Author Archives: Drew

Veggie Chili Meets Pumpkin

It’s that time of year again! It’s the time when we dust off our slow cookers and start looking for new recipes. The days are shorter, and I find it so easy to throw everything in a pot and hope for the best 4-6 hours later. And so I found myself making my veggie chili twice in the last two weeks.

Recipe update: I just throw everything into the pot and turn it on, instead of cooking the onions and spices first.

The second time around I didn’t have as many veggies as my recipe called for. I was unfortunately missing the butternut squash (my hands thanked me) and zucchini (who knew I would actually start liking you one day).

Since I had already started dumping ingredients into my slow cooker, I went looking through my fridge and cupboards to see what I could add to the recipe instead.

The only thing I could find was a can of pureed pumpkin. I had an extra can from the Thanksgiving Pumpkin Dip (Yum!) I had made.

I have tried pumpkin in tomato sauce once or twice, but it wasn’t AS good as just plain old tomato sauce. But I gave it a go thinking that maybe because the chili has so many spices, and HEAT it might work. AND it worked! I can’t taste the pumpkin at all in the recipe, and it gives it a smoother/velvety texture, while at the same time thickening everything up!

Be sure to add some tomato paste to the mix so that your chili is red and not orange, but I would DEFINITELY try it the next time you make chili.

Original Recipe: Crock Pot Veggie Chili on a cold night


Crock Pot Veggie Chili on a cold night

With the cold weather coming, my partner and I wanted to make something to warm our toes. I remember when my mother used to make chili as a child. It was the standard – ground beef, onions, red kidney beans and tomatoes – but always delicious, regardless of my aversion towards ground beef even as a kid. As an adult I wanted to make something with LOTS more veggies in it. It was my first ever attempt at cooking butternut squash, and I’m SUPER happy I did. It is delicious in this recipe – even if you’re not a squash lover (mother). One issue I had with the hard, oddly (funny) shaped squash, is that it left a thin film on my hands that took quite a very scrubs to get off. Has anyone else ever experienced this? Or have any idea why this happens? Next time I may just have to wear gloves!

This recipe serves 6-8 people:

3 tblsp. olive oil
1 spanish onion
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tblsp cumin
1 tblsp coriander
1 tsp chili powder

Cook the onion in the olive oil in a pan until translucent. Add the garlic. Cook for a minute. Add the spices cook for another 2-3. You may want to use a bit of water to lift up all the spices from the pan, but after I let them cook for a minute they came up fine.

Add the onion and spices to a crock pot with the rest of the ingredients:

1 medium zuchinni, sliced thin into quarters
1 large pepper, chopped
1 can of diced tomatoes with juice – 28 ounce can
1 can of black pinto beans (drained and rinsed) – about a 15 ounce can
1 can of red kidney beans (drained and rinsed) – about a 15 ounce can
2/3 cup tomato paste (6 ounce can)
3 cups butternut squash, peeled and chopped into cubes – HOW TO
3 cups of veggie stock
1 tsp salt – or to taste

Stir everything together and then cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours, or on LOW for 6-8 hours. Serve with some yogurt and shredded cheddar if you’re so inclined… I know I was!

Recipe Update: Veggie Chili Meets Pumpkin

HMC Day 23: Tofu Wontons & Meal Planning Freebies!

Number ONE thing that I’ve learned: Prep, prep, prep. Every weekend Adam and I head to the grocers down the street, or my personal fav: The Sweet Potato, and get all the groceries on the LIST. The LIST (it’s in CAPS because it’s UBER-important) has everything that we need on it so that 1) we don’t go over board and waste too much, and 2) we don’t miss anything and end up having to hit the grocery store again during the week. Continue reading

HMC Day 14: My new favourite lunchbox

My new favourite lunchbox, or today more appropriately called breaky-box, is awesome! I first discovered this beautiful box on one of my favourite design sites. I thought it was a great idea, but didn’t think much of it after that. I think something about shipping and handling or not shipping to Canada, or perhaps just plain forgetting about it, snagged my dreams of owning such a functional and pretty lunchbox. Continue reading

HMC Day 13: Nut Meal and Baking

My weekend was packed full of baking and produce prepping! I’ve never really been a baker, so I was really interested to see how my goods would turn out!

The ONE major hurdle that I’ve had to overcome is finding time to prepare snacks for my work day. Bringing lunch to work has also been difficult, but around two o’clock every day I get the munchies! And before September if there was nothing in my backpack, I would head to the local coffee shop. Therefore, this past weekend I spent my time wisely and made my favourite granola, as well as two batches of yummy muffins! Continue reading

HMC Day 6: Strawberry “Milkshake”

I’ve recently had an obsession: the strawberry milkshake. Now I’ve never been a strawberry milkshake fan. I’ve always disliked the artificially processed strawberry taste, but that’s just me.

That was until Rawlicious! One of my favourite restaurants – formally seen in the Junction and now residing in Bloor West – Rawlicious serves up their version of the strawberry milkshake and it was MIND blowing. Especially when you consider there’s not a drop of milk or ice cream in it! Try it for yourself! Continue reading

Kale Chips

I can’t tell you how skeptical I was about these. Although I love using kale in soups, stews, etc. The look of Kale Chips reminded me of dried seaweed – and I dislike dried seaweed, or any kind of seaweed for that matter (for all you sushi fans I’m sorry).

But Meghan Telpner said they were fantastic, so I thought I would give them a whirl too (She also has a how-to video on making kale chips). My recipe is very similar to hers and I think if you did a quick google search you’ll find that most recipes are the same. I do have to stress though that lemon juice is key! There were a few recipes out there that didn’t call for lemon juice, but it really adds a bit of extra bite.  Continue reading