fine dining in a box fort

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When I was a Junior in high school I had a surly english teacher tired of watching us use movie lines to decode our love lives, so he told the group of mostly distracted, probably hungry, Teen People obsessed girls sitting in front of him that quotes were just a “poor man’s bumper sticker philosophy.” To that I said, great quote, let me remember that forever.

Because I love quotes- love them into the wee hours of the morning on a googling rampage- I thought I would start mixing in some of my favorites for y’all along with these vegan treats. Another thing I love almost as much as these often perfectly timed tidbits of wisdom is soup. A good savory, thick soup warms the stomach the way a good quote can warm the heart. awwwwwww, right? In fact one of my top goals this week is learning out to recreate creamy tomato bisque without dairy, but I will be back with that in the (hopefully not to distant) future.

In the meantime I wanted to share a couple recipes that I made shortly after my last post many days weeks ago for my family. We were still in the middle of my parents’ move and there was snow on the ground, so I wanted something warm, hearty and filling after a long day of trying to figure out where to put the six million plates we have amassed as a family over the last 20 years…patterns of wooden creatures dancing across ceramic still haunt me.

I borrowed again from Emily Malone at the Daily Garnish, pairing two of her recipes this time with very small adaptions- Twenty Minute 4 Bean Vegetarian Chili and Roasted Butternut Squash Quick Bread.

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The whole meal took about 90 minutes with baking/simmering time, and I started with the chili, which required:

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cups bell pepper, diced (I used about six mini bell peppers, Emily also recommends dicing frozen peppers to save time!)
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 1 can great northern beans
  • 1 can chili beans (Emily recommends white kidney beans, but I could not find them and substituted)
  • 2 cans fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 cups veggie broth (or water + bouillon cube)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (more to taste)
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons chili powder (my mom and I aren’t great with spice, so I left out)

Once you have it all together,

  1. Sauté the chopped onion in a little bit of olive oil in a heavy bottom pot.
  2. Add the peppers and continue to cook until browned.
  3. Rinse and drain all the beans, and then add to the pot with two cans of tomatoes too. Note from Daily Garnish: “Make sure you use fire roasted tomatoes with some sort of chili or heat. If you choose to sub in plain canned tomatoes, you’ll want to increase the amounts of spices and add a little extra heat (jalapeno or cayenne)”
  4. Add the rest of your ingredients and let simmer, I cooked mine for about an hour and 15 minutes total and came away with a good deep flavor. The cinnamon was my favorite note.

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I also made Emily’s Roasted Butternut Squash Quick Bread- I will link the recipe here since the only change I made was to get creative and add blueberries to the batter right before cooking, and I omitted the pepitas simply because I did not have them. This was my first time roasting squash, and I loved the outcome. I ended up keeping the eggs in this recipe because I find flax tends to make vegan baking very dense, and I was already throwing a lot of veggies onto my non-vegan family. The bread was dense and sweet, and made for a great breakfast treat the next morning as well.

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And the grand pairing, with a simple salad third wheeling on the side.

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Using a box as our dining table, but as always in the south, with cloth napkins. And wine. This was a fun meal to make, and I will absolutely continue making these pots of chili to compliment my lazy stir fries meals during the week now that I am here at my new duty station. Any go-to recipes you love that last for a few meals?

Also, looking for an uplifting blogger who has wonderful advice and perfectly paired with some great quotes? Check out Molly Ford at smartprettyawkward.com. My girlfriends and I have been loyally following her for over two years. Hope everyone is starting a great week! xoxo

4 thoughts on “fine dining in a box fort

  1. Hey there just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a
    few of the images aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure
    why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different web browsers and both show the same results.

    • Thank you for the heads up!! I really appreciate the feedback, and I have reloaded some of the images. Hopefully it is running smoother now. Thank you for stopping by :)

  2. Hi would you mind letting me know which hosting company
    you’re utilizing? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most.

    Can you recommend a good web hosting provider at a reasonable price?
    Cheers, I appreciate it!

    • Hi! Sorry for the delay- I am writing on wordpress.com, and my theme is Customized Delicacy. It is has been an easy site to use, and they have a lot of themes that are both for cost and free. I am new to blogging (not much website savvy) so I hope that answers your question. Thank you for stopping by, I am glad to hear it is running well!

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