Warming Up From the Inside Out

In case you were hibernating in an underground lair last week, the majority of our country experienced the still trending Polar Vortex. I experienced the coldest temperatures ever as an adult: a high of 27F. How to counter the chill of Jack Frost outside of continual transitions between hot baths and nestling up to the space heater? Make warm, delicious comfort food. Last week had two new gems for dinner entrees:

1) Spicy Vegan Black Bean Soup via Cookie + Kate

IMAG1172Mmmmm…

This was an easy, relatively quick dinner to make during the week. My soup isn’t quite as dark in color as the one pictured in the blog due to using homemade black beans instead of canned. This did affect the overall seasoning profile; I will be sure to add more if I use homemade beans in the future. I would also puree less of the soup than I did in the first batch – I love the chunks of carrots, beans, onions, and celery. We paired it with a slice of crusty Italian loaf from Guglhupf Bakery here in Durham.

2) Chipotle Quinoa Sweet Potato Tacos via Half Baked Harvest

IMG_20140108_190430Didn’t I just see those toppings…?

After having some overwhelming, tear-induced experiences with chipotles in adobo, I was a bit gun shy at first with the recipe. TWO minced peppers? And one tablespoon sauce? AND cayenne? Well, I opted to leave the cayenne out, which was great because this recipe did  boast a nice, robust heat (but no tears – only when I was done with my plate because I wanted to inhale more). This recipe is SUPER filling and made more than we anticipated. I did not make her Roasted Cranberry Pomegranate Salsa, but I will. Oh yes, I will.

In other fun cooking exploration in the last few days, I attempted making homemade Lara bars via 100 Days of Real Food. Since I absolutely adore anything cashew, I opted to make the bars with 1 cup cashews, 1 cup dates, 1/4 cup peanut butter, and 1 – 2 tablespoons water (i used 2). Now, this recipe SAYS it makes 12 bars. Square bars. After whipping this up in the food processor, I was shocked to feel how oily the mash had become – much more difficult to form into squares than anticipated. So, I made bars more similar to the packaged Lara bars and cut them in half. I think they are delicious, and it is great to have just a small pick me up to grab before working out. Currently, I open a Lara bar and break it into two, saving the other half for the next day.

IMAG1176

Jump into the pool!

IMAG1177

It’s getting there…

IMAG1178Awww..hey little bar (and penguin blanket – I swear, it’s my cats….right)

IMAG1180Or…not….

What are your comfort dishes on those blustery winter days?

8 thoughts on “Warming Up From the Inside Out

  1. I feel like 2013 is the year of chili thus far. I have yet to venture much into the land of curries (I’m not the biggest coconut milk fan.) Any recipes that are you “must makes” you would be willing to share?

  2. I LOVE when bloggers try out a new cookbook, post pictures and give their opinions! So I’m guessing you recommend this book? I am soy-free and gluten-free, do you think there would be enough variety in the cookbook given those restrictions? Thank you!

    • Sorry, I thought I had commented on the “Breaking Blog Silence” post from 1/31, so I was referring to Robin Robertson’s One Dish Vegan. 🙂

      • Thank you so much for your kind words, Laura!

        Hmmmm…as someone gluten-free, yes, but soy-free may be more challenging. I’m going to comb through the cookbooks I have from her tonight and give you a more thorough answer.

    • Laura – after finally combing through both Quick-Fix Vegan and One-Dish Vegan, I will give a resounding “Yes!” to your question. There are tons of straight=up vegetable dishes in both, and she gives numerous options for each recipe on substitutions for grains, proteins, etc. Let me know if you end up purchasing one of those two or another of her countless cookbooks!

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