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GF, Vegan & Raw/ Meals/ RECIPES

I Found My Go-To Chili Recipe

Michael of Koinoia is a friend of ours and had us over to recently to watch the Nebraska football game. {GO HUSKERS!}  When we walked into his home, the most amazing aroma of chili greeted us.  He made his famous chili for us, AND made a whole pot of meat- free chili just for me!  He shares his recipe and thoughts about fall here at his blog.  He has some other great recipes, like Bruschetta, that you must check out, too.  While you are there tell him Amy said hello.

I have made his exact meat- free version twice and we just love it.  His recipe uses a can of  Bush’s Chili Starter which is really good but a little bit high in sodium, plus– as you all know, I like to do one- stop shopping for my groceries at Trader Joes –but they do not sell Bush’s brand there but they do sell organic canned beans.  I decided to try my own Trader Joes version and using a can of their Vegetarian Chili in place of the Bush’s Chili Starter and it turned out yummy!  I still think I like Michael’s original version better as far as taste, but if I want to keep my shopping in one spot and keep things organic, at least there is a alternative.

I you want meat in your chili, (and a pic of the finished product) click here to go to Michael’s blog for the recipe.

Here is the meat-free version:

My Vegetarian Go-To Chili Recipe

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
15 oz can seasoned Bush’s chili beans, in sauce
1 can Bush’s Chili Starter
15 oz can Bush’s black beans, drained
15 oz can Bush’s red kidney beans, drained
15 oz can Bush’s white northern beans, drained
46 oz tomato juice
2-4 Tbsp chili powder
salt, pepper and cayenne to taste

Put olive oil in a large stock pan over medium heat.  Add diced onion.  Cook until translucent.  Add red pepper & garlic.  Cook about 5 minutes, careful not to brown the garlic.  Add all beans, tomato juice, & spices.  Let simmer for at least an hour up to 3.

Enjoy with your choice of toppings.  We love it with Trader Joes organic version of Frito type corn chips or crackers.

*To buy all ingredients at Trader Joes, get Trader Joe’s brand beans and substitute Trader Joes Vegetarian Chili for the Bush’s Chili Starter.

Do YOU have a favorite chili recipe?  If so, please share in the comments!


Cincinnati Style Chili Recipe

We are in between meals being provided for our family, which is fine because I have felt pretty well the last few days.  Last night I decided to make a big pot of chili for dinner.  The weather has been a bit cooler, and I knew it would reheat well for the next couple days.
I looked at All Recipes for an authentic Cincinnati Style Chili Recipe and found one that sounded great! It had all kinds of great spices in it, and a square of baking chocolate!   I made it and really, really liked it.  It has a great depth of flavor and is a recipe I will for sure make again.  We served it over whole grain noodles and sprinkles some cheese on top.
For the original, authentic recipe, click here and it will take you to the All Recipe website.  I changed 3 things…I added beans, only used 1/8 cup chili powder, and browned the beef instead of boiling it.

Cincinnati Style Chili Recipe

2 pounds lean ground beef
1 quart water, **more or less depending on consistency you would like
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 cans chili beans (or kidney beans)
2 onions, finely chopped
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 (1 ounce) square unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
5 whole cloves
5 whole allspice berries
1 bay leaf



  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan, add onions.  Cook until translucent.  Add the garlic and ground beef.  Cook until browned.  Drain if needed. 
  2. Stir in water, tomato sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, chocolate, chili powder, salt, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, cloves, allspice berries, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 hours. Add water if necessary to prevent the chili from burning.


My local health food store sells spices in bulk, so I was able to go buy 5 allspice berries for a quarter, and 5 cloves for pennies.  I highly recommend finding a store that allows you to buy spices in bulk.  It is amazing the difference in taste when spices are fresh!  Enjoy.

Sorry I don’t have an “after” picture.  I was pooped after dinner and spaced it!

Do you have a favorite chili recipe you want to share??



Sesame Chili Udon Noodles

I just made these noodles for lunch and the bowl is completely gone, thanks to me and my 3 girls.  I am so happy to have found this recipe, it is a perfect side to grilled chicken, great for packing in my girls lunch, and I’m sure it will be a great midnight snack for me if there are ever any leftovers!

I found the recipe on DinnerCakes, but added a few ingredients to the recipe to suit my taste (I wanted it a bit sweeter and thought it needed some acid) by adding peas, juice from 1 clementine, and just a bit of sugar.  I used Udon noodles instead of Soba–Udon is made from wheat, Soba is made from buckwheat.  The Soba noodles at my local health food store were insanely expensive (8 bucks a package!) so I went with Udon. I would like to try the Soba noodles, so next time I will shop at our local Asian food store.  You won’t believe how much money I have been saving by shopping there, I’m planning on posting about it one of these days.


My youngest (7 yr. old) had much fun helping me make these noodles.  It was her little fingers that helped squeeze the clementine. She kept an eye on the sesame seeds while they toasted in my fry pan, stirred the sauce ingredients, and helped grate the ginger with a micro plane.  She was delighted by the scent of ginger, she couldn’t believe that such an ugly root could smell so fresh and good!  She was not too into the scent of garlic, though..

See my new, big cutting board from IKEA?  I love it, and it was only 10 bucks!  

Sesame Chili Udon Noodles
~8 oz dried soba noodles (I used Udon)
~4 tablespoon tamari (it is a Japanese style soy sauce, sold in most grocery stores, San-J is my favorite)
~1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce (this one is my favorite, it is great for dipping egg rolls or even popcorn chicken! We keep running out of this stuff in our home.)
~1 teaspoon ginger, grated or chopped finely
~1 clove garlic; minced or pressed
~2 tablespoons sugar (I used rapadura)
~Juice of 1 clementine (or tangerine or orange)
~1/2 cup peas, cooked and cooled
~Toasted Sesame Seeds (heat in dry pan until golden, or buy them already toasted in ethnic foods section of the grocery store)

Boil noodles in salted water per the instructions; probably 6-8 minutes.  While the noodles are boiling, mix tamari, chili sauce, ginger, garlic and sugar together.  When the noodles are ready, strain, transfer to a bowl and mix together with the sauce one spoonful at a time until you get your desired sauciness.  Taste as you go, the mixture is quite salty and I did not use all of it.  Add clementine juice and peas.  Toss.  Serve (hot or cold), sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy!