Monday, June 18, 2007


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It's been a while since I blogged! I don't know where the time goes! This weekend two of my daughters and their families came for a visit, and we were looking forward to it, although I was worrying about making enough food for everyone, having had a super-busy week and no time to make a shopping trip to town. They brought juice and drinks and fruit and snacks, however, and I planned some simple, filling meals.

My house is small, and the weather was not very cooperative! The first night, the 4 little girls were sharing a tent. It was only supposed to "shower" intermittently, but there was a downpour early in the morning. My husband got up about 5 and was in the shower when they all came running into the house sopping wet, dragging their damp bedding!

At that point I got up, too, tucked the three youngest into my bed and set up the oldest (age 12) in the little daybed in my office with a reading lamp, with grandmotherly orders to try to sleep and let the grownups wake up!

The "constant reader" at breakfast!

I managed to shower and have a cup of tea when the others started coming in. We had a simple breakfast, my husband in charge of the coffee and toast (made with his good homemade bread), dried all the bedding and clothes, made lunch for later on, and we left my husband to have a well-deserved rest while we went to the "Free store" (recycling center). Everyone found at least a few treasures, and we visited my mother at her house for a little while before heading home.

Two more cousins enjoying a book

Lunch was a BIG pot of my Japanese noodle soup, which I had made in the morning, with watermelon for dessert.

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Everyone went to the beach during a lull in the rain in the afternoon, giving me a little breather, and then brought my mother to our house for an afternoon snack of hummus and baby carrots, and salsa and chips.

Creamy Low-Fat Hummus (see recipe)

A dinner of my prize-winning vegetarian chili (see recipe below), and homemade cornbread, with a big green salad.

Cornbread (UPDATE: Vegan "Blue Ribbon" Cornbread, my adaptation.  The recipe is here, but I made these changes-- instead of the 4 tsp. baking powder, I used 1 teaspoon baking powder + 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and I added 2 teaspoons lemon juice to the soymilk  to make "soy buttermilk". Here's a delicious wheat-free version of cornbread.)

Dessert was the Triple-Ginger Espresso Cake (Update-- from my latest book, World Vegan Feast, and I posted the recipe here .)

We all watched a family movie together, laughed alot, and the kids fell asleep almost immediately (they slept on bedrolls on my dance space/office floor, and in the little daybed-- the youngest slept with his parents in a more water-proof tent!). I slept like a log and didn't hear a peep from them until about 8 am!

Sunday was Father's Day, so my daughters and I made crepes for breakfast, which was much appreciated by all! The sun did come out for while, allowing the kids to play outside and get Grampa to push them on the tire swing. Everyone left around noon, and we had a lazy day after that. It was good to have some time to chat with my busy daughters, and to see my grandchildren interact with eachother. They get along really well. My little three-year-old grandson (who can tell you the bus routes in Vancouver quite accurately!) had a gaggle of girl cousins spoiling him rotten and seemed to be just fine with that!

I hope you all had a great weekend, whatever the weather!


12 servings
This recipe appears in my first book, “The Almost No-Fat Cookbook”. A few years ago, I won first prize in our local chili contest with this chili—beat out all the meat ones!! NOTE: You can use a combination of pinto, small red, and black beans for variety, if you like.

2 lbs. FROZEN tofu (start with firm tofu for best results), thawed, squeezed dry, and crumbled
2 pckgs. Yves Veggie "Ground Round" (or 4 c. other veggie "hamburger crumbles")
3-4 cups ground seitan
3 cups dried textured soy protein (TVP) granules or flakes, reconstituted in 2 and 1/2 c. boiling water

2 large onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 T. chili powder (for a really good chili, use at least half dark chili powder, such as ancho)
1 T. EACH dried oregano, ground cumin, and unsweetened organic fair trade cocoa (can use 2 T. cocoa for a very dark chili)
1 bay leaf
7 T. soy sauce
1 tsp. sugar
8 c. water
1 crushed dried chili pepper
2 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
4 c. dried pinto beans OR small red beans, SOAKED OVERNIGHT and drained
2 small cans tomato paste
OPTIONAL THICKENER: 2-3 T. cornmeal or masa harina

Mix all ingredients EXCEPT the cornmeal or masa harina in a large pot and bring to a boil. Boil for a few minutes, then turn down and simmer, covered, for about 4 hours. Taste for seasoning. Add the cornmeal or masa harina if you think it needs thickening and cook for a few minutes before serving. Can freeze.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving):
329.1 calories; 4% calories from fat; 1.9g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 457.4mg sodium; 1024.9mg potassium; 56.9g carbohydrates; 15.7g fiber; 7.1g sugar; 41.3g net carbs; 25.7g protein; 5.9 points.



Anonymous said...

Wow looks like a great weekend even with the rain! beautifull family!

Speedwell said...

Prize winning chili, hooray! This Texan is going to thaw the tofu block in the freezer, double the chile, and go for it. Thanks!

tokyovegan said...

Hello again!
I'm just getting ready to make your award-winning recipe and wondering if that's supposed to be 2 cups of TVP granules to 3 cups hot water?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

No, it's 3 cups TVO and 2 1/2 cups boiling water-- I corrected my omission-- thanks for the heads-up!

Emily said...

Hi Bryanna, I was wondering if I could make this in a crock pot? Would I just throw everything in there and cook on low? Thanks!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Hi, Emily! You could, I'm sure, but I would par-boil the soaked beans for a bit if you are going to cook it on LOW. In the book "The Indian Slow Cooker" by Anupy Singla (good book, BTW! ) she uses un-soaked dried beans, but cooks them on HIGH for 6 to 8 hours.

Fiona said...

Best chili I have ever made! Chili recipes are a dime a dozen but this one is a keeper! Thank you! I used the tofu option.

Fiona said...

Best chili I have ever made! There are lots of chili recipes out there, but this one is def a keeper! I didn't have a dried chili so I used a tsp or so of the sauce that comes in a can of chilies in adobo sauce. I used the tofu option, just one package, used reduced sodium soy sauce and only 1 tsp salt. Yum!

Anonymous said...

Used an electric pressure cooker for this. 40 minutes on beans setting. Presoaked the beans overnight. Used crumbles. It came out like Chili Man vegetarian chili beans! But, without all that oil! Very nice!