Pumpkin Chili

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How y’all get so creative?

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Like, days before Halloween I see you people showing UP in some of the best costumes ever.

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Y’all clever as HECK!

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My lame behind has NEVER had interesting inspiration for Halloween costumes. Ever since childhood I have just wanted to be a sexy princess or sexy rockstar. Like, I have a very vivid memory of being Princess Jasmine at maybe 3 or 4 years old. Living in DC, it was plumb freezing on Halloween so my evil mother forced me to wear an undershirt under my lil Jasmine crop top. I threw a FIT! The audacity! I wanted that baby belly out and about! Then there was the Pocahontas year. This time there was a long black wig that scratched the HECK out of me and the bangs came over my eyes a lil and just didn’t make me feel like the sexy princess I was going for at 5. Another tantrum. Fast forward to being Amy Winehouse a couple of times and then skipping several years because my anxiety didn’t allow me to even THINK about dressing up for fear of being made fun of. I peaked in 2010 and was actually something kewl – Garr and I were a hotdog – him the bun, me the weiner. That is literally the HEIGHT of my Halloween creativity. A processed meat.

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So this year I went back to my roots and was Ally from A Star is Born, obviously.

 

 

Time: 1 hour (prep + cooking) | Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of pumpkin puree
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed + drained
  • 1 can of pinto beans, rinsed + drained
  • 1 package of soyrizo
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 tbsp. of garlic, minced
  • 1 10 oz. can of diced tomatoes with green chiles or fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 fresh roma tomato, diced
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. of chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. of cumin
  • 1 tsp. of smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. of oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. of crushed red pepper
  • S+P, to taste
  • Cilantro, for serving
  • Avocado, for serving
  • Cherry tomatoes, for serving

How to:

  • Heat a skillet over medium heat
  • Add soyrizo + cook until crisp, about 7-8 minutes, remove + set aside
  • Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium heat
  • Add onion + S+P, cook 3-4 minutes
  • Add red pepper, cook another 2 minutes
  • Add garlic, cook 1 more minute
  • Add chili powder + cumin + smoked paprika + oregano + crushed red pepper + some S+P, cook for a minute
  • Add in pumpkin + tomatoes + beans + broth + a lil water if you want it a lil soupier, bring to a boil, reduce heat + let simmer for 25 minutes
  • Add soyrizo, simmer another 5 minutes
  • Serve warm with cilantro + avocado + cherry tomato halves
  • Get your cauldron boiling + your spell book out + perform some Halloween mischief while drowing in your pumpkin chili

Zucchini Sammies

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A place I thrive is our nation’s capital.

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I spent the long weekend gallivanting around one of my top 3 fave cities and I feel energized and refreshed!

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If only the U.S. Army 10-Miler didn’t get in the way of my itinerary!

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Obvio I did not run the race, I’m not a masochist, but I did do an exceptionally good job of spectating and just generally being uber supportive of my athletic husband. To make the race, we had to catch the metro bright and early. Catching the DC metro is one of my top 5 favorite activities so this was invigorating for me, though I would have preferred not to be wearing athleisure at the time, but I digress. We ride the escalator down to our platform & it is packed like a can of sardines (a saying I don’t love). Stranger’s bodies are just pressed too closely together, it’s terrible. We squeeze our way in and watch the escalator as more bodies arrive. Eventually the escalator is overwhelmed & people are stuck & there is some mild trampling. It was all very dramatic. The train finally came and people were squeezing in so tight the doors barely closed. If I hadn’t been trying to act like a local who was appalled by the throngs of people who didn’t know how to act riding public transit, I would have absolutely had a panic attack.

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I was rewarded for my positive attitude with copious amounts of falafel and an evening at a piano bar singing Elton John and swaying in a dimly lit corner.

 

 

Time: Overnight marinating + 1 hour cooking | Serves: 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 3 zucchini, halved lengthwise + pitted
  • 1 package of tempeh, cut in cubes
  • 1/2 cup of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. of dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp. of lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. + 1 tsp. of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. of smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp. of chili powder
  • 1/2 lb. of shiitake mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp. of garlic powder
  • 1 tomato off the vine, sliced thin
  • 1/2 a red onion, sliced thin
  • 1 avocado, mashed
  • 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. of agave
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp. of olive oil
  • S+P, to taste

How to:

  • In a bowl, combine 1/4 cup of soy sauce + 1 tbsp. of lemon juice + 1 tbsp. of garlic + 1 tbsp. of smoked paprika + chile powder
  • Place zucchini halves in a big sealable bag + pour in soy sauce mix
  • Refrigerate overnight
  • In the morning, combine remaining soy sauce + dijon +  1 tbsp. of garlic in a lil bowl
  • Add tempeh + let marinate for a few
  • Meanwhile, combine mushrooms + garlic powder + remaining smoked paprika in a large bowl
  • Heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat
  • Add tempeh + cook for 6-7 minutes or until starting to crisp
  • Add mushrooms, cook another 4-5 minutes
  • Meanwhile, combine balsamic + agave + 1 tsp. of garlic + olive oil + S+P in a lil bowl’
  • To serve, spread some avocado inside one of each of the zucchini halves + top with S+P, top with tempeh/mushroom mix + tomatoes + onion + drizzle with balsamic + top with other zucchini half
  • Please try to pick up one of these bad boys + actually eat it like a sammie + see how much food you get all over your face

 

Sushi Bowls

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I have a thing with sushi.

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And not in the normal, upper middle class female sort of way. Like, I can’t handle it.

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Don’t get me wrong. I used to love it. There is this fried sushi roll at this basic as heck place in Memphis that I used to TEAR UP.

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Right when we got to WA, we searched for the best sushi in town and FOUND IT. It was so dope. One night we went out and ordered no joke $100 worth of sushi and just gorged until we puked. No, really, I puked it all up. There is something about seaweed coming back up that just turns you off, ya know?? Since then, I have avoided the little round delights like the plague. But I don’t want to live this way forever! I dream of a world where I’m able to enter my sketchy sushi place in Memphis, dine on a tornado roll and not gag. These bowls were a step in the right direction. One lil sheet of seaweed cut in tiny strips. I only avoided 82% of the strips as I ate these bowls…

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And now I have four more sheets of the stuff & it gawks at me every time I open the pantry.

 

 

 

Time: 1 hour (prep + cooking) | Serves: 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of brown rice
  • 3 tbsp. of rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp. of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. of agave
  • 1 sheet of nori (seaweed)
  • 2 cups of edamame, cooked
  • 1 carrot, shredded with a veggie peeled
  • 1/2 an english cucumber, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 avocado, sliced thin
  • 1 tbsp. of vegan mayo
  • 1/2 a tbsp. of sriracha

How to:

  • Cook rice according to package directions
  • Meanwhile, heat rice vinegar + soy sauce + agave in a lil sauce pan over medium heat + cook until agave is dissolved
  • As rice is almost done cooking, add in vinegar mix + finish cooking
  • Meanwhile, combine mayo + sriracha + refrigerate until you’re ready to use
  • Meanwhile, toast nori in a dry skillet over low-medium heat, flipping once after about 3 minutes, remove + crumble into lil bits
  • To serve, put some rice in a bowl + top with nori bits + edamame + carrot + cucumber + avocado + some sriracha mayo, serve warm or chilled
  • Mix all of that goodness up, grab a pair of chopsticks + count how many chopstick lifts it takes you to finish this meal, my guess is 163

 

 

Adapted from here!