Sunday: More Christmas Decorating and Lunch with the Parents
It was another day of Christmas decorating at our house. Winter is definitely here now. The weather this morning also wanted to tell us it is almost Christmas time. When we went to the farmers market, boots, gloves and thick fleece hoodie were not enough to keep me warm. Darn, it was clearly winter coat weather Sunday morning and I found out too late.
Saturday night we had taken in the lemongrass plant and cut back the parsley and brought it inside since it was supposed to get down to 29 degrees Fahrenheit, brrrr. It felt much colder than that when we were at the market. It absolutely feels like Christmas is in the air.
Needless to say we had a hot bowl of oatmeal for breakfast and big mug of hot green tea to try to warm up. We were both cold after going to the market. They seemed to help warm us up a little but both Dan and I were moving slowly all morning.
Knowing that we would be doing more decorating we opted for another simple meal at mid day. Dan loves my white bean chili so I made that for lunch. I was too spicy for my mother *shakes head* but I think it is rather mild personally. I wouldn’t feed it to little children but if you have young teens or older it should be fine. Here is what I did:
White Bean Chili with Seitan Sausage
Long Cooking Ingredients:
1 pound dried cannellini beans (can substitute great northern beans)
approximately 8 cups water to cook beans
3 bay leaves
1 red or yellow onion finely diced (approx 2 cups)
8 cloves of garlic finely minced
½ tablespoon of coriander seed, toasted and ground
½ tablespoon of fennel seed, toasted and ground
½ tablespoon of chili powder
½ tablespoon cumin seed, toasted and ground
1 teaspoon oregano, dried
1 tablespoon no salt seasoning
¼ teaspoon liquid smoke, or to taste
2 chipotle’s in adobo (reduce or eliminate if you like less heat) or Chipotle chili powder to taste
14 ounce can of diced tomato
2 seitan sausages cut into bite sized pieces
Last Minute Ingredients:
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 small bunch of cilantro, minced (about 6 or 8 stalks or about ½ cup minced)
1 green onion, sliced on the bias
cashew crème fraiche – optional
paprika to dust the top
brown rice, bulgur or quinoa to serve under the chili
Cook the dried beans in filtered water with the bay leaves until tender (if the beans weren’t soaked first simmer for about 3 hours). Including the bay leaves with the cooking beans is reported to make them easier to digest but I haven’t seen any hard science on that. Don’t add any additional ingredients until the beans are tender; acid makes the outer skin of the bean tough.
In a separate pan, toast the seeds in a separate skillet until fragrant, then grind and add the spices to the soup pot with the onions, garlic, seasonings tomatoes, beans, seitan sausage and chipotles. Be certain to break the chipotle’s into small pieces before adding to the pot. Simmer until the flavors combine (at least 30 minutes). When the chili is ready to eat turn off the heat and add the lime zest, lime juice, cilantro and most of the green onion.
Serve on a bed of brown rice or bulgur and top with cashew crème fraiche, green onion and cilantro if desired. I also added a little sprinkle of paprika for color and flavor.
Nutritional Information: (does not include the rice or cashew creme fraiche)
Amount Per Serving
Calories - 324.62
Calories From Fat (5%) - 16.47
Total Fat - 1.93g
Saturated Fat - 0.34g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 40.89mg
Potassium - 1202.56mg
Total Carbohydrates - 52.67g
Fiber - 15.5g
Sugar - 4.47g
Protein - 27.44g
This is a family favorite which should tell you something. Dan looks forward to it every fall and winter. It is a very easy dish to put together and will cook with little intervention, other than an occasional stir. I think a dish like this is perfect when you want leftovers and don’t want to fuss at the stove. We think the cashew crème on top makes a difference. If you wanted to pass on the cashew crème I would add a few pumpkin seeds for good fat.
The long weekend was very good and is still going on at our house. Here are my happy thoughts now:
• We got in a good cardio workout last night (Sunday) at the gym and another one this morning (Monday). My goal was to burn at least 500 calories in cardio when at the gym. Since I surpassed that both Sunday and Monday I need to up that for tomorrow. Have I said recently how much I like measuring things? I would be lost without my body bugg while I was exercising.
• Dan decided to take today off so we slept in a little and got to the gym at 9:30 on Monday. It wasn’t very crowded and in fact empted out not long after 10 am.
• We are going to the athletic shoe store to buy some new shoes today. Holabird Sports is only open during the day so we thought we would take this opportunity to get fitted for some new shoes.
• We may do a little shopping since the stores should be less crowded. It is always fun to shop with Dan since he likes to give his opinion on clothes I am considering.
Time for me to make myself presentable and head out for some shopping and maybe lunch. I hope you are all having a great Monday.