meatless mondays: chili for a chilly day…

Hello from snowy Chicago! As you may have heard, we had a blizzard here, complete with a snow day off of work. I found myself not wanting to leave the house. Full hibernation mode kicked in. Its fun when you can stay home and do nothing without being able to run errands. Forced relaxation!

In the city, most of us don’t have the luxury of a garage or a driveway, much less a designated parking spot. When you are under 2 feet of heavy snow and you spend 3 hours digging your car out, you feel rather entitled to “your spot”. The marking of territory is respected for about 2 days. After that, you are on your own again.

I have a brilliant idea for a decoy parking place marker. I have a use for leftover styrofoam now. I’m going to collect it and create what appears to be a large mound of icy snow. This mound could then be easily set into your parking space or used to block the entry, mimicking what happens when the snow plow comes down the middle of the street. What do you think? Would it work? The worst that could happen is that someone would run over it or dispose of it, just like they do to the broken lawn furniture left in those spots.

Fear of losing my carefully shoveled out parking space deterred me from grocery shopping this week. I can’t bring myself to mark my territory. I think its rude after the initial dig out day. Luckily I keep some staple items in my pantry for such an occassion. I whipped up some veggie chili and called it dinner. Here is my easy recipe for a hearty, meatless chili dish. It will keep you warm on chilly day!

Recipe: Veggie Chili

1 onion
1 clove garlic
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can kidney beans
1 can chili beans
1 can black or pinto beans (or any variety you prefer)
1 cup water
2 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs cumin
2 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion and garlic for about 5 minutes. Add diced peppers for an additional 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and seasonings. Adjust seasoning for your taste, adding more if needed. Bring to a light boil and simmer for about 30 minutes. Serve with your choice of cheese, sour cream, chives, and/or saltine crackers.

For extra flavor and fiber, you can also add a can of pumpkin. Optional protein additions are: meatless soy crumbles, shredded tempeh, or ground quorn.

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