
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  • 1/2 cup of bulgur
  • 1 cup of tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup of cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup of green onions, finely sliced
  • 1/2 cup of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


Wash the bulgur in a bowl, changing the water a few times.  Then cover the bulgur with boiling water.  Set aside and let it sit for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, wash and finely chop the vegetables and herbs, and place them in a medium bowl.  Add the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.  When the bulgur is done, drain it through a fine strainer.  Take the bulgur by handfuls and squeeze the excess water out of it, then add it to the bowl with the salad mixture.  Stir gently to combine.  Cover and refrigerate the tabbouleh for at least one hour.  Serve cold.  Enjoy!


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