March 9, 2011

Recipes from me to you

I have mixed feelings about March.  Most of the time March makes me extremely happy - especially compared to January and February.  The days start to get longer, the sun is brighter, and every once in a while there's even a warm day thrown in.  It's blissful.

But then there are the other parts of March when the wind is biting cold and you feel that you will never break free of winter's cruel grasp.  In an effort to be more optimistic, on these days I think, "Why don't I make a nice chili?  Once spring and summer come, chili will be long gone, so I should take advantage now."  And for that reason I'm sharing these two AMAZING chili recipes with you today.

Also, I feel like I should mention that these are vegetarian recipes.  I mention it 1) because good veggie chili seems like an oxymoron but these recipes prove that it's not and 2) because I like to tell people I cook vegetarian meals because it makes me feel fancy and cool.  Just being honest here.

Moraccan Chickpea Chili
image from here.
This is a recipe first brought to my attention by my friend Ariel and we LOVE it!
ready in 35 minutes

 2 tsp. olive oil
1 C chopped onion
3/4 C chopped celery
1/2 C chopped carrot
1 clove minced garlic
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
pinch of pepper
pinch of salt
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
1 1/2 C water
2 Tbs. tomato paste
2 (15.5 oz) cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1 (14.5 oz) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add onion, celery, carrot and garlic to pan; sauté 5 minutes.  Stir in cumin and next 7 ingredients (through red pepper); cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add 1 1/2 C water, tomato paste, chickpeas, and tomatoes; bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.  Stir in cilantro and juice.
* I know the ingredient list looks long, but it's mostly spices and they are so so so good!  Also, a tip for success is to prepare everything before you heat up the oil.  I like to combine all my spices into one small bowl and get all the canned goods opened and the veggies chopped.  That way, once you start to cook it moves along very quickly.

Sweet Potato Chili Bake
This MINDBLOWING chili comes from Taste of Home.
Thanks again to the amazing Debbie Hardie!
prep time: 30 min, bake: 20 min

2 C cubed peeled sweet potato
1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 C vegetable broth
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
4 1/2 tsp. brown sugar
3 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 package (6.5 oz) corn bread/muffin mix
1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese
Optional toppings: sour cream, shredded cheese and chopped seeded jalapeno pepper

 - In an ovenproof Dutch oven, saute sweet potato and red pepper in oil until crisp-tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add the tomatoes, broth, beans, brown sugar, chili powder, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. 
-  Meanwhile, prepare corn bread batter according to package directions; stir in cheese. Drop by tablespoonfuls over chili. 
 - Cover and bake at 400° for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve with toppings of your choice.
*FYI - when we made this recipe we were out of chili powder so we used ground red pepper (cayenne), and just cut it in half.  Boy was it spicy!  But still very very good.


  1. Those sound awesome! I'm going to try them out! And if you are ever feeling down about March because you can't break free of winter, just think about a happy little leprechaun and his pot o' gold or green shamrocks. It always makes things feel more spring like for me even if it is cold outside. :)

  2. Okay...I am SO GLAD you copied the Marshall's Moroccan chili...because I was going to make it one day, but decided against it because I've tried a couple of the other recipes they've created and we haven't been huge fans of for all the ellipses...and sorry to the Marshall's if you read this comment...and now that I have three witnesses to the aforementioned soup, I will now put it on the list. Although I might have to wait until next winter to make it since it's a nice 70 degrees here today! :)