Vegetarian Fare, Family, and Friends

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I served a potato soup and quinoa vegetarian chili at our last mini-reunion in honor of Christy’s family and their BIG MOVE. Minnesota! 

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Clockwise: Owen, Christy, Isaac, Levi, Silas, Jim, Toby,  good friend George, My step-Mom Josephine, my sister-in-law Jerri, and mother-in-law Teresa

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Out of eleven guests around my dining table, only 3 ate the quinoa chili. You just never know. My friend Jessie brought a slow cooker full of this chili to one of our church ministry luncheons and our volunteers finished off the entire pot. Personally, I loved it, so I happily froze the rest from our family gathering in small portions for future lunches.

Quinoa Vegetarian Chili

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You can find the recipe for Quinoa Vegetarian Chili on many pinterest boards or go to Cooking Classy  here. As Jessie predicted, it’s a very forgiving recipe. So, switch out and add in to your liking. I left out the cilantro, lime, and cocoa powder because I didn’t have them on hand. I did sub homemade vegetable broth for the water to give the chili some extra flavor. And a bonus: I made another dent in clearing out my pantry before the new year with this recipe!

Potato Soup was often on my menu for Christmas Eve dinner before attending our church’s traditional worship service. I remember globbing in two cans of creamed soup per instructions, oblivious to the chemicals I added into the potato mixture. But this was twenty-five years ago and  canned soups have come a long way. Nowadays, I like this Perfect Potato Soup recipe from Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond) which calls for making a flour slurry and pureeing part of the potato mixture. These techniques thicken up the soup without using the canned stuff.

Perfect Potato Soup

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This Perfect Potato Soup recipe can be found by going here.

In addition to Ree’s cooking instructions, I threw in some leftover broccoli that had been hanging out in my fridge towards the end of the cooking time. Make it vegetarian by using vegetarian stock instead of chicken stock. And I omitted the pepper because it makes Jim’s ears ring. Once the soup was heated through, I poured it in my slow cooker, tossed in a 1/2 cup of grated cheddar cheese, and kept it simmering on low.

Bowls of green onions, bacon, grated cheddar, and sour cream on the dining table were available for topping off the soup.  I think potato anything needs a lot of salt and pepper, so I had that handy as well.  

And now, may the Christmas cooking begin as we prepare to travel to Minnesota!

Happiness is playing in the snow!

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