Veg in Cow Country

cooking (and eating) vegan and vegetarian in the midwest

Classic Vegetarian Chili October 30, 2011

Filed under: Comfort Food,Mexican — vegincowcountry @ 2:56 pm

Everyone has their own version of chili… Mild, medium, spicy, really spicy, with corn, without corn, etc. I’ve even seen one recipe that calls for tequila! My chili is pretty basic. Sometimes I add TVP or corn, but usually it’s just beans, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and spices. Although I might just have to try that version with tequila!

Better Than Bouillon is a vegetarian’s best friend. It comes in Vegetable, No-Beef, and No-Chicken flavors (as well as the traditional meat-eater’s, meat-containing varieties, so be sure you’re getting the version you want). The taste really is better than those hard, dry cubes — this is a thick paste that I stir into hot water. I prefer the No-Beef flavor for chili, but I also keep the Vegetable flavor on hand at all times.

That’s cashew cream on the top of my bowl in the photo. It provides a nice cooling flavor to chili.  Cashew cream: Soak 1 cup cashews overnight, drain and blend in blender with enough water to make it as thick or thin as you’d like.

1 medium onion, chopped

2 tsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups broth, vegetable or “no beef” flavor

1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can diced tomatoes, including liquid

1 Tbsp chili powder (or more or less, to taste)

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp sugar

Cashew cream, cilantro to garnish

Saute onion in olive oil on low until almost transparent; add garlic. Pour in broth, add beans, tomatoes, and spices. Simmer 30 minutes – 1 hour.


Mexican Confetti Cactus Salad August 2, 2011

Filed under: Mexican,Salads,Summertime — vegincowcountry @ 11:45 pm

This recipe is the creation of my friend Donna, moderator and owner of Yahoo’s vegetarian_group: This group is so much fun – great recipes and wonderful, kind, generous, funny people. Also one of Yahoo’s Top 10 Groups — I highly recommend joining.

Depending on where you live, you might find nopales, an edible Mexican cactus, in a jar at Wal-Mart in the Mexican section. They are kind of tangy but very fresh-tasting. I have yet to make this with fresh nopales, but if you have a Mexican market near you and want to prepare them yourself, ask for “nopales limpios” — “clean nopales” (as in, cactus needles removed, and sometimes even cut into neat little strips). Here’s an interesting link to information on nopales and how to prepare fresh ones:

1 cup chopped nopales

1 cup chopped red onion

1 cup corn

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1 – 15 ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained


2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

dash of red pepper flakes

1 or 2 squeezed garlic cloves

1/2 Tablespoon sugar

2 Tablespoon lime juice

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients; pour vinaigrette over, chill at least 1 hour.


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