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Fast And Easy Chili

This is such a classic cool weather stand-by I almost hesitate to put up a recipe for it. But my version is very fast, very easy, and ultra healthy, so why not! It is also a Perfect Pantry recipe, so chances are you already have everything you need on hand right now (or would if you had my Perfect Pantry shopping list. Download free at: http://lindaliving.com/).

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef/chicken/turkey/lamb/pork/venison – please buy organic, and even better, grass fed/pasture raised.
  • 2 15oz cans organic kidney beans (other varieties are fine too), rinsed and drained
  • 2 15oz cans organic fire roasted tomato with green chillies (available at Trader Joe’s) – you can also use leftover salsa and diced fresh tomatoes if you have some that need to be used up.
  • 1 4oz can of diced green chillies
  • Seasoning to taste – I like the flavors of the main ingredients to shine through in my chili, so I go very light here and use only a dash of Mexican meat seasoning. Ground cumin, garlic powder, and chili powder are the traditional spices used in chili. If desired, use 1 tsp. cumin, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, and 1 TBS. chili powder. Add salt only if absolutely necessary. The tomatoes and beans will have plenty in them already.

Directions:

  1. Brown the meat in a large frying pan deep enough to hold all of the ingredients. Have the lid or a frying screen handy.
  2. Drain off any fat created by cooking the meat.
  3. Add the tomatoes, salsa, and green chillies to the pan while it is still very hot. Allow to cook at a high heat for 5-7 minutes (covered to reduce splatter). Stir frequently and add seasonings all except for salt.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low and add beans. Cook for another 10 minutes covered. Add salt only if required.
  5. Serve over rice, quinoa, or with corn chips, with slices of avocado. (skip the cheese and sour cream; you will never miss it!)

Enjoy!

Spring Vegetable Soup

This spring vegetable soup is fast, easy, nutritious and delicious – just the way I like it. It is also perfect for spring time since all of the ingredients are readily available. To make a vegan version just substitute olive oil and one of the non-dairy cream options for the dairy. For a Thai spin, use the coconut milk and add some Tom Yum paste, kaffir lime leaves, ginger, and galangal. Oh, and LOTS of red pepper flakes!

INGREDIENTS

•    2 T  butter or olive oil
•    1 pound leeks, chopped
•    1 onion, chopped
•    2 quarts water
•    3 large potatoes, chopped (I leave these out since I am allergic to them)
•    2 large carrots, chopped
•    1 bunch fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
•    1/3 cup uncooked long-grain white or brown rice (if desired)
•    3 teaspoons salt
•    1/2 pound fresh spinach
•    1 cup heavy cream or toffuti soy sour cream or coconut milk.

DIRECTIONS

1. Melt the butter/oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the leeks and onion, and cook until tender.
2. Pour water into the pot. Mix in potatoes, carrots, asparagus, and rice. Season with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 20-30 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
3. Stir spinach and cream into the soup mixture, and continue cooking about 5 minutes before serving.