southwestern style - show #104

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Jazzy Black Bean Chili

Makes 3 to 4 servings

This hearty chili is easy to whip up, and ever so welcome on a brisk fall or winter evening. While it’s a great one-pot weeknight supper, it’s also special enough to offer as an enticing entrée when company is coming for dinner.

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed (optional, may use 3 tablespoons water instead, plus more as needed)

1 large sweet onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, with leaves, chopped

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 to 2 teaspoons dried cilantro

1 teaspoon reduced-sodium tamari

1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne (optional)

10 ounces vegan ground round (see note)

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (15 ounces) corn, drained

1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes

2 small zucchini, diced

1⁄8 teaspoon sea salt

Vegan sour cream, for serving (optional)

Heat the oil or water in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add the celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the celery is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the chili powder, 1 teaspoon of the cilantro, and the tamari and optional cayenne. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is golden, about 10 minutes. 

Add the vegan ground round, breaking it up with a potato masher or large spoon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegan ground round is slightly browned, about 5 minutes, adding more oil or a bit of water as needed to prevent sticking. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in the beans, corn, tomatoes, zucchini, salt, and remaining teaspoon of chili powder. Taste and add the remaining teaspoon of cilantro if desired.

Decrease the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 to 60 minutes. Serve piping hot, topped with vegan sour cream and a sprinkling of cilantro if desired.

NOTE: If you would rather not use the vegan meat analogue, just replace it with an additional can of black beans.  


Nutritious Nachos

Makes 2 to 4 servings

In addition to being a popular starter, this colorful dish can stand in as a quick, fun lunch for kids and adults alike. Plus, the tomatoes and bell peppers help sneak in a serving of veggies, making this zippy dish a real winner.

8 to 10 ounces whole-grain tortilla chips

2 cups (1 pint) cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

1⁄2 green bell pepper, chopped

1⁄2 orange or red bell pepper, chopped

10 large green or black olives, pitted and sliced

2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, or 2 to 3 teaspoons dried

Sea salt

10 to 12 ounces shredded vegan cheese

1 jar (12 to 16 ounces) salsa

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Spread the chips in a single layer on the lined baking sheets. Put the tomatoes, bell peppers, olives, and cilantro in a medium bowl and stir gently until thoroughly combined. Season with salt to taste. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the chips, then scatter the vegan cheese evenly over the top.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and the edges of some of the chips are golden brown, checking frequently during the last few minutes of baking to ensure the chips don’t burn. Serve on individual plates with the salsa alongside, or serve on a large platter with the salsa drizzled over the top.


Double-Corn Cornbread

Makes 6 to 8 servings

This rustic, semisweet cornbread is an ideal way to use leftover cooked corn on the cob. A mashed, ripe banana stands in for eggs, while nondairy milk provides the liquid. Serve it alongside chili, soup, or salad, or try it on its own as an afternoon snack.

11⁄4 cups cornmeal

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt

1⁄3 cup brown sugar

Kernels from 1 large ear of corn, cooked, or 3⁄4 cup canned corn kernels, drained

1 cup plain nondairy milk

1 ripe banana, mashed until smooth

1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Oil an 8-inch square baking pan.

Put the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and stir with a dry whisk to combine. Add the brown sugar and stir with the whisk to combine. Add the corn and stir until coated with the flour. Stir in the nondairy milk, banana, and oil and mix just until incorporated. The mixture will be quite thick.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until slightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Put the pan on a wire rack. Let cool for about 15 minutes before cutting into squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Sweet-and-Spicy Chocolate Mousse

Makes 4 servings

A hint of chili powder gives this fluffy dark chocolate pudding peppery undertones, while cinnamon adds sweet, earthy notes, making it the ideal finish to any spicy meal. Chocolate lovers rejoice!

1 cup vanilla nondairy milk

31⁄2 ounces vegan dark chocolate, broken into 1⁄4- to 1⁄2-inch pieces

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1⁄4 teaspoon chili powder

1⁄4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat the nondairy milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until steaming hot but not boiling.

Put the chocolate in a blender, then add the maple syrup, cinnamon, chili powder, and vanilla extract. Pour in the non- dairy milk and process until smooth and frothy, stopping twice to scrape down the sides of the blender jar.

Spoon the mixture into four dessert cups or wine glasses and refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours. Serve chilled.


Five-Ingredient Guacamole Dip

Makes 4 servings

2 large ripe avocados

1 heaping tablespoon vegan mayonnaise

2 cloves garlic, minced

1⁄4 teaspoon chili powder

1⁄8 teaspoon sea salt

Put all the ingredients in a medium bowl and mash with a potato masher or large fork until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately.