Black Bean Butternut Chili

Black Bean Butternut Chili, pictured with Cornbread
and Oven Sweet Potato Fries
Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder*
  • 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cubed 1/2 inch (about 4 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups corn kernels (fresh, frozen or canned)
  • 2 cups cooked black beans or 1 (15 or 19 ounce) can
  • 2 cups fresh diced tomatoes or 1 (15 ounce) can
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons cold water + 1 tablespoon cornstarch, for thickening, optional
  • Optional garnishes: vegan sour cream, shredded vegan cheddar, chopped cilantro

In a large saucepan on medium-high, sauté onions until translucent, 5 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder and squash, and sauté 5 minutes. Add corn, beans, tomatoes, and salt. Add broth to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer until squash in tender and flavors are blended, about 45 minutes, adding broth if necessary to keep vegetables covered. Thicken chili if desired by adding cornstarch whisked in cold water.

Slow Cooker Method: In a large skillet on medium-high, sauté onions until translucent, 5 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder and squash, and sauté 5 minutes. Pour into a large slow cooker. Add corn, beans, tomatoes, and salt. Add broth to cover. Cook on LOW 6 to 8 hours or until squash is tender. Thicken chili if desired by adding cornstarch whisked in cold water.

*For 2 tablespoons chili powder:
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 rounded teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 rounded teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 rounded teaspoon granulated onion

Cornbread

Cornbread
Makes one 10-inch round or 8-inch square cornbread

  • 2 cups unflavored nondairy milk
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar for savory cornbread; 1/3 cup or more to taste, for sweet cornbread
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Grease a 10-inch cast iron skillet or an 8-inch square baking pan. Place pan in oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. In a medium bowl mix milk and lemon juice; set aside 5 minutes. Mix in oil. In a large bowl whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add wet mixture to dry mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon until just combined. Pour batter into prepared preheated pan and smooth the top. Bake until corn bread is firm, golden and pulls away from the sides, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool slightly, then cut into wedges or squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Roasting Pumpkin Seeds, Simmer Method

Simmering in salted water permeates the seeds inside with salty goodness! Here's what to do with all those seeds from a Halloween jack o'lantern or Thanksgiving pumpkin pie.

  • Seeds from 1 or 2 pumpkins
  • 1 quart water
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • Vegetable oil, optional

Wash seeds in a strainer to remove pulp and strings. Combine seeds, water and salt in a saucepan, bring to a boil, then simmer 2 hours. Drain seeds and dry them with paper towels.
Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or nonstick foil. Arrange seeds in a single layer and bake until golden brown, stirring occasionally, 40 to 50 minutes.
Allow seeds to cool to room temperature. Crack one open and taste; add salt only if necessary. If desired, toss seeds to coat with 1 teaspoon vegetable oil per cup of seeds. Store seeds at room temperature in an airtight container.

Oniony Gravy

Great over Meatless Loaf

Makes 2 cups; serves 4 to 6

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup minced yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 teaspoons vegetable bouillon powder*

*For bouillon cubes use 1 cube per cup of water. Heat water and dissolve cube before adding to roux.

In a small saucepan heat oil on medium and sauté onions until translucent. Add flour, stir and cook until roux is smooth. Add water and bouillon, and cook, stirring constantly, until gravy thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Savory Veggie Bread Pudding

Savory Veggie Bread Pudding
Serves 4 as a main dish

  • 4 slices whole grain bread, stale is fine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill leaves (or 1/3 the amount dried dill)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened nondairy milk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 cups raw chopped vegetables, any/all of the following: small cauliflower florets, broccoli florets, peeled diced eggplant, thinly sliced zucchini, diced red bell pepper, halved or quartered mushrooms, corn kernels (may use frozen or canned, drained), seeded and diced tomatoes (may use canned diced tomatoes, drained)
  • 1/2 cup shredded vegan mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Oil a 2-quart baking dish.

Tear bread into bite-size pieces and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with dill, paprika, thyme, salt, black pepper; toss to evenly distribute. Drizzle in 2/3 of the milk and stir to moisten; set aside.

In a large covered skillet, place 1 1/2 inches of water and a steamer basket. Steam cauliflower (if using) 7 minutes; transfer to bowl with bread, mix and set aside. Steam broccoli (if using) 5 minutes; add to the bowl, mix and set aside. Steam eggplant (if using) 3 minutes; add to the bowl. If using canned or frozen vegetables, add them to the bowl, mix and set aside.

Remove steamer basket and drain skillet. Heat oil in skillet on medium and sauté onion until translucent, 3 minutes. Add zucchini, bell pepper, and fresh corn kernels if using, and sauté until softening, 5 minutes. Transfer sauté, and fresh tomatoes if using, to the bowl, mix and set aside. Add mushrooms to skillet and sauté until liquid has been released and evaporated, and mushrooms are browning, 7 to 10 minutes; transfer to the bowl.

To vegetable mixture add remaining milk, mozzarella, and mayonnaise; mix well. Transfer to prepared pan. Sprinkle top with paprika. Bake until top is golden and edges are crusty, 35 to 40 minutes. Brown top under broiler 4 to 5 minutes. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes, then cut and serve.