Quinoa Sweet Potato Chili

I have been trying to find time to make my own meatless chili for some time now but knowing that neither my son or husband would eat this for a meal was always a deal breaker. However, it’s not necessarily the fact that it has no meat in it that makes it a deal breaker. Neither of them really like chili…my son is not a bean fan and my husband just plainly don’t like chili. So one afternoon I finally decided to just make a small batch and eat it one evening for dinner myself and for lunches the rest of the week. This actually turned out wonderfully and I really enjoyed this meal.

IMG_9946

Here is what I did. (Keep in mind I needed to keep it quite mild to be able to share it with the daycare children also.So feel free to add more spice if you wish)

Quinoa Sweet Potato Chili

2 TBSP olive oil

1 15 oz can black bean-drained

1 can of Campbell’s tomato soup

1/2 cup quinoa

2 small sweet potato-peeled and diced

2 celery stalks-diced

1/4 medium onion-diced

1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes

2 tsp chicken/veg bouillon

2 garlic cloves-finely chopped

2 15 oz cans of water(use your bean can for measurement)

2 TBSP chili powder

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 tsp cumin

salt to taste

 

Begin by adding your olive oil to the pot and saute your onion, celery, and potatoes for about 10 minutes.

IMG_9943

Next, add your tomato soup, diced tomatoes, garlic, spices, bouillon, and water. Mix this together, bring it to a boil, and then simmer this for another 10 minutes.

IMG_9944

Next, add your quinoa. Mix it together, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes approx or until your quinoa is tender.

IMG_9945

At this point, add your drained and rinsed black beans. Take it off the heat and leave it sit for 5-10 minutes before serving. The chili will thicken up and make a tasty hearty meal. I served mine with tortilla scoops. Other tasty additions would be shredded cheese, sour cream, plain greek yogurt or avocado.

IMG_9948

Enjoy.

 

Advertisements

Recent Random Thoughts

Hi, how is your week going? Mine is good….and almost over, yeh!!! Just a few more hours to go.

With no great workouts to share with you all since I am mostly just walking area trails and riding my bike giving my body time to heal, I thought I would share some random things today. My brain is often like a never ending trail to nowhere and sharing it sometimes helps relieve some of the “pressure” shall we say.

IMG_8917

I’ve been up to a lot but at the same time not so much….is that possible? Makes no sense I know but that is how I feel lately. Summer has not been what I thought it would be and now we are into August and we all know what that means….it’s almost over! It’s weird to think my mind still runs on the school calendar when my son has not been in grade school for years already. How do us moms break out of this and just take every day as it is….I haven’t figured that out quite yet but I am working on it? Which is why, as of the end of August, I consider summer over. However, I know in my mind we have plenty of nice days left in September and even some in October but ultimately it comes to an end so quickly.

IMG_4575

Speaking of September and October, I do believe I have over booked all our weekends once again for these two months. Fall is the best time in my opinion to hike, camp, explore the area and enjoy harvest time. Bugs are dying down some, colors start to appear, veggies are plenty, and it’s cooler so camping and hiking are much more pleasurable. Now I just have to find a way to tell my husband I only left him two weekends for hunting in the fall months….he may not like this very much!

Anyhow, let me tell about some treasures I have found lately. First, I must give a big shout out to Fresh Thyme Farmers Market here in our area. We have fell in love with their meat department and if you know me, that is saying A LOT! I am not a meat lover but my husband is. I have a hard time buying it, preparing it and eating it but my attitude has changed a bit since this store has opened. We are loving their meats.

IMG_8766

IMG_8919

I have also found an essential oil room freshener that I love and does not cost an arm and a leg. (I paid $7) I hate chemical fresheners and don’t want the overwhelming smell of a plug in oil freshener since I don’t want the aroma all the time. Which makes this spray perfect and I can use it when I wish and not gag when I spray it in my home like the chemical fresheners cause me to do. I know it says it can be used as a body mist also but I have not gone this route…I strictly use it for our home and vehicles.

IMG_8928

Once again I am attempting to grow my green thumb and I am going to try and grow a prickly pear plant or two. We fell in love with this fruit in Arizona and I recently kept the seeds from one we purchased here in WI. I would bet it’s not going to grow and if it does it may not survive but I have to give it a try. Here’s hoping for a touch of the southwest in good old Green Bay. On the flip side, if I do not succeed at growing one myself I can always plan another trip for fresh fruit. I know none of my family would object to returning to this area.

IMG_6047

Speaking of vacations, we are inching our way closer to our next one and I cannot wait to step foot on the A.T.( Appalachian Trail) once again. Back in January 2017 I made this dream come true and finally got to log some miles on the A.T. with my husband and son. Our next trip will bring us back to the A.T. only in a different state and I plan to log even more miles and hopefully make more wonderful memories. However, this time it will be just the two of us since our son recently started his new job and is not bale to join us for this adventure.

IMG_6888

That shall be it for today. Enjoy your weekend…..that’s my plan.

 

 

 

What’s For Dinner?

Here is what our meal plans look like this week. I hope I can inspire you all to prepare and enjoy a nice meal at home with your family. Plus, show you that with just a little planning, dinner is possible with a crazy lifestyle.

Sunday: pulled pork sliders, roasted fingerling potatoes, homemade low fat coleslaw

Monday: chicken fettuccine with veggies and crusty bread

Tuesday: smoked salmon salads

Wednesday: crock pot chicken noodle soup

Thursday: meatless tortilla taco stacks

Friday: pumpkin pancakes and chicken breakfast sausage or possibly leftovers

Saturday: make it yourself or starve:)

As always, if you see something that sounds good and you would like the recipe, comment or email me at rednatural1973@gmail.com and I will be happy to share it with you.

 

Preparing for the Week Ahead

I find that I can really benefit myself by planning my weekly menu and getting a head start on Sunday mornings. I start my Sundays with about 1-2 hours in the kitchen preparing some of our go to foods for the week.

IMG_3875

The first thing is to make sure I have a plan. I then lay out all the ingredients and start the items that need cooking first.

The plan for this week is hard boiled eggs, pickled eggs, lentil bowls, cashew date balls, over night oats and  fresh chunk pineapple.

I first put the lentils and eggs to simmer and boil. While this was happening I chunked a pineapple. Next, I prepared my mushrooms, zucchini and onions for my lentil bowl topping. By the time I had all this chopped and ready to cook, my eggs were boiling and ready to sit for a few minutes and my lentils were also done. While my mushroom mixture was cooking, I  threw together three quick over night oat mixtures for fast hot breakfasts this week. Mix, shake and into the frig, done! Then it was time to peel eggs, I hate this job especially when they do not peel nicely!!! After peeling I prepared the pickled mixture and let it cool in the frig while I then made cashew date balls.  Mixed them up in the food processor, formed into balls and walla, done. Finally, I poured the cooled pickled mixture over a few eggs in a glass jar and back into the frig.

IMG_3880

Now, I feel pretty prepared for the week ahead. Our go to meals and snacks are made, dinner menu for the week is planned and our workouts are scheduled. Now, I can only hope the week goes smoothly. By the looks of it, mother nature may have her own ideas. Today we have been warned of another major snow storm and Thursday they are preparing us all for a good amount of rain. If it’s not severely below zero here then it seems to snow. I guess that’s winter in Wisconsin.

Do you plan ahead to make life easier?

What are your go to meals/snacks during busy weeks?