November 12, 2017

Smoky Chipotle Black Bean Quinoa Chili

It started snowing here in Montana the morning after Halloween. It's like Mother Nature knew October was over and wasted no time with the switch to winter! ⛄ So really, what choice did I have but to cozy in by the fire with tea, books, blankets, and endless chili? My favorite atmosphere while watching those beautiful, fluffy flakes fall! I only started using chipotles a couple years ago because I was a bit intimidated by them for some reason. I LOVED the smokiness and subtle spicy flavor but wasn't sure exactly how to go about using them on my own. I'm glad I started trying because it's such an amazing, flavor-packed ingredient and brings so much smoky goodness. (If you can't find canned chipotles in adobo sauce, no worries! Just look for the dry chipotle chili powder in the spice aisle. See more about this and other chipotle tips in the notes below the recipe.) I adore this meal topped with green onion, cilantro, and best of all creamy avocado 🥑 Hope you love it too - cozy up and enjoy!

PS - come join The Garden Grazer on Instagram and share a pic if you make this! I love seeing what you guys cook up.

Vegan, gluten-free
Serves about 4-5

1 onion
3 cloves garlic
Two 15 oz. cans black beans
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 1/2 cups vegetables broth
1/2 cup white quinoa, uncooked
1-2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (*see notes below)
2 tsp. adobo sauce, more as desired
2 1/2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
Salt to taste
Optional additions: smoked paprika, bell pepper, sweet corn
Optional toppings: avocado, green onion, cilantro, dairy-free cheese/sour cream

Dice onion, and mince garlic.
In a stockpot over med-high heat, saute onion in 3 Tbsp. water/broth for about 8 minutes or until translucent.
Meanwhile, finely chop the chipotle: handling the chile carefully, gently scrape the seeds with your knife to remove them and mince the chile. (When finished, avoid touching your face and wash your hands very well. I try to avoid all contact with the chile, using a fork to help maneuver it.)
Add garlic, chili powder, cumin. Stir, and cook 1 minute.
Add tomatoes with juice, 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth, minced chipotle, and 2 tsp. adobo sauce (avoiding seeds).
Rinse and drain black beans and quinoa and add to pot.
Bring to a light boil. Then cover, lower heat to med-low, and simmer for about 20 minutes or until quinoa is cooked.
Salt to taste. Serve warm garnished with desired toppings.
(It thickens as it sits, as the quinoa continues to soak up more liquid.)

*Note about the chiles in adobo sauce:
Chiles are fairly spicy so start with one unless you enjoy it spicier. (I usually end up using about 1 1/2.) A little goes a long way! If you're sensitive to spice but still want the delicious, smoky flavor, simply omit the chiles and use extra adobo sauce only (avoiding seeds). OR substitute the chiles and adobo sauce altogether and opt for a small amount of dry chipotle chili powder in the spice aisle. Start with 1/4 tsp. and work your way up from there if desired. This is also a great option if you can't find actual chipotles in adobo sauce.

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Keep the chili flowing! 😉

November 7, 2017

Maple-Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I LOVE this easy holiday side dish! Tasty Brussels sprouts baked to perfection in a tangy-sweet marinade of maple syrup & balsamic vinaigrette... YES! I tried my hardest to make this dish look pretty but it just wasn't having it 😉 (Sometimes it's the unphotogenic food that tastes best, right!?) I honestly can not walk away from this one. Enjoy as is, or garnish with pecans and dried cranberries before serving to add some festive flavor and eye appeal. (Highly recommend!) And don't forget to drizzle the leftover maple-balsamic goodness over the top before serving! Happy holidays!

PS - come join The Garden Grazer on Instagram 🍓 and share a pic if you make this! I love seeing what you guys cook up.

Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free
Makes about 6 side servings

1 1/2 lbs. Brussels sprouts
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 tsp. salt, or more to taste
Optional toppings: dried cranberries & pecans

Preheat oven to 400.
Trim ends off Brussels sprouts and slice lengthwise in half. Remove any damaged outer leaves.
Gently rinse and pat dry.
In a large bowl, combine Brussels sprouts with balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and salt. Toss well to coat.
Place parchment paper or Silpat on a rimmed baking pan.
Add Brussels sprouts with liquid and spread out in a single layer.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until desired tenderness, turning halfway through.
Place on a serving plate and drizzle any leftover maple-balsamic juices over the top!
Optional: top with dried cranberries and pecans before serving.

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🎄 More holiday favorites! 🎄

November 6, 2017

Balsamic Beet & Kale Salad

Beautiful beets!! 💕 I LOVE how festive this dish looks with those striking red beets paired with leafy green kale. It makes a perfect (healthy!) holiday side dish. And so EASY - just 7 ingredients & 15 minutes to make. I take help from Love Beets pre-cooked baby beets (not sponsored, just love 'em!) but feel free to roast your own if you'd prefer! This salad is so nutrient-dense and flavorful with a quick garlic-dijon balsamic dressing. I'm thinking it'd be lovely as a main dish or take-along lunch as well with some garbanzos added! Hope you enjoy as much as we do!

Come join The Garden Grazer on Instagram 🍓 and share a pic if you make this! I love seeing what you guys cook up.

Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free
Makes about 6 side servings

1 bunch kale
4-5 cooked baby beets*
1/4 cup red onion
Sunflower seeds for sprinkling
Optional: I also love pumpkin seeds and hemp hearts in this!

{For the dressing}
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp. dijon mustard
2 tsp. water
Salt to taste

Make dressing: add all ingredients to a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
Tear kale into bite sized pieces, stems removed. Place in a large bowl and gently massage.
Thinly slice red onion and dice beets. Place in bowl.
Re-stir dressing and pour over top. Toss to thoroughly combine.
(Note: depending on your taste and how big your kale bunch is, you may not need the full amount of dressing. I do like mine tangy so start with a smaller amount and go from there if you wish!)
Sprinkle sunflower seeds over top before serving.
Best eaten within 1-2 days.
(It marinates as it sits, so I love having this in the fridge throughout the day for snacking! It does tend to dull in color due to the balsamic though.)

*I use the 8.8 oz. pack of cooked organic baby beets from Love Beets (see pic below)

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If you're meal-planning for the holidays, try our favorite Mushroom Gravy to pour over those fluffy mashed potatoes as well! 😊