Healthy Living – Part 2

I received a couple notes about my last post on recipes so I thought I would share two more AND how I found these.  First, the finding.

Finding new recipes is always tough.  There are a bajillion cookbooks out there and they are all “…the best cookbook for…” so how does one decide?  Normally I use the law of random selection – if I keep buying cookbooks eventually I will find one that I like.  That said, it’s been awhile since that method has succeeded.  When I decided to start my journey back to healthy living and furthermore, decided the first place to start was healthy EATING, it was still a little chilly here in Chicago.  In my last post I mentioned that I wanted comfort-food and I don’t have any more room for cookbooks so I turned to our good friend Google and entered “vegetarian comfort food recipes” and hit GOLD.  Without further delay, let’s talk about the next two recipes:

Chunky Minestrone Soup

This recipe comes to us from the BBC and as such, most of the quantities are expressed in grams and liters – that said, I find it interesting that some things are expressed in standard measurements like tbsp – but then I digress – again.  I changed this recipe a little (because I can’t help myself and because I don’t always have all the things I need in my pantry).  I substituted udon noodles for spaghetti noodles (no real reason, I am just on an udon noodle kick) and I got rid of the bread.  As for the “season to taste” instructions, I used salt, pepper, oregano, basil and some cumin.  Yes, I know, why cumin?  I like cumin and I like my meals to have a little more “robust” flavor.

Chunky Minestrone Soup Recipe

What’s the verdict?  I loved this one!  It made a TON of soup and keeps well in the fridge.  Looking forward to making it again.

Black Bean Vegetarian Chili

I like chili.  When this recipe came up in the search I was both excited and hesitant.  I like chili.  I also like MEAT, so a vegetarian chili never really get’s it done for me.  This one is one of the better ones I’ve tried.  Here too, I changed the recipe.  I replace black beans with cannellini beans.  I think a white bean just goes better in a non-meat chili.  With all this talk of beans I’m sure someone will point out “real chili don’t go no beans in it”.  Ok cowboy, simmer down – I get that but this isn’t real chili cuz it ain’t got no meat in it either – regardless, I ate three bowls of it last night.

Black Bean Vegetarian Chili Recipe

Overall this was the easiest and fastest meal to prepare from start to finish.  The times listed on the recipe were spot on.  I would change the order of operation just a little though.  They have you put the carrots and the zucchini in at the same time – that resulted in my zuke being a little too soft for my taste.  I will put that in just a little before the final components go in next time.

As always, comments, suggestions and yes, even complaints are welcome – let me know what you’re thinking and I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I have.