Chipotle Spiced Black Bean Vegan Chili

Wow- what a crazy storm!! Snowzilla dumped three feet on us and we were snowed in for three days. I never fully appreciated what it meant to be “snowed in” until this past weekend when we were literally unable to open our door back door (and still can’t). Fortunately, my husband thought to shovel around the front door throughout the storm or we would have really been in trouble! It took three plows and a front loader three full hours to plow the street in front of our house. I’ve never seen neighbors working together as much as when the plows kept getting stuck (again…and again…and again). They said this was going to be a “memorable” event and was it ever!

And since snow days are all about comfort food…

Here’s a quick and easy chili you can throw together in under thirty minutes. Control the heat by beginning with 1 teaspoon of chipotle chili powder and adjusting to taste from there. The first time I made this chili, I used a full tablespoon and loved it. The next time, my mouth was on fire!! (Maybe it was the brand of chili powder???)

Note: You want to use chipotle chili powder here, not regular chili powder. It won’t taste the same with a substitution.


Chipotle Spiced Black Bean Vegan Chili
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 - 15oz. cans black beans, undrained
  • 1 - 15oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1- 4oz. can diced green chiles, undrained
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1-3 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  1. In a medium-size pot, heat olive oil over Medium heat.
  2. Add onion and sauté 1-2 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and cook an additional 1-2 minutes.
  3. Stir in the black beans, tomatoes, and green chiles.
  4. Add the tomato paste, chili powder cumin, paprika, and oregano.
  5. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to Low. Simmer 10-15 minutes before serving.


Tortellini Soup with Spinach and Tomatoes

The first big snowstorm of the year, recently upgraded to blizzard status, is forecasted to arrive tomorrow…  So get your bread and milk, then settle in at home with a big pot of this tasty soup!

Tortellini Soup with Spinach and Tomatoes
Serves: 4
  • 2T butter
  • ⅓ cup yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • ⅛ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 4 cups vegetarian chicken broth
  • 1 - 28oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2T tomato paste
  • 1 - 10oz. pkg. fresh cheese tortellini
  • 2T plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ bag baby spinach, rough chopped
  1. In a Dutch oven, melt butter over Medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, 3-5 minutes, until tender and fragrant.
  2. Add the garlic and continue cooking an additional 1-2 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle with flour, salt, and pepper. Continue cooking and stirring another 1-2 minutes, until thickened.
  4. Pour in the broth, undrained tomatoes, tomato paste, and tortellini. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to Low and allow to simmer 10 minutes, or until the tortellini are cooked through.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in Greek yogurt and spinach. Once the spinach is wilted, adjust the seasoning to taste and serve hot.


Tortellini Soup with Spinach and Tomatoes - Vegetarian |

3-Ingredient Gingerbread Truffles

These little make-ahead truffles taste like Christmas!

It’s like eating gingerbread cookie dough, but better because this “dough” is dipped in white chocolate. And they’re bite-size so you don’t have to make a whole big dessert out of them, although you could.

Bonus: This couldn’t be any easier. Seriously, get the kids to make them, they’ll love it!


3-Ingredient Gingerbread Truffles
  • 16oz. pkg. frosted gingerbread cookies, finely crushed
  • 8oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 1c white melting chocolate (Ghirardelli wafers are my new favorite)
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the crushed cookies and cream cheese until well blended. Cover and refrigerate 3-4 hours or overnight.
  2. Roll into 1″ balls and place on parchment paper.
  3. Melt chocolate according to package instructions.
  4. Using a toothpick, dip each ball one at a time into the chocolate, turning to coat completely. Allow excess chocolate to drip off and place truffle on the paper.
  5. Refrigerate and allow chocolate to harden prior to serving. Store any extras in the refrigerator.


Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Just when I thought we were past the pumpkin-everything time of year, I found a can of pumpkin in the pantry….

My initial plan was to make these into bars (which, technically, is what we’re starting out with here) but then at the last minute, decided to get creative and used a cookie cutter to shape them into perfect little circles. A minor presentation detail but I’m pleased with the way it turned out. Plus, Littlest One and I had fun sampling the cheesecake “scraps”.

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes -- A perfectly portioned dessert for the holiday table. |

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup pecan chips + extra for garnish
  • 5 Tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 1 - 8oz.package cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. In a medium size mixing bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, and pecans. Add butter and mix together until crumbly.
  3. Press mixture into a prepared 8x8 baking pan. Bake 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
  4. To the mixing bowl, add cream cheese and sugar. Beat with a hand mixer on Medium speed until it reaches a frosting-like consistency.
  5. Add the pumpkin, eggs, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and allspice. Continue mixing until fully combined.
  6. Pour over crust and bake 45-50 minutes, or until set. Remove from oven and cool completely before refrigerating at least 2 hours.
  7. Cut into individual portions. Press extra pecan chips into the sides, top with whipped cream, and serve chilled.


Vegetable Wellington with Chickpeas and Quinoa

Whether you’re already an all-veg family or you need an entree for the vegetarians or vegans coming over (sometimes we really do get tired of making a meal out of sides), this wellington is a perfect accompaniment to any holiday feast! I have served it for the last two Thanksgivings at our house and everyone agrees this recipe is a keeper.

The filling can easily be prepped the day before and kept in the fridge. Just save the wrapping of the dough until the day of baking so you don’t run the risk of it getting soggy overnight.

Vegetable Wellington with Chickpeas and Quinoa - A hearty and delicious vegetarian entree for your holiday feast! |

Vegetable Wellington with Chickpeas and Quinoa
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 - 15oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Tablespoons vegan butter
  • ½ cup carrots, diced
  • ½ cup yellow onion, diced
  • ½ cup green pepper, diced
  • 1 cup baby bella mushrooms, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1¼ cup Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 1 Tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  1. Place cooked quinoa in a large mixing bowl. In a food processor, puree the chickpeas, them mix in with the cooked quinoa.
  2. Melt butter in a large skillet over Medium High heat. Add carrots, onion, and peppers. Cook, stirring frequently, 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add mushrooms and garlic. Continue cooking an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat to cool, then add to quinoa/chickpea mixture.
  4. Add bread crumbs and Worcestershire sauce.
  5. Use your hands or a big spoon to mix and mash everything together until well blended.
  6. Roll out pastry dough on a lightly floured surface. Place vegetable mixture on top of pastry dough and shape it into a loaf. Position the vegetable loaf 1-2' from one side of the dough making sure to allow enough room on top and bottom to fold over the ends.
  7. Once ends are covered, carefully roll the vegetable loaf so that it is completely covered by the puff pastry dough.
  8. Lightly brush beaten egg over the entire surface.
  9. Place in a 9x13" glass baking dish. Bake 40-45 minutes, until golden in color. Allow to stand 15 minutes before slicing and serving.


Leftover Mac and Cheese Soup

Got mac and cheese leftover from Thanksgiving?

Bring your side dish back to life by serving it in a whole new way and free up some space in the fridge while you’re at it.

Note: This recipe calls for Cheddar cheese because that is the type of mac and cheese I was working with today. If your is made with, say, Gouda (yum!) then use Gouda. You get the idea.
Leftover Mac and Cheese Soup |

Leftover Mac and Cheese Soup
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, cubed and softened
  • 2 cups sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
  • ½ cup half-and-half
  • 6 cups prepared mac and cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • cayenne pepper sauce, to taste
  1. Melt butter in a large pot, over Medium High heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and continue cooking an additional 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add flour and whisk mixture until thickened into a roux. Add broth one cup at a time, whisking to fully incorporate after each addition. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to Low.
  3. Gradually stir in cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and half-and-half. Continue stirring frequently until cheeses are melted.
  4. Add the mac and cheese. Stir to combine and heat through. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper sauce. Serve hot or warm.


Sourdough Stuffing Muffins with Apple and Fresh Herbs

Super cute and perfectly portioned, these vegan-friendly stuffing muffins are a fantastic addition to your holiday table.

Use rosemary-infused olive oil for added depth of flavor. Prefer your stuffing a little on the sweet side? Swap out half of the sourdough for cornbread.Sourdough Stuffing Muffins - a delicious and perfectly portioned addition to your holiday table! |

Sourdough Stuffing Muffins with Apple and Fresh Herbs
Serves: 12
  • 8 cups cubed sourdough bread ( ½ sage cornbread for additional sweetness)
  • 2T olive oil
  • ½ cup vegan butter
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup yellow onion, diced
  • 4 celery stalks, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 large McIntosh or Gala apple, cored and diced
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1T fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1T fresh sage, chopped
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 cups vegetarian chicken broth
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Begin by preheating the oven to 350° and spreading cubed sourdough in a single layer onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake 15-20 minutes, until lightly toasted.
  2. Set bread aside and increase oven heat to 375°
  3. In a large skillet over medium high heat, add olive oil, butter, bay leaf, onion, celery, apple, salt, pepper, rosemary, sage, and thyme. Cook, stirring frequently, 5-6 minutes, until vegetables and apple are crisp tender. Add sourdough and stir to combine.
  4. Gradually pour in broth until all bread is soft.
  5. Remove bay leaf and scoop stuffing into a prepared 12-cup muffin tin. Bake 25-30 minutes, until lightly crispy on top. Serve warm or room temperature.