Castle Grok who is alternately trying to kill himself with massive amounts of training (triathlon) or work, recently decided to veer off of his primal eating style and experiment with a vegan diet. He is going vegan for a short period of time (4-6 weeks), then plans to reintroduce meats, but only high quality meats (mostly game that he has hunted himself).
This n=1 experiment has been going on for a couple of weeks and he has made some interesting discoveries: Honestly, I’m amazed at how well my joints are doing despite being off the fish oils. They’re better than ever. Set a new record on my short bike loop today on legs I beat on all weekend. This experience has been a little humbling in that regard. It’s hard to admit.
Inspired by his recent meals which have included lots of beans, I decided to make vegetarian chili. When Castle Grok asked me to share my recipe, I decided to post it here for y’all (it’s chile – right) to experiment with.
Beans – 4 cans: garbanzo, kidney, black, and pinto…you can substitute or add your favorites. I like black eyed peas as a substitute for pinto beans. Also, if you have more time, you can soak dry beans for a more healthy choice.
Tomatoes – 24 to 28 ounces: lots of options here. You can use stewed whole tomatoes and crush them by hand, you can use tomato sauce, or salsa (I used salsa). Again, for a more healthy choice, prep your own tomatoes, sauce, or salsa.
2 onions: peeled, sliced, and sautéed.
5 cloves of garlic – peeled, crushed, diced, and sautéed.
1 dried chile pepper.
1 handful of diced black olives.
Herbs and spice: oregano, allspice, ancho chile powder – Mix and match according to your tastes.
This is one of many recipes where I find an alternate use for my rice cooker. Rinse beans in a colander and add to the rice cooker. Add tomatoes (crushed, sauce, or salsa). Add onions and garlic. Crush the dried chile pepper (I use my trusty rock for this) and add. Add olives. Stir ingredients together. Add herbs and spice. Stir again. Set rice cooker to cook. When the rice cooker switches from cook to warm, check and stir the chili. If you want to cook it some more, check the level of the liquid, add water if needed, and set to cook. Otherwise, you can leave the chili in the rice cooker on warm, until you are ready to eat. Just before serving the chili, peel the avocado, remove the pit, and cube. Add the avocado to the bowls you will serve the chili in. Ladle chili into bowls and over avocado.
Of course, this is chili, so you can experiment with the ingredients, method of preparation, and serving style. For example, I made home fries, used them as a bottom layer, added the avocado, ladled on the chili, and topped with grated cheddar cheese (adding cheese means its not vegan…so, Castle Grok will have to leave that off). The real secret of this recipe is using a rice cooker, which makes cooking and clean up a cinch. What are the secret tricks that make your chili special?
Thanks to Castle Grok for sharing his experiments and his experiences and for asking about my chili. I hope he likes it. To find out more about Castle Grok, you should visit his video and web log at Castle Grok: Chronicles of a Modern Caveman.
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