Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day 1: West Coast Trip

The first non-travel day of our trip was yesterday. We went to my friends wedding which was beautiful. The ceremony was held outside at the Rockin J Ranch. The reception was great with dancing and even a pinata! So to the food: the ranch catered with beef and chicken, baked potato, biscuits and salad. My friend and his new wife (being as fabulous as they are) provided an outstanding meatless chili. It was made by the brides mother for the vegetarians at the wedding. The chili was hearty, smooth and spicy as hell! I ate my biscuit and my boyfriends biscuit(it was an emergency).
The wedding cake was made by a local brewery and was their classic tiramisu made with oatmeal stout beer. Superb! Mosit but it had a good consistency and didn't fall apart on the plate.
They offered smores kits as their gift to all guests. The kit was for the afterparty that was held at a very cool restaurant that had firepits for roasting marshmallows called San Tan Flats. We waited in line for what seemed an eternity which allowed is to get nice and loose (thanks to the beer). I got a salmon dish that was chargrilled to perfection. On the side potato pancakes and the worlds greatest creamed corn.

We danced under the moonlight to a local country band, ate, drank and chatted with our wonderful company. All in all: day 1 was great! I didn't take any pics but I will from here out.

See ya!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Three Bean Chili with Low-fat mozzarella

Three bean chili w/ low-fat mozz

Here is the recipe: 1 can crushed tomato
1 can whole peeled tomato
1 can kidney beans (No added salt,in water)
1 can chick peas (No added salt, in water)
1 can cannellini beans (No added salt, in water)
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
5 stalks celery
2 carrots
1/2 onion
2 sprigs of basil
1/2 green pepper
1 tbsp black pepper
salt to taste

Pour oil into a large pot and add garlic cloves. 
Allow oil to simmer and add the whole can of crushed tomato.
Using a knife, roughly chop the whole tomatoes into the pot. 
Gently rinse both cans with a small amount of water and add to pot. 
Drain all 3 cans of beans and add to the pot. 
In a food processor grind up the celery, carrot and onion. Add. 
Tear basil off of the stems and add. 
Add remaining seasonings and stir. 
Reduce heat to low and sit for 1.5 to 2 hours. 
Add low-fat mozzarella cheese to top or serve with a freshly baked corn muffin! 

** Using cans packed in water with no salt greatly reduces sodium intake of a normal chili. If you prefer to use dried beans: soak beans overnight in bowl. Be sure the beans are covered by an additional 1/2 amount of water to absorb. Cook the beans in the tomato mixture. 

** This dish is super flavorful and does not need a lot of salt, so taste it first and then add salt sparingly.

Sorry about the weird font/highlight color. I copied my recipe from my Facebook page!  Enjoy!