Spicy Root Vegetable Chili

Spicy Root Vegetable Chili Vegan RecipeThe chill air tickles my nose as I watch the sun set from my roof deck. As I open my mouth, my breath steams out tangibly in the waning light, floating upwards and dissipating into the night sky. First frost is here, at long last, and I can almost hear the earth sighing in relief. The energy of that sigh reverberates within my very bones: a subtle, ancient, weary sort of consolation. It’s getting harder and harder for the earth to comply with the destruction wrought by humanity; easier and easier for cycles that have existed for thousands – no, millions – of years to become disrupted. I felt affected on a visceral level during the unseasonably warm weather – as if something inside of me was being stretched to a breaking point, but finally, now, the tension is being released. I let the sharp, crisp, slap-to-the-face air temperature remind me that winter is on its way. This is my favorite time of year: a time to harvest crops, build up stores of immunity support herbal remedies, and honor the ancestors as the veil thins. When the season of Death is delayed, it can feel as if we all are dealing with lingering baggage. But now that it is here at last, it’s finally time to bury that which no longer serves us, and turn our thoughts and actions towards preserving only the essentials as we move forward into rebirth and renewal. What do we need in the coming months in order to feel comforted, satisfied, and whole as we undergo that often difficult transformation process? I think of the spicy-sweet warmth of a chipotle pepper, and the groundedness of root vegetgables, whose flavors tell a rich story of deep-earth magic. 

Ingredients*

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves of garlic minced

½  large yellow onion, diced

1 medium red bell pepper, diced with seeds and stem removed

2 large beets, peeled and diced

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced

1½ cup frozen corn

2 cups vegetable broth

1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 7-ounce chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, roughly chopped

3 tablespoons adobo sauce from same can, more to taste

1 – 14-ounce diced tomatoes

1 – 6-ounce tomato paste

1½ teaspoon dried oregano

⅛ teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon chile powder

 

Directions

Preparation

  1. Assemble all of the ingredients, and mince/dice the vegetables that require mincing/dicing.

Cooking

  1. Add the olive oil to a medium-to-large sized pot, and allow it to heat for about a minute before adding the minced garlic and diced onion.
  2. Cook the garlic and diced onion for about a minute or two until aromatic before adding the diced red bell pepper, diced carrots, diced beets, and corn to the pot. Cook these vegetables for a few minutes until they have softened.
  3. Pour in the vegetable broth. Allow the vegetables to cook in the broth over medium-to-high heat for about 15 minutes until the vegetables are all tender.
  4. Lower the heat, then add the black beans. Stir, and let sit for a few seconds.
  5. Stir in the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, and all the spices.
  6. Allow the spicy root vegetable chili to simmer for a few minutes before serving.

This recipe is 100% vegan. I’ve also made it with boca crumble (which mimics ground beef – but I actually like it way better than real ground beef!)

Bowl of Spicy Root Vegetable Chili

May the Lady Frige bless this meal.

*This recipe was adapted from a recipe I learned about through the Greensgrow Farm Winter CSA newsletter. The original recipe comes from Cooking With a Wallflower, which features a few extras that I don’t usually include (personal preference).

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Orange Spiced Chicken

chicken1The trees are relieved. I can hear them sighing, as if letting out a long-held nervous breath, as the first truly cool breeze since the Autumn Equinox rustles their branches with what seems an almost apologetic affection. The heat of a very late Summer has lingered here, and all have felt its oppressive weight – the unusual humidity and high temperatures make for an uncomfortable reality check. Hurricanes devastate entire countries; forest fires savage recklessly across parched, aching lands. Scientists have tried to warn us. Those of us who have been listening, we bite our lips in worry as we contemplate what possibilities there are to counteract the devastation humanity has already wrought upon the Earth. Yet, today brings about a peace I find jarring in these troubled times – a shade that cools, a sun that does not burn. Has Autumn come at last? Summer does not seem to want to let go. I know that it is not easy for many to bade farewell to the sun, and so this seems a blessing to them. Me, though – I am the blood of winter, and at this time of year, I am constantly expecting a bone-chill to settle at any moment…but now, I am finding only idle heatwaves and not a hint of frost. I feel stretched to an uncomfortable breaking point, the same sort of tension felt before rain finally falls after several days of plump, dark clouds. I desperately crave the spiced comfort of a cumin seed, but I find it hard not to desire the refreshing tartness of a citrus fruit as I sweat through my shirt. How do I quench this double-edged thirst? How do we remember to care for ourselves, when the world around us seems foreign and unpredictable?

Ingredients*

8 Chicken Drumsticks**

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 large scallions, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

Preparation

  1. Stir together the orange juice, olive oil, scallions, garlic, cumin seeds, vinegar, salt, and pepper to create a marinade
  2. Place the chicken into a large, seal-able plastic bag, then pour the marinade over the chicken, seal tightly, shake to thoroughly coat all drumsticks, and then stick in the refrigerator
  3. Marinate the chicken, chilled, turning the bag once or twice, for at least 4 hours. I recommend doing this in the morning before a work or school day so that it sits for 6-8 hours. I personally left mine for 8 hours

Cooking

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)
  2. Remove the chicken drumsticks from the plastic bag and place in a single layer in a roasting pan (two pans may be needed). I like to pour any remaining marinade over the chicken, but to do so is optional
  3. Roast the chicken for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C). Baste the chicken with the pan juices every 20 minutes or so. Do this for about 90 minutes, until the juices are running clear and the chicken is cooked through at the thickest section – 165 degrees F (74 degrees C)

This dish goes well with garlic-roasted sweet potatoes and/or boiled sweet corn.

chicken2

May the Lady Frige bless this meal.

 

*This recipe’s marinade was adapted from a recipe featured in Ian Knauer’s cookbook The Farm.

**Humanely raised chicken from a local Pennsylvania farm