Wednesday, October 2, 2013


So now you all get a little insight into how my mind works when I decide to cook.

Earlier this summer, I was really craving the vegan four bean chili from my school, so I decided to make some myself. We always have tons of cans of beans in our cupboard, so I sort of just put them all in a pot, with tomatoes and spices, and it was delicious! Whenever I'm trying a new recipe, or there's something I want to make, or we just have a bunch of a random ingredient that I simply want to get rid of, I usually head to Google or Pinterest to find a recipe. However, I don't actually follow the recipes usually, I sort of just get the main idea such as temperatures and times, then go off and do my own thing. Sometimes it works out great, other times I probably should have followed the recipe a little closer. But that's just how I cook, I'm sorry if anyone out there is horrified by not following instructions. I'm more experimental I suppose.

A couple days ago, when I got home from my new nannying job (now I have three!) I wanted to make chili for dinner, but I was also very tired so I didn't make this one as intense as I usually would. I didn't want to go through the emotional process of cutting onions (because they make you cry, get it??) so I nix them. We have way too many green peppers from our garden so I chopped a bunch of those, and we got tons of tomatoes from a friend (our tomatoes didn't do so well this season unfortunately) so I used those as well as some canned tomatoes.

Now before someone yells at me for using canned beans and food, I know it's probably not the best thing to use however they are quick and easy to use, and I don't really see anything wrong with using canned food, I mean people can things in their kitchen right? Maybe one day I'll see the light and stop using cans, however let me do this for now okay? Thanks.

Moving on! Here are some pictures of the chili making process, I actually remembered to document it this time around, I'm so proud of myself.

Add as many or as little beans as you want. I also add corn if we have any. I did peas one time because we had some frozen in the freezer and I just wanted to get rid of them. You could even add carrots or zucchini or any vegetables you want to I guess. And meat if you're into that sort of thing. I think chicken would work best.

Mix them all together, no water needed! The juices from the tomatoes are enough. I add a little olive oil as well. Put that pot on high!

While the pot is coming to a boil, I add tons of spices. I don't measure or limit myself to only using certain types of spices. I'm the type of cook that cooks with her nose, if it smells good I'll add it! Notice how I have no hot spices, my mom isn't big on spicy, though I am.

Get it to a good boil, then turn the temperature down to medium or medium low. Stir occasionally. Let it cook anywhere from a half hour to an hour and a half. I really think it just matters how hungry you are, how much you want all the flavors infused, and how it looks.

I turn my chili off when most of the water has evaporated (I tend to leave the cover off most of the time it's cooking) and everything is a nice brownish color. It just looks sort of gross because all the colors and flavors have infused!

Add cheese if you want to, stir, and enjoy! I ate way too much chili that night, but I can't limit myself I just love it so much. This is even a good recipe to make with kids since all you really do is put the ingredients in a pot then let it cook for a long time and that's it.

This is definitely my go to recipe. It has a lot of protein, and as a vegetarian it's good that I get as much of that as I can. You could even put this over pasta or quinoa if you wanted to, it's pretty versatile! Do you have any recipes you could use four days a week if you really wanted to? Let me know!

Naomi Odlin