Don’t get me wrong, I love that huge monitors are so cheap these days. I remember paying over $400 for a 17″ CRT monitor not that long ago and today an awesome 23″ LCD that’s many times better can be had for less than $200. But such a low price does not include a height adjustable stand, a problem for tall people like me! If I want an adjustable stand, it’s another $40 and I’m too stubborn to pay that. While de-cluttering my pantry more this weekend, I found a great stand for my monitor.
I have a collection of cookbooks that I don’t use, but am holding onto because they were a gift – blah, blah. This one is particularly bad because most of the recipes involve processed foods like cans of cream of mushroom soup, sauces, powdered soup mixes, etc. I suppose it’s better and cheaper then eating fast food every day, but not much. Even before going high-raw vegan, I don’t think I’ve ever used this book. So I’m glad I found a good use for it. :-) Eventually I’ll come up with a less ghetto solution and donate this book along with a gifted toaster oven sucking up precious pantry space to the Goodwill.
Last night we had another last minute family gathering at my sister’s house which she deemed a super casual gathering where everyone brings what they want for food. Rumor has it my dad was bringing a rotisserie chicken, so I knew a hearty vegan option was needed. Good thing a few days earlier, the newsletter email from Kris Carr included this wonderful Sweet Potato and Kidney Bean Chili recipe from Gena that I had most of the ingredients for.
I broke one of my rules with this one of skipping canned foods, I had a can of Trader Joe’s kidney beans in my pantry and I used it. Typically I work with dried beans, but there was not enough time and I guess a can once in awhile won’t kill me. :-) I didn’t have canned tomatoes and used fresh instead, I also didn’t have onions or celery and used chopped leeks and carrots instead.
My red pepper looked good on the outside, but I got a nasty surprise when I cut into it. To the compost bin it went and I grabbed an orange pepper from the fridge instead.
I threw the fresh tomatoes, veggie broth and spices into the blender to thoroughly mix before pouring into the simmering pot.
The end result was pretty tasty looking and smelling, the potato chunks cooked quickly making a lovely dish. But how to get it to my sister’s house and keep it hot when it get’s there?
Ah, grabbed my small crock pot which fits nicely into a reusable grocery bag and keeps the chili hot and smelling good until everyone is ready to serve.
My plate was great with chili, asparagus and a chunk of fresh sourdough bread, an occasional splurge for me. And the chili was a hit with most everyone being hearty, packing plenty of spice kick and nice and warm for such a cold, windy and rainy day. The recipe came together fast and was ready for serving in 35 minutes, easily doable on a work night and perfect for cold winter nights. I will do this recipe again and recommend it for impressing non-vegan family and friends.
Now I’ve got to venture into our awful weather to check a bunch of errands off my list including a Goodwill run and maybe getting into a little trouble at Target. Hope everyone is having a great Sunday!