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1 T (7 g) chili powder
1 1/4 T (10 g) smoked paprika
3 t (3 g) chili flakes
1/4 t (1 g) cayenne pepper
2 t (4 g) cumin
1/4 t (1 g) cinnamon
1 1/2 T (22 g) brown sugar
1 T (10 g) kosher salt
1 T (4 g) whole coriander seeds

1. Combine all ingredients in spice grinder and grind (I use a small coffee grinder). Sprinkle over meat and massage to evenly distribute. Refrigerate for 24 hours, turning halfway.
2. Lay the strips of beef in a dehydrator, being sure not to overlap the meat.
3. Adjust the dehydrator to the highest setting (mine was about 160 degrees F) and let it dehydrate for about 4-6 hours.

Man-O-Meter: 8

photo 2 (1)

Notes: I think it needs more salt, but I do enjoy the spice. Dried up much differently than the teriyaki version–wasn’t as smooth. Perhaps next time I’ll experiment with marinating time, and will rotate the dehydrator halfway through the process. Worth re-testing!

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I first time made this chili I served it to two meat-loving men, who both couldn’t believe that it was vegan. The first recipe attempt was spot-on, and I had to be sure it wasn’t a fluke. Attempt number two is very similar to number one, with some minor changes: changed the type of oil and reduced it from 3 to 2 Tbsp, increased beer from 9 to 12 oz (simply because it makes more sense, and I was making it at 11 a.m. on a Monday, which, even for me, is too early for a drink), corrected an error in the preparation method, increased cooking time. My S.S. preferred this attempt over the first.

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, medium dice
1 red bell pepper, medium dice
1 green bell pepper, medium dice
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 cup textured vegetable protein
2 Tbsp paprika
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
12 oz beer of your choice (use gluten-free beer to make the recipe gluten-free)
1 28-oz can peeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hand
1 15-oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 4-oz can fire-roasted green chiles
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish (optional)

1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell peppers, and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Saute until soft, about 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, soak the textured vegetable protein in hot water. Drain, and then add to the pot along with the paprika, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Saute for 2 minutes.
3. Pour in the beer and reduce by half, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to loosen the bits.
4. Crush the tomatoes and add to the pot, along with the beans and green chiles.
5. Cover the ingredients with water (about 1 quart). Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, until thick (chili will continue to thicken as it sits).
6. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with sliced scallions (optional).

DSCN0786

The result? Very tasty, not as spicy as last time. Increase cayenne pepper to 1 tsp, but otherwise this one is getting close to where I want it to be!

3 T olive oil
1 onion, small dice
2 stalks celery, small dice
2 large carrots, peeled and small dice
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or substitute with water or vegetable broth for vegan soup)
1 cup red lentils
Garnish options: freshly squeezed lemon juice, chopped cilantro, sliced scallions, Greek yogurt, extra-virgin olive oil, spices (chili powder, cumin, cayenne)…

1. Heat oil in a pot over medium heat and then add onion, celery, and carrots. Season with salt and pepper and saute, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 6-8 minutes.
2. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute, or until fragrant.
3. Stir in tomato paste, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring often.
4. Pour broth into the pot and stir, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any bits.
5. Add the lentils to the pot.
6. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked through.
7. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve with garnish options of your choice, depending on taste and whether you are making the soup vegan.

Serve with whole wheat naan or pita bread and you’ll feed 3 hungry or 4 normal(ish) people.

red lentil soup

The best part about this recipe? It gets even better as it sits. Make plenty so that you have leftovers throughout the week.

photo(4)Adapted from this recipe, doctored to make it my own. It still needs some work (more seasoning, mainly) but I think it’s a good start.

1/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp dried rosemary
1 large egg, separated
3/4 cup corn (I had frozen, which I thawed)
1 cup peanut oil, for pan-frying
Powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)
Maple syrup (optional)

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, paprika, cayenne, and rosemary.
2. Combine the egg yolk with corn kernels and add to the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. (The mixture will be very dry.)
3. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottom pan over medium-high heat.
4. Beat the egg white until soft peaks form. Fold into the corn mixture.
5. Add large spoonfuls of the corn batter to oil (it should bubble and sizzle immediately when added to the pan).
6. Once the fritters are golden brown on the bottom, carefully flip and continue cooking until golden brown on that side.
7. When done, remove from the pan and drain on paper towels. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with maple syrup (optional).