Monday, November 7, 2011

Chili Season (vegetarian-style)

It's officially chili season in our house! In the past, I made traditional chili with meat, beans, chili seasoning, and cheese. However, since we're always trying to eat a bit healthier, I came across this Weight Watchers recipe that has quickly become our favorite chili (yes, the husband loves it!) to make. And, get this, it's vegetarian! You won't even miss the meat, because bulgur is a whole grain that, once cooked, has a meaty consistency to it. Add all the awesome vegetables in there, and it's soo delicious. It makes great leftovers, too, since all the ingredients soak in the delicious flavor. 

*Note* I make the recipe almost exactly as printed below; however, I only use 1/4 of a poblano pepper, because I tend to like things on the milder side. Even cutting the darn pepper makes me tear up and start coughing. This Irish-German gal just can't take the heat. I also add one whole bell pepper to supplement the rest of the poblano pepper. It works wonderfully!

Bulgur and Bean Chili


1 1/2 tsp olive oil   
 1 cup(s) (chopped) onion(s)   
 2 medium poblano chile, or cubanelle peppers, chopped   
2 Tbsp chili powder   
1 Tbsp minced garlic   
2 tsp ground cumin   
3 cup(s) water   
 28 oz canned crushed tomatoes in tomato puree   
 3/4 cup(s) uncooked bulgur   
1 tsp table salt, or to taste   
 1 cup(s) yellow corn, fresh or canned   
 15 1/2 oz canned black beans, rinsed and drained   
1/2 cup(s) cilantro, leaves, fresh, chopped   
1/2 tsp fresh lime juice, or to taste   


  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and pepper; sauté until almost tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Add chili powder, garlic and cumin; sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add water, tomatoes and their puree, bulgur and salt; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in corn and beans (and a bit of water if chili seems too thick); simmer, covered, over medium heat, until corn and bulgur are tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in cilantro; finish with a squeeze of lime juice. Yields about 1 1/4 cups per serving.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Home Updates

I'm excited to share some home updates with you, seeing as we decided to do some flooring on a whim last Saturday. Thanks to a great deal ending at the beginning of November, Randy and I scheduled a flooring place to rip up the old vinyl flooring in our bathrooms, laundry room, kitchen, and breakfast nook, lay the new ceramic tile, and move all the necessary furniture for said project. I can't tell you how thrilled I was to actually pay a company to do it all.  It took two guys two days to complete, and I didn't have to lift a finger. Awesomeness. Here's the end result:

And just as we were putting things back in order after the flooring, what should happen? Our sink faucet begins spraying water out of the side of the base like it's a super-soaker. My typical reaction would be frustration and annoyance; however, I just happened to be eyeing some new, modern facets at Home Depot the other day. So, it was a good time to look for a replacement. Then, Randy had to mention possibly replacing the sink, which was fine with me. Our old sink was only 7" deep, which meant that if you used the sprayer in the sink, you'd inevitably get wet. I was good with a new sink, too. Randy, the wonderful, handy person he is, replaced the sink with no problems. So, I can happily report to you that I have a new sink (that also came with a nice faucet) all before we host our family's Thanksgiving feast in a couple weeks. Excellent.