Four Bean Vegetarian Chili and Glorious Beer Bread

I hope everyone on the East Coast is beginning to recover from Sandy and is safe and sound! My brother, roommate and I are alive and well in our place and are so grateful to have escaped the brunt of the storm. We were without power for about two and a half days, but luckily had running water the entire time.

Here’s our Pre-Sandy food and beverage stockpile from Target.

Unfortunately they were already out of a few things by the time we got there…

But thankfully I was able to score these Dark Chocolate and Mint Morsels! Haha, morsels.

So here is what our living room normally looks like,

and here it is after a little re-vamp and gearing up for the storm. Thankfully all our windows survived!

We weren’t sure if we would have running water, so we prepared for that too. We also filled both the bathtubs.

Here we are sitting on some yoga mats enjoying a meal.

Then a few hours later that same night…complete darkness.

On the second night without power we decided to get a little crazy. We wanted to party it up. Candle lit Uno anyone?

All the while the temperature was dropping in our place, let’s just say I was getting a little chilled. Anyone who knows me is aware of my lack of proper circulation. When the temp drops down into the sixties in the fall, for example, most people are still out and about wearing shorts. I however am quick to don my gloves and a parka. Anyway, that’s why I am doing jumping jacks. Trying to improve the blood flow.

We knew all the food in our fridge and freezer was going to quickly go bad without power, so we wanted to use up some of our frozen foods while we could. The thawing process took a little longer than anticipated however…

Although it may not look it, that appetizing frozen rectangular block seen above is actually a delicious Four Bean Vegetarian Chili that we made the week before. So tasty and lovely as leftovers! Also a great recipe if all you have are a bunch of non-perishables on hand.

This chili is such a comforting late fall/early winter dish. It smells heavenly as it is simmering and tastes even better!

I topped mine with some fresh cilantro for an extra touch of yum. I loooove cilantro. I also baked a loaf of fresh beer bread. It turned out amazing! I’ve never had a loaf of bread turn out like this. And by ‘this’ I mean fully cooked and edible. Having an oven that actually works and cooks things all the way through is amazing. You have no idea how thankful I am for an oven that evenly heats!

Not only does it look perfectly golden and crusty on the outside, but on the inside it was gloriously dense and moist. Please do not be intimidated by the whole bread-making process, this was painless and involved only a few simple ingredients. Anyone can make this bread!

Hello heaven.

Four Bean Chili

Serves 8

Recipe adapted from How Sweet It Is

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 cups multi-colored bell pepper, chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp garlic, minced

1 15 oz. can cannellini beans

1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans

1 15 oz. can black beans

1 15 oz. can red kidney beans

2 28 oz. cans of crushed tomatoes

1 tbsp. tomato paste

2 tbsp chili powder

1/2 tbsp curry powder

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 tbsp dark cocoa powder

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp red pepper flakes

Making this chili is a cinch! Start by prepping the veggies that need to be washed and chopped, and rinsing and draining all the beans. Then heat the oil in a stock pot to medium heat, and add in the onions and peppers. Cook the onions and peppers for about five minutes allowing them to soften a bit, stirring throughout to prevent sticking. Then add in the rest of the ingredients. Yep, add them all in and give a good stir. Then let the chili simmer for about 15 minutes, or until warmed through. Now you’ve got yourself some chili!

Glorious Beer Bread

Makes one loaf

Recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

pinch of salt

2 tbsp agave nectar

1 12 oz. can of beer (get creative!)

1 tbsp butter, melted

You won’t believe how easy this recipe is either! Definitely not my healthiest recipe ever, but nevertheless a satisfying treat. Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees and spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray. In a medium sized mixing bowl stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Then stir in the agave nectar and beer, and incorporate until just mixed. Next, pour the batter into the loaf pan, and drizzle the melted butter overtop. Bake for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick or knife inserted in the middle of the bread comes out clean. Inhale!

The Vegetarian Imperative is a really good book,

Sydney

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