May 6, 2008

Any date is good to eat & celebrate

Yesterday started as the usual and hateful Monday that I've always wanted could be converted into a second Sunday. But, as noon was getting closer, things started to improve, and to smell good...

We had a lunchtime potluck at work, to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. No Coronas (because it was at work, you know...) but pretty good food anyway.

I made my very own vegetarian chili "a la Cuban" and, modestia aparte, I think it turned out pretty yummy. At least the slow cooker went back to my house completely empty, and I had to email the recipe to a couple of coworkers.

As I've said before, I am not good at all sharing recipes because I cook a ojo de buen cubero, but here are the steps I followed, in case you want to give it a try:

-one can of pinto beans
-one can of red kidney beans
-one can of Cuban style black beans (because for us is unthinkable to cook without black beans, even though the original chili recipe does not have black beans...)
-half can or a bunch of fresh: green beans, sweet peas and baby carrots --cut in small pieces, the carrots. You can also use half a bag of those mixed frozen veggies.
-grounded beef (I'm not eating meat, so I use texturized vegetable protein, usually the crumbles from " Morningstar Farms".
-onion finely chopped, two table spoons of chopped fresh garlic, cumin, taco seasoning, powdered garlic, powdered onion, salt, pepper and chili powder (the type that is not very hot, and I used only a little)
-vegetable or chicken broth, or water.
-one small can of tomato sauce
-one can of diced tomatoes; I used the fire roasted / garlic from Hunt's.

Steps to follow:

Drain and wash all the beans and canned ingredients and place them in the slow cooker. In a big saute pan, heat like three or four tablespoons of olive oil with the garlic and the onions finely chopped until golden brown.

Then throw in the grounded beef or vegetable protein crumbles (o the diced tomatoes if you want to go with no extra protein). Sprinkle in like 1-2 tablespoons of grounded cumin, some taco seasoning, salt, pepper, lower the heat and stir frequently until the meat or fake meat is kind of seared.

Add it to the slow cooker, along with the diced tomatoes or any other ingredients you have left.

Add the vegetable or chicken broth or water till the appropriate line in the slow cooker. Sprinkle the garlic and onion powder, stir in very well and off you go with the slow cooker in low. Check the salt.

I usually do it the night before, set in low, then in the morning or right before lunch, I change it to high till I see the consistency I like --not too watery, not too dry. Finally add some cheese right before serving and voila! You are more than ready to celebrate.

(It doesn't matter that we're talking about the only single victory in a war that was lost; if it give us an excuse to cook and eat, then it works!).

Hey!, to set the record straight; my excuse does not have anything to do with this invitation.

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