Here's what I've been up to these days:
Saturday: I wanted hummus for dinner, but instead of making it the exact same way as I did last time, I decided to play around with the recipe a little bit. Here's what I came up with:
1 can chickpeas
3-4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle paste
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Process until smooth and creamy.
Bob noticed the "kick" in the hummus that came from the chipotle paste; I wish it had been a little more pronounced and I may add more next time (if I can get away with it). Even so, I love the texture of this hummus--it's smooth and creamy. And maybe the best part is, since I left out the olive oil, this hummus tastes better and has a better texture after being refrigerated than hummus with olive oil in it (which seems to harden when refrigerated).
Sunday: The fellowship lunch was great! All the salsa I made was gone, except for one spoonful (which I took care of once we left). After that, we went out to the farm to see Bob's family, and we had a nice visit. We took some of Dori's bread to share, and it was a hit all around. And for dinner, Bob took me to The Grit! He had the falafel platter, which came with falafel fritters, pita points, lemon-tahini dressing, and assorted veggies. I ordered a teriyaki tofu and veggie wrap, with a cup of their roasted red pepper and mushroom soup. Everything was fantastic, as we expected. I particularly LOVED the soup--it was creamy, and the roasted red pepper flavor was not too strong (as it can be sometimes). When I came home I pulled out my cookbook--and behold, I have the recipe for the soup! Hooray! So when I make it, you will get to see pictures.
Yesterday: I came home for lunch and Bob had a friend over, and they were making guacamole. Awesome! Bloggers have been creating tacos and burritos lately, which have been making my mouth water. Well, here is our version of "burrito day":
Black beans, lettuce, mushrooms, guacamole, and salsa all piled inside a whole wheat tortilla. It was a perfect lunch! The guacamole has avocado, tomatoes, garlic, red onion, lime juice, salt, pepper, a bit of hot salsa, and a bit of silken tofu to make it creamier.
In keeping with the theme set by lunch, we made a nice black bean chili for dinner. Often I follow The Grit's recipe, which calls for bulgur. This time, I wanted to leave out the bulgur and instead add in some TVP. So we played around for a couple of hours and ended up with this recipe:
Black Bean Chili
2 pounds dried black beans, rinsed and soaked
2 smallish onions, chopped
2 smallish green bell peppers, chopped
3 jalapenos, minced
1/2 bunch of celery, diced
4 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon chili powder
2 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 tablespoon oregano
4-5 shakes cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Simmer all this together with the lid on for about an hour. Then add:
1 can crushed tomatoes (or whole tomatoes, crushing them yourself--add the juice too)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 tablespoon chipotle paste
2 cups frozen corn
Let simmer for another 30-45 minutes. Making sure there is still a good amount of liquid in the pot, stir in 2 cups TVP granules. It will get very thick; if needed, add more water. Let it cook for another 15-20 minutes, keeping an eye on the liquid level. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for about an hour before serving.
It took a lot of playing around to get the spices just right, especially the heat. After 3 jalapeños and still no detectable heat, I finally just started throwing cayenne pepper in. After it all sat for an hour or so, though, the heat really began to come out. So this chili actually ended up being pretty spicy--but both of us were satisfied. And the result looks like this:
Lastly, I will just leave you all with a look at why I love fall... Yesterday morning was just amazing.
So happy fall!