Neal’s Best Chili Ever over Brown Rice with Carrot Cake Cupcakes

I’m a big fan of Neal’s chili. He uses 4 or 5 different beans, roasts peppers & I contribute seitan (cannellini bean base). We had ours with baked potatoes but I worried I had baked potatoed you out last co-op meal so I sent brown rice. I like the chili both ways or on its own. Topped with cheese & corn chips & you have one of my very favorite meals. You have had Neal’s chili before so apologies for unoriginality. I did go with carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. They are super moist & it’s pretty much impossible to ruin this icing recipe. However, the darn muffins didn’t rise properly. Oven thermometer, check. Finely grated carrots, dried, check. Careful measuring, check. I’m determined to master this recipe. I love the taste but they look so sad. This recipe also only made 10. Yes, I was cheated 2 muffins. Crazy!

Reheating instruction: heat chili & rice till heated through. Top with cheese & corn chips. Keep cupcakes in fridge. I think the icing is best chilled.

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Garbanzo Croquettes with Cashew Rosemary Gravy, Green Beans with Almonds, Garlic Mashed Potatoes & Frosted Grapefruit Icebox Cookies

This meal turned out to be random picks from different cookbooks brought together. The croquettes come from the ‘Healing with Whole Foods’ cookbook. I was really excited about these, but I was sadly disappointed with the outcome. I thought they looked embarrassingly dry and tasteless. Ha! However, mixed with the mash and gravy, they offered a nice texture to the bite. So, not all lost, I think?!? Obviously, a recipe that I need to tweak. I was nervous about the gravy. Cashews? I’ve had a few things made from cashews and I loved them but I still have a habitual distaste to the ‘idea’ of it. In the end, it was SUPER easy to make and delicious to boot. I really hope you like it. The green beans were a hit in our household. Loti ate them up. Yay! They were marinated in ginger and lemon. I think the portion was a bit small. Sorry. The mash was Neal’s contribution. He is all about potatoes. If potatoes are on the menu, then expect the largest portion of food on the plate to be potatoes. He roasted garlic and added it to the mash. Yummy. Finally, the cookies. I’ve wanted to make this since I bought the cookbook but just never got around to it. I don’t know why, because they are delicious. All in all, I really liked this meal. It was comfort food. I think a larger portion of veg and some work on the croquette recipe could make this a staple in our house. Recipes to come…

Recipes: Garbanzo CroquettesCashew Rosemary Gravy, Green Beans with Almonds and Frosted Grapefruit Icebox Cookies

Seitan Tacos, Black Bean & Corn Salad & Chocolate Pudding

This meal took a bit of planning as there were so many parts to making it happen. I love this meal. Actually, I love the seitan tacos. The salad is a new one for me. The ranchero sauce can be used for just about anything requiring a red sauce. We’ve used it for pasta and pizza. The seitan is incredibly versatile and one batch makes enough for 4 meals so it goes a long way. My original menu included a Mexican rice pudding but it got vetoed when I suggested chocolate pudding as an alternate by Neal & Milo. Loti doesn’t like chocolate so she got some animal cookies instead.

Recipes: Ranchero Sauce, Seitan, Seitan Tacos, Chocolate Pudding