What a Crock

For lunch today I made one of my favorite salads.

Red leaf lettuce, spinach, 3/4 of a large Gala apple, chopped (I ate the other 1/4 while I prepped) some tomato and basil feta cheese, cubes of extra firm tofu and a few cashews.

68_salad

Everything into a large bowl, then I added 2 Tbsp of this amazing Miso dressing.

miso_ginger

Cover. Shake it like a Polaroid picture!

Shake It

When I say tossed salad, I mean tossed salad.

salad_rules

While making lunch for myself and the girls, I decided to get dinner started at the same time knowing we had plans to be out all afternoon. We love Vegetarian Chili and this recipe can be made on the stove or in the crock pot. I decided to go the crock pot route this afternoon so that dinner would be hot and ready as soon as we walked in the door AND the kitchen would already be cleaned up from lunch.

Vegetarian Chili

2 15 oz cans of Pinto Beans, rinsed and drained
1 can of Light Red Kidney Beans, rinsed and drained
1 can of Dark Red Kidney Beans, rinsed and drained
8 oz of frozen corn
1 can of diced tomatoes
8 oz of crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
2 – 3 cups of water and/or vegetable broth
1 clove of garlic, minced
Cumin, Paprika, Chili Powder, Cayenne Pepper and salt, to taste

three_beans

Place all ingredients in pot and stir! How easy is that?

As noted above, you can use water or vegetable broth. I chose to use vegetable broth today because I had some open in the fridge that I wanted to use up before it went bad.

veggie_broth

I used A LOT of cumin and chili powder. I didn’t measure, I just add spices in an amount that I think is about right (erring on the side of caution) and then adding more if needed after I test it. If had to guess I’d say I used at least 2 – 3 Tbsp each of cumin and chili powder, 1 Tbsp of paprika and a dash of salt and cayenne pepper (leave out completely if you don’t like it spicy, add more if you like to spice it up!)

This is one meal that the whole family will actually eat! Because of that I don’t put too much cayenne in, and Zak and I can spice ours up separately if we like.

I put the crock pot on high for about an hour as we got ready to leave. Before we left I turned it to low knowing we’d be gone about 3 to 4 hours.

chili crock_pot

This can easily be cooked on the stove too. Put all ingredients in a large pot and cook on high until it boils. Reduce heat to low and cover, cook for about a half hour. This makes a lot of chili, probably 8 servings, but it’s an easy dish for Zak to bring to work for lunch and is good for at least another dinner too.

After lunch we were out the door to my friend Sharon’s house to meet up and visit with our girlfriend Tara to celebrate her 30th birthday! Sharon just turned 30 last Thursday. Welcome to the club, ladies! I was getting lonely. 😉

Sharon had read this mornings post about the date bars and was intrigued. Since Zak was asking when I would make more, we decided to make them at her house.

A date bar lesson!

making_date_bars

Plus it gave Tara a very healthy birthday treat to stick a candle in!

candle

The little girls had a blast playing together while the big girls chatted and caught up. We snacked on date bars, Sharon’s home made hummus and kashi crackers.

Three 30 year olds! And 3 very NON-30 year olds.

3_30_year_olds
(Not pictured: Maxine who decided to embrace her inner two year old and refused to be in the picture.)

Once home, the house smelled divine and I was SO glad dinner was ready!

veg_chili

Served with a 1/4 of an avocado and a handful of crackers on the side.

And my favorite way to eat dessert, incorporate it into my meal!
1/2 container of 2% Fage with a 1/2 c (+/-) of Kashi Heart to Heart with a generous sprinkle of chocolate chips.

dessert

Zak got home from work early today and took the girls swimming to the pool at our fitness center, which is where they all are right now.

Shhh…. hear that? Me either.

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6 Responses

  1. Ahhh, peace and quiet. Enjoy it! My hubby is in England this week, so there is no such thing as quiet for a few days.

  2. Your chili looks so good, I’m going to have to give it a try!

  3. I LOVED the date bars. Told Ali she needs to patent them. Ali you have to make the oatmeal bars to share with everyone. Those are still by far my favorite.

  4. Great idea to incorporate your dessert with your dinner. I’ve been doing that for the past few days and it’s been working out great. I haven’t eaten anything after 8 p.m. since the weekend. 🙂

  5. Awesome Jennifer!

  6. Awesome eats, Awesome photos, Awesome blog, Awesome YOU. In case you didn’t know, there is actually a professional in photog circles known as a “food stylist”…and yep…you is one! You think those gourmet magazine photos have anything on you? Sheuhhh!!

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