As a child, I was a somewhat ridiculously picky eater (Sorry Mom and Pop!).  My main staples were not vegan in the slightest, or even things I would want to try to veganize to eat now…. but I remember my father would make us chili which I didn’t like that much then, but now I realize its fantastic-ness.  Also, when we had chili, my mother would make cornbread and bake it in the frying pan.  I love cornbread. Mmm…. cornbread…

Anyway, today we have not one, but three recipes!

Chili Ingredients


Makes ~4 servings

  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 veggie bouillon cube
  • 1/4 cup TVP
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 good-sized onion, diced
  • 1 medium sweet potato (kumara) or large carrot, sliced into 1/4″ rounds
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced (optional)
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 tbsp chili powder (see next recipe)
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 28 oz. diced tomatoes in sauce
  • 28 oz. canned beans of your choosing (pinto, black, garbanzo, etc.), drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  1. Dissolve bouillon in water and add TVP.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in large pot over medium heat and add onion and sweet potato/carrot.  Sauté until onions are getting clear.
  3. Add jalapeño, garlic, spices, molasses, and half of the tomatoes.  Mix well and cook a few minutes more.
  4. Add second half of tomatoes and the beans.  Reduce heat to low.
  5. Cover and cook at least 20 minutes until everything is mingling well.  I usually cook around  30 minutes, it only gets better the longer you cook it!
  6. Add salt and adjust to taste.

Chili ingredients chopped

You can also make this in the crock pot.  That’s what I did when I took these pictures.  Soak the TVP like step one of the recipe then dump everything in the crock pot and wait a few hours.  It’s cool like that.  You’ll also notice a bell pepper (capsicum) in my photos which is isn’t in the recipe.  He was in the fridge and looking a bit sad and wrinkly, so he decided to join the chili.  You can add whatever you want to chili!

Put the chili in the crock pot

I discovered early on living in New Zealand they don’t eat a lot of chili (if any).  So if you go to the store and buy “chilli powder” you are getting just that.  Hot peppers made into powder.  Do not put tablespoons of this into your chili or it will be ridiculously spicy while simultaneously having no flavor whatsoever.   But that’s ok, you can make your own chili powder!

Chili Powder

  • 1/4 cup paprika (any paprika but not the smoked paprika!)
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder or 4 tsp garlic granules
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  1. Combine everything in a jar or other storage container.

Finally, the cornbread.  I have tried a lot of cornbread recipes over the years because I have certain qualifications for a cornbread.  It should be the right combination of grainy cornmeal and fluffiness, while also being moist but not rubbery.  It should also allow for the addition of whole corn kernels when desired.  Here is what I’ve come up with:

“Buttermilk” Cornbread

Makes an 8″ square cornbread or 8 standard-size muffins!

  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cup soy milk
  • 2 tbsp flax meal
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn, rinsed (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).  Grease an 8″x8″ cake pan.
  2. Whisk together vinegar and soy milk, set aside.
  3. Whisk together flax meal and water, set aside.
  4. Combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  5. Check that oven is preheated and your corn is measured and rinsed (if using), then add margarine, soy milk mixture, and flax mixture and stir until just combined.
  6. Fold in corn if using.
  7. Pour batter into pan and bake immediately for 20-25 minutes.
  8. Cool 10 minutes in pan on wire rack, then loosen around the edges with a knife to remove and transfer to a serving plate.

Chili and Cornbread

Vegan MoFo

Why yes, it is time again for the Vegan Month of Food!  I know, it’s been a couple years since I last participated, but I’m going to do my very best to post some delicious vegan foods for you to look at. My goal is 20 posts for the month.  Obviously there are 30 days in September but I don’t like cooking that much.

This year there are daily prompts to keep everyone on the same page, which I find to be both helpful and challenging at the same time.   Luckily, they’ve started it off easy and for Day 1 we have breakfast!

breakfast smoothie

The breakfast smoothie is pretty standard for me, especially during the summer (it is not summer).  My go to smoothie is as follows:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • chunk of fresh ginger (around 1/2 tbsp-ish)
  • approximately 1/4 cup cold brew coffee concentrate
  • 1 scoop Nuzest Clean Lean Protein “just natural” flavor
  • top up to 350 ml with whatever milk is open– soy, almond, coconut, etc.
  1. Blend all ingredients.
  2. Enjoy!

There is some variation to this, I would go batty if I drank the same smoothie over and over… Sometimes I’ll add a little cocoa powder or agave nectar if I’m feeling sweet, or some chia seeds or unsweetened coconut flakes I want more texture.

p.s. I do not normally drink out of jars, but I was storing some coconut milk in this one and I didn’t want to get another glass dirty!  Also, I am stockpiling bananas in various stages because I heard there was/is/is going to be a shortage.


Superfood Muffin

Did you know pumpkin is a superfood? I didn’t, but it sure is tasty. This recipe is adapted from the Bob’s Red Mill pumpkin quinoa muffins. Chia seeds make these even more super!

Superfood Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 tbsp Ener-G egg replacer
  • 4 tbsp warm water
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup margarine melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup shelled sunflower seeds or pepitas
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a 12-muffin pan with baking cups.
  2. In a measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together soy milk and vinegar and set aside to curdle.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flours, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and chia seeds.  Mix well.
  4. Add quinoa, using a fork or other utensil to separate grains and distribute evenly throughout the dry ingredients.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg replacer and water until frothy.
  6. To the egg replacer, add molasses, pumpkin puree, vanilla, margarine, and soymilk/vinegar mixture.  Mix well.
  7. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  8. Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan.
  9. Sprinkle seeds over tops of muffins.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Fried Green Tomatoes

Coconut Fried Green Tomatoes with Sweet Potato Curry Sauce

  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1/4 cup green or brown lentils
  • water
  • 13.5 oz can coconut milk, divided
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 small jalapeño, finely minced
  • 3 tsp salt, divided
  • 2 green firm unripe tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut flakes
  • 3/4 cup corn meal
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Ener-G egg replacer
  • vegetable or canola oil for frying
  • cilantro (optional)
  1. Wash and pierce the sweet potato with a fork. Place on a microwave-safe dish and microwave for 4 minutes or until cooked through. Allow to cool.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine lentils and 1 cup water. Simmer for 20 minutes, drain and set aside.
  3. Measure 1/4 cup of the coconut milk into a small bowl and set aside.
  4. Combine remaining coconut milk, cooled sweet potato, and lemon juice in a food processor and process until smooth.
  5. In the small saucepan, heat coconut oil until melted. Add mustard seeds.
  6. When mustard seeds become fragrant and start to pop, add cumin, curry powder, jalapeño, lentils, and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cook about 5 minutes more and remove from heat.
  7. Add lentil mixture to coconut milk/sweet potato mixture and process until combined but still a little chunky. This is the sweet potato curry sauce. Set aside.
  8. Slice tomatoes into 1/2″ slices, there should be about 10 slices total.
  9. In a wide dish, combine coconut flakes, corn meal, flour, basil, black pepper, and remaining 2 teaspoons of salt.
  10. In bowl with reserved coconut milk, add egg replacer and 3 tablespoons hot water. Whisk vigorously until frothy.
  11. Heat frying oil about 1/4″ deep in cast-iron skillet.
  12. Dip tomato slices in coconut milk mixture, then in corn meal mixture, pressing firmly so it sticks.
  13. Fry slices a few at a time, 2 to 3 minutes per side, until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
  14. Serve warm with sweet potato curry sauce. Garnish with cilantro if desired.

Stuffed Peppers

Seitan and Lentil Stuffed Peppers

  • 1/2 cup brown lentils
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 small bell peppers (your choice of color), core and seeds removed, cut in half
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz seitan, cut into 1/4″ cubes
  • 1 banana pepper, core and seeds removed, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (I like the pomegranate infused one!)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • faux cheese (I used Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet Monterey Jack)
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine lentils and water, and simmer for 20 minutes.  Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large pot, boil bell pepper halves for 5 minutes.  Drain and set aside to cool.
  3. In a medium saucepan (maybe the ones the lentils cooked in…), heat olive oil and saute onions and garlic for 5 minutes.
  4. Add seitan and continue sauteing until onions are clear.
  5. Add lentils, banana pepper, vinegar, salt, pepper, and basil, stirring to combine, and continue cooking for about 5 minutes so flavors can be absorbed.  Remove from heat.
  6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  7. Arrange bell pepper halves in a glass baking dish.  Divide seitan mixture evenly among pepper halves, pressing firmly to keep stuffing in peppers.
  8. Thinly slice faux cheese and arrange on top of the peppers.
  9. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  10. Uncover and continue baking for another 15 minutes, or until faux cheese is melty.