Monday, November 29, 2010

Vegan Mofo 29.1: Dan’s Favorite White Chili

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
Serves 6

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

Additional ingredients:

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.

Happy Thoughts:

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.

Signing out:

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.


  1. That chili looks great - so warming. Chili is probably one of my favorite parts of cold weather (about the only part I like).

  2. This looks like the perfect thing to make on a cold winter day. I will give it a try.
    I wanted to stop by and say hi to a fellow MoFo'er. I'm going to be sad to se the month come to an end. I'm so glad I discovered you.
    Best wishes.

  3. Ali,
    That white bean chili sounds excellent. I will have to try this, for sure. Congrats on the 500 calories!!!

  4. that chili sounds so good. i never add sausage or anything like that- always beans, beans, beans (sometimes corn). i really need to try it cause it sounds very good!

  5. Can you come make me some of that chili, I am freezing! LOL
    I love the look of the gym! I used to go to an awesome gym, but they closed down due to no one being healthy but me in this
    I used to have to go up two floors to get to the main floor cardio center, I would run up the stairs and start counting when I hit the second floor as part of my cardio!they didn't have a smoothie center or a yoga room, it was like a Rocky movie gym...lots of sweat and grunting...I tickled myself, I am off to make some broccoli! Take some christmas house pics please!
    Hugs! B

  6. The chili sounds good. I like cannellini beans.

    I hope you had a great day shopping!

  7. It's cold here too. The temps are dropping as I writ this...brrrr. I am just not ready for the cold winter!
    Your white bean chili sounds perfect for this cold weather! I'll have to give this a try. I think my husband would really enjoy this on.
    I sure hope you plan on taking pics of all your decorating...sure would love to see. :o)

  8. I love seeing how you eat so well so much of the time but still let loose a little, but still good. I wonder if anyone in the restaurant could give you the secret to the faux duck.

    This is my first year with my younger cats - and they are black. I have a little pre-lit tree with glitter on it and I can always tell when they've knocked it over because there is glitter on their faces. Is it bad that I just let them do it? At least we aren't putting up anything more extravagant.

  9. Heather,

    Thanks, Dan loves this one it is one of his favorite dishes. I agree with you chili is perfect cold weather food and one of the few parts I like about winter. LOL


  10. Gilding Lilies,

    This is a family favorite that i used to make with white meat in our omni days. I think it is better now with the seitan sausage.

    Thanks for stopping by. I will stop by your blog as soon as I can. Things are very hectic here currently.


  11. Aimee,

    I hope you like the chili as much as we do.

    Thanks for the calorie burn congrats. My new goal is 700 since I am routinely hitting 550 plus. I am trying to keep myself challenged. I need goals to stay motivated. ;-)


  12. miss V,

    I first started adding seitan sausage to a cassoulet recipe and we liked that so much I added it to many of my bean dishes now. My husband enjoys the textural variation.


  13. Brandi,

    Bummer that your gym closed. I will take a few more pics and email them to you. The gym is really big, which still fascinates me. We used to belong to another gym that was part of the hospital system I worked for. This gym is larger and costs less than half what the other one did with my employee discount. I wonder if you could open a gym in your town and make it successful with good marketing. Just a thought.

    There will be more Christma pics when I get finished. It is the never ending project at our house, LOL.

    talk to you later,

  14. Jessica,

    I love cannelini beans too. It must be the Italian in me. ;-)

    We had a great day shopping and it was very productive too. LOL

    I hope you had a good Wednesday,

  15. Michelle,

    It really got cold today. We started the morning at 64 and it dropped to 44 in a 15 minute time span as the cold front went through. There may be another chili version tomorrow. ;-)

    I will be taking more Christmas pics once I get it all finished. It will be a few more days still. I really do go overboard, LOL.


  16. Jessica,

    We used to try to eat as healthy when we were out but we finally gave up. Chefs can't imagine food without oil so I just ask for it to be as little as possible. Also if we aren't willing to eat flour (pizza or pizza) then we have a hard time ordering. We eat so clean most of the time I don't think the occasional restaurant meal does too much damage. At least I hope it doesn't. ;-)

    I did try to ask about the faux duck but the server was Asian and his English wasn't great. I am going to keep asking until I get an answer though. I can be persistent. LOL

    It is very difficult to stop cats from doing what they want to do. I have had cats for over 35 years and they all seem to do what they want and when they want to do it.

    We didn't put up Christmas decorations until the cats were 6 and they are still little terrors with them even though they are now 9. I have heard Turkish Angoras are mischievious and that is good description of my fur kids. But we adore them.

    Good luck with your Christmas decorations this year,


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