Showing posts with label Chili. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chili. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Vegetarian Chili and Green Chile Cornbread

LESLIE: Chili is a classic American dish, and I suspect every home cook has a favorite recipe, vegetarian or not. Mine started life in Laurel’s Kitchen, one of the first cookbooks I ever bought, and a classic of vegetarian cooking, but the recipe is much changed. Some vegetarian cooking, especially in the 1970s, isn’t real high on flavor. And me? Well, flavor is kinda the point, right?

Since I started writing my Spice Shop series, I’ve heard plenty of readers say they don’t care for “spicy food.” What they really mean is they don’t care for heat, for peppers that scorch the roof of your mouth. This dish, as I’ve spiced it, gives a nice balance of flavor without a lot of heat, and the cornbread balances it nicely. If you’re looking for a three-alarm chili, this isn’t it.

This recipe also features the few foods I will use canned: beans, tomatoes, and diced chiles! Somehow, though, we recently acquired large bags of dried kidney and black beans, so we’ve been cooking them for chili, soup, and tacos. It’s easy, but requires some planning, and when it comes to dinner, I don’t always plan very far ahead!

Some cooks dot a piece of parchment or waxed paper with tablespoons of the extra tomato sauce, freeze it, then toss the dots in a bag and throw it back in the freezer. I usually just use the entire can, even though that’s not why my own recipe calls for! You decide, based on how thick you like your chili.

This freezes nicely, in small glass containers. If we want to make a chili with meat, we use this same recipe, sauteing the ground beef in the stock pot before adding the onions and garlic.

Early in our marriage, Mr. Right told me he didn’t like cornbread. Turns out, he didn’t like his mother’s cornbread! (She was an excellent cook, and even ran a restaurant for a while, but cornbread wasn't her dish.) This version is moist and flavorful, and never lasts long. This recipe comes from Vegetarian Soups For All Seasons by Nava Atlas, but again, I've spiced it up!

The chili recipe is gluten-free; the cornbread is not.

Leslie’s Vegetarian Chili and Green Chile Cornbread

olive oil
1 white or yellow onion, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 carrot, diced
1 bell pepper, any color, chopped (optional)
2-14 ounce cans chopped or crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups vegetable stock (or water)
4 cups kidney beans (1-1/2 to 2 cups dry, cooked, or 2-14 ounce cans
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon cumin
1-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
cheddar or Monterey jack, shredded, for topping (optional)

If you’re using dried beans, soak overnight in a large pot, then drain and return to pot. Cover with 3 cups of water for each cup of beans; bring to a low boil and simmer, about 1-1/4 hours, until tender but not mushy—they will continue to cook in the chili.

In a large stock pot, saute the onion in olive oil until softened and they begin to turn transparent; add the garlic and saute briefly. Add the celery, carrots, and bell pepper, and saute until soft, 3-5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, stock, beans, and spices. Bring to a low boil, then simmer about 30 minutes.

Top with shredded cheese to serve.

Green Chili Cornbread

1-1/2 cups cornmeal, medium grind
½ cup unbleached white flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 eggs
1 cup plain yogurt (low or full fat work equally well; Greek style is too thick)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1-4 ounce can chopped green chiles
½ cup thawed frozen corn kernels (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray or oil a 9" square pan.

In a large bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, wheat germ, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cayenne.

In a smaller bowl, lightly beat the eggs, and mix in the yogurt and oil. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the egg mixture; stir until combined. Stir in the corn, if you’re using it.

Spread mixture in pan and bake 20-25 minutes, until the top is golden and a knife or tester comes out clean. 

Let cool slightly and cut into squares.

Serve warm with butter. Because it is so moist, store leftovers in the fridge.

From the cover of KILLING THYME (October 2016, in paperback, e-book, and audio---large print coming March 15): 

At Seattle Spice in the Pike Place Market, owner Pepper Reece is savoring her business success, but soon finds her plans disrupted by a killer…

Pepper Reece’s to-do list is longer than the shopping list for a five-course dinner, as she conjures up spice blends bursting with seasonal flavor, soothes nervous brides fretting over the gift registry, and crosses her fingers for a rave review from a sharp-tongued food critic. Add to the mix a welcome visit from her mother, Lena, and she’s got the perfect recipe for a busy summer garnished with a dash of fun. 

While browsing in the artists’ stalls, Pepper and Lena drool over stunning pottery made by a Market newcomer. But when Lena recognizes the potter, Bonnie Clay, as an old friend who disappeared years ago, the afternoon turns sour. To Pepper’s surprise, Bonnie seems intimately connected to her family’s past. after Bonnie is murdered only days later, Pepper is determined to uncover the truth. 

But as Pepper roots out long-buried secrets, will she be digging her own grave?

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The 2015-16 president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website  and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebookwhere I often share news of new books and giveaways from my cozy writer friends.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Everything Left in the Garden Chili #recipe @LucyBurdette #giveaway

LUCY BURDETTE: First of all, as a pre-holiday giveaway, I have a copy of the brand new Level Best anthology to give away. It's called RED DAWN and it includes my Key West short story, LAST MANGO IN PARADISE. Leave a comment with your email to be entered in the drawing. Contest ends at midnight on 11/14!

 Now to the recipe... Here's the thing. In the past, if I wanted a quick pot of chili, I used ground beef, onion, beans, peppers, a jar of Pace picante sauce, and part of an envelope of chili seasoning. It was fast and delicious, and loaded with sodium. (I'm guessing 3000 mg in the seasonings alone!)

Rather then skip the chili all together, this time I made a different kind. Not quite so easy but if you make the sauce ahead of time, and pop it in the freezer, you can add the beef and beans and seasoning later. 

I have been reading a cookbook and blog by Jessica Goldman Foung.  Because of a kidney problem she can eat almost no sodium, but she loves to cook and offers many good suggestions. 

My sauce is tweaked considerably from her version, but I did love the instructions about grinding the vegetables in a food processor. No peeling tomatoes! No chopping!

Basic everything left in the garden sauce

5 to 6 fresh tomatoes, or one large can diced, no-salt tomatoes
Three carrots, peeled
One red onion
Three cloves garlic
Quarter cup fresh Italian parsley
Quarter cup basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, if desired
2 to 3 green peppers
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
16 ounce can tomato paste

Peel the carrots and grind them in the food processor. Cut the tomatoes into halves or quarters and add them to the carrots. Scrape these vegetables into a large pot and bring them to a simmer. 

Next mince the onion with the garlic in the processor, and add the chopped green peppers. (I did these by hand in order to avoid them turning to mush.) Sauté this group of vegetables in a couple tablespoons of nice olive oil. When they are soft, add them to the pot, along with the chopped parsley and basil, the oregano, pepper flakes, and the red wine vinegar. Simmer everything together for half an hour and then add the tomato paste and taste for flavor. 

I ended up adding a couple of teaspoons of sugar and a quarter teaspoon of kosher salt.

This makes a lovely vegetarian spaghetti sauce on its own over pasta, with the addition of some grated Parmesan cheese if desired.


To make the chili, brown half a pound of ground beef and drain the grease. And 1 to 2 tablespoons of chili powder and 1 teaspoon of cumin. Sauté the spices with the drained beef. Rinse two small cans of beans thoroughly (I used one black beans and one light red kidney.) And the beef mixture and the beans to the tomato sauce. Simmer for another half hour.  Serve with grated cheese and onions and sour cream, if desired.

(The sodium count in this version is tomato paste, 75 mg, 1/4 teaspoon salt Kosher, 450 mg, two cans beans, 910 milligrams, and probably less, because I rinsed them well. Those are the amounts in the entire pot--not counting the incidental and small amounts in the fresh vegetables

Ugly chili picture--we started eating too fast!

KILLER TAKEOUT is coming next April, but available for pre-order today!

And you can follow Lucy on Facebook,
and Instagram


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Denise Swanson's Can’t-Believe-It’s-Healthy Chili

Join us in welcoming our guest blogger, best-selling author Denise Swanson!

Now that both my sleuth Skye and I are eating healthier, I’ve been on the hunt for tasty meals that don’t break the bad-for-you budget. My incentive to eat better is because I’ve suddenly developed some food sensitivities. Skye’s has a lot to do on with what she and her new husband did on their honeymoon—or maybe before (wink).

Skye and I agree that because we both have good reasons to do so, we’ll change our eating habits. But we won’t give up taste. Neither of us are trying to get into a size four or even a fourteen. We are happy with ourselves and our only goal is to be healthy.

With both our eating requirements in mind, I’m avoiding sugar and gluten and Skye’s doctor telling her to eat foods high in fiber and rich in iron, I found the perfect recipe.

Turkey Chili


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
12 ounces of ground turkey
1 10 ounce can diced tomatoes
   and green chilies
1/2 cup white wine
2 teaspoons freshly ground
   black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried ground sage
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
6 cups unsalted vegetable
   or chicken stock
3 (15-ounce) cans unsalted cannellini beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
2 (15-ounce) cans unsalted kidney beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
2 cups chopped kale (I use a whole bag)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano


Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat.

Add onion and next 3 ingredients (through sausage); sauté 4 minutes. 

Add tomato and next 5 ingredients (through red pepper).

Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced by half (about 1 minute).

Stir in stock. Combine 2 cans cannellini beans and 1 can kidney beans in a medium bowl; mash with a potato masher. Add bean mixture and remaining beans to pan.

Bring to a simmer; cook 5 minutes.

Add kale; cover and simmer 30 minutes.

Sprinkle with oregano and serve with a crusty bread—mine is gluten free.

--New York Times Bestselling author Denise Swanson writes the Scumble River and Devereaux's Dime store mystery series and the Change of Heart romance series. Her eighteenth Scumble River release, Murder of an Open Book, debuts September 1 and in it her sleuth, the recently married Skye Denison-Boyd, has a bun in the oven.

New York Times Bestselling author Denise Swanson, who was a practicing school psychologist for twenty-two years, writes the Scumble River and Devereaux's Dime store mystery series and the Change of Heart romance series, beginning with Good Girl Overboard. Her eighteenth Scumble River release, Murder of an Open Book, debuts September 1 and in it her sleuth, the recently married Skye Denison-Boyd, has a bun in the oven. Her books all feature small-town heroines with lots of heart.

Denise’s books have been finalists for the Agatha, Mary Higgins Clark, RT Magazine's Career Achievement, and Daphne du Maurier Awards. She has won the Reviewers Choice Award and was a BookSense 76 Top Pick. She lives in Illinois with her husband, classical composer David Stybr, and their cool black cat Boomerang.

For more information, please check her website. or find Denise on Facebook at!/DeniseSwansonAuthor or follow her on twitter at DeniseSwansonAuthor

A nasty faculty feud leaves one Scumble River teacher belly-up. . . .

Her honeymoon may have been less than relaxing, but Skye Boyd née Denison is still high on marital bliss with her new husband, Wally. The fact that their family is about to get bigger is even more exciting, even if Skye is dealing with morning sickness—and trying to hide the news from her ever-meddling mother, May. 

But Skye quickly comes crashing down from cloud nine when the body of one of her coworkers, science teacher and volleyball coach Blair Hucksford, is found in the school swimming pool. The troublesome trainer was on the bad side of almost everyone on staff and many of the girls on her team, leaving Skye to sort through a huge roster of suspects. Now she must figure out which wronged party was mad enough to kill, and quickly—before someone else in town gets bumped off.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Not White White Chicken Chili

by Peg Cochran

I’ve never made white chicken chili before although I had it at a potluck a couple of times and liked it.  I decided it would be the perfect use for the remains of a rotisserie chicken.   

Most white chilies are white because…well, because they don’t have anything red in them like tomatoes or chili powder.  The heat usually comes from those green chilies (diced jalapenos) in a can.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have any green chilies (they were on the grocery list and hubby was going to go to the store, but after being stranded at Lowe’s when his car wouldn’t start—he got it going just as I arrived to pick him up—neither of us had the energy to go to the grocery store.)  I had to make do with what was in the pantry which fortunately included a can of cannellini beans or this would have been even less white than most white chilies!  

After tasting it, hubby said “don’t lose this recipe”—his ultimate compliment.  So I scrambled to write it down before I forgot what I did!  It was a super quick dish to throw together and while you could start with raw chicken (sauté it after the onions and garlic), having cooked chicken meat made it so much faster. 

2 cups cooked chicken shredded or diced (approximately)

1 14-ounce can cannellini beans (or other white beans)

1 onion, diced

1 garlic clove, minced or pressed

1 tablespoon olive oil (or vegetable oil)

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon oregano

1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, minced

1 cup (approximately) frozen corn

¾ 14-ounce can chicken broth (or more depending on how soupy you like your chili)

Saute onion and garlic in oil until soft.  Stir in spices and cook over medium heat for 30 seconds or so to bring out the flavors.  Add chicken, beans, corn and broth and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes to blend flavors.

Remains of rotisserie chicken

Shred chicken or dice

Drain beans and rinse well

Delicious spices!

The not white white chicken chili cooking

 Top with sour cream, diced avocado and shredded Monterey Jack 
cheese if desired

 Gigi Fitzgerald, owner of Gigi’s Gourmet De-Lite, knows how to put her clients’ cravings on ice. But catching a slippery killer is more of a challenge…

The hilarious Lucille Mazzarella is back and planning a wedding. But even the worst Bridezilla can’t create the wedding drama she’s about to face in this second book in the series

Desperate to see her pregnant daughter Bernadette married before the baby comes, Lucille is engrossed in all things wedding. Nothing will distract her from planning this Mazzarella main event. Nothing, that is, except for the murder of the mother of the groom.

Visit my web site and come join the fun on my Facebook page

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Buttery Cornbread with Mango and Jalapeno @LucyBurdette and a #Chat

LUCY BURDETTE: First things first--congrats to Daryl Wood Gerber and Peg Cochran for their new books this week--can't wait to dig into those!

Readers of this blog may not realize what goes on behind the scenes in this blog--maybe it's like sausage-making, right? Better not to know too much:). But my pals at Mystery Lovers Kitchen had a funny chat online last week--we thought you'd like hearing a little of it...the wacky minds of mystery-writing foodies. We're always thinking of you!

SHEILA: I'm still taking pix for this Friday's post. Do we all just take pix at every meal? I took a picture of my drink at a restaurant last night. Weird.

MARY JANE aka VICTORIA: Pix all the time! Not even the vegetables have any privacy, Sheila.

LUCY: Definitely no privacy for YOUR vegetables MJ! My husband gets alarmed if I don't take pix--he thinks the meal will surely be sub-par:)

KRISTA: LOL. I take pics of other things, too. Snowy limbs, flowers, birds, funny stuff I see. You just never know what you’re going to need.

MARY JANE: Right now there are guys trimming branches around our Hydro lines (as electric lines are called up here in Ontario.) I'm taking pictures. They are waving--probably dangerous. Not sure how to make this into a blog unless it's I'm Sure Glad I Have My Job.

SHEILA: Did you take them snacks? How about a post on what linemen eat?

Okay, back to the business of recipes. I'm a few months late with this cornbread recipe--you could have used it last fall when you were making your stuffed pumpkins and cornbread-sausage Thanksgiving stuffing! But after the winter most of the country has had, I decided to jazz it up with a go-away winter zippiness that comes from mangos and jalapenos. We've had some fabulous mango bread from our local bakery, Cole's Peace in Key West, and I thought, why not cornbread?


3/4 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup flour
1 and 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

2 large eggs
1 and 1/2 cups milk, plus 1 Tbsp white vinegar
3-4 Tbsp butter
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
1/2 ripe mango, chopped 

Mix the dry ingredients. Add the vinegar to the milk and wait a bit for it to thicken. (I've given up buying buttermilk, as I wasted too much of it.) Beat the eggs into the milk, add this to the dry mixture and stir until combined. Then stir in the mango and pepper.

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400 degrees. Drop the butter into the 8x8 inch pan you will use to bake, and melt it by popping the pan into the oven for a few minutes. Pour the cornbread batter into the prepared pan and bake 15 to 20 minutes until slightly brown. Serve hot, with more butter if desired. (We found we didn't need it.)

It was wonderful with chili, but I bet it would be delicious with eggs or all by itself as a mid-afternoon snack. Heated up with a little honey slathered on?

Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries. MURDER WITH GANACHE is in stores now!

Follow Lucy on Facebook, or Twitter, or Pinterest! She loves it when you pin her stuff:) 

PS I should warn you all that I'm taking a two-day class in 
iPhonography--that is how to take better photos with my iphone. Snapseed, Hipstamatic, Dynamic Light, Image Blender...oh my poor brain is spinning...See what you think about this piece of mango cornbread, compared to the one above...I'm going to try some things out on you, and hopefully the photos will get better, not worse!