It’s been two weeks since I jumped head first into the Reduce My Footprint Mode and so far the biggest challenge has been changing the mindset in our home. We agreed to use the disposable products that we already have and that when we those products are nearing an end they will be replaced with the best reusable choice. I have slowly started buying more dishtowels anticipating the end of the paper towels. My research into various non-disposable storage methods has continued – mason jars are seriously unbelievably versatile. I made a trip to an organic, non-GMO bulk store that has a CSA. There are details to work out and I ma looking at more local alternatives as well. The little changes are easy and mostly go unnoticed but changing things that impact the convenience factor in my home seems to be the hardest hurdle so far. Old habits took time to form and making change is almost always painful and takes more time. The first of the reusable silicon zipper bags is in my fridge – no complaints yet. Our progress will be slow but I hope steady and your insights would be greatly appreciated.
Another area we are attempting to make change in is being less wasteful with our leftovers. That means on my end being more thoughtful of the portions I prepare when cooking but also coming up with creative repurposing of food that is left over. Sometimes the challenge is a no brainer – left over chicken can be shredded and made into a multitude of things – chicken salad, egg rolls, stir fries, etc. But other foods are less amenable to being repurposed. This week for our Shabbat lunch I served a very hearty vegan chili. Full of beans, veggies and an assortment of slightly spicy seasonings served over a bowl of brown rice, it was perfect. We even had it again Motzei Shabbat as an evening meal. The problem is there is still a good bit left and shy of freezing it for another day I decided to use it as the base of my meal for tonight’s Meatless Monday entrée. Knowing my household though nobody is going to be up for another round of brown rice and chili. How to use it in a creative tasty way, staying true to the theme of the evening, not breaking my budget while doing so became the impetus of tonight’s recipe.
What I came up with may not be a complete overhaul of the chili but hopefully will give it a lift and new life for one more meal. The weather here in Houston has been on the cold side and those low temperatures while mild for people that reside in northern parts of the continent are bone chilling to those of us that are used to more mild temperatures. I am taking advantage and have made soups and stews and thought that perhaps the chili would meld into one of those but wasn’t so sure my husband would buy into that, Meatless Mondays are a hard sell to my meat and potato guy to begin with. That was the thought that gave me the “AHA!” moment. My first thought was to make chili stuffed baked sweet potatoes with vegan sausage crumbles, something different but not really changing the chili too much. Then it hit me vegan Chimichangas! Ok maybe not a complete flavor profile change but definitely a reinvention of leftover chili. To satisfy my husband’s need for meat I will add in the vegan sausage to the filling and we will go with the following toppings: salsa, guacamole and vegan sour cream and cheddar shreds.
Left over vegan chili (recipe at the bottom)
Flour tortillas – as many as you need to use up your chili, using about ½ cup of filling in each chimichanga
Vegan cheese shreds (I use Daiya cheese, it smells a little funky but melts nicely and loses the funky smell as it cooks)
1 egg beaten to seal the edges of the tortilla
Grape seed or other oil for frying
Toppings & Sides
Vegan Sour Cream
Lay the tortilla out and fill with ½ cup of the chili and a small handful of vegan cheese shreds. Roll the edge of the tortilla over the filling and then fold the sides in to create and envelope – similar to rolling an egg roll. Roll the tortilla over to close sealing the edge with beaten egg let the chimichanga rest seam side down for a few minutes to make sure it is sealed. Meanwhile while you are wrapping your chimichangas heat a few inches of oil in a deep frying pan or in a stockpot. When the oil is hot place one or two chimichangas in the oil seam side down. Let fry for a few minutes then turn the chimichanga should be golden on the fried side. When the second side has cooked drain on paper bags. Serve on a platter with the sides in small bowls.
1 46oz. can black beans or dry beans soaked over night to equivalent amount
1 46oz. can kidney beans or dry beans soaked over night to equivalent amount
2 cans Ro-Tel Original Tomatoes
2 small cans Diced-Tomatoes
1 small can diced Green Chili Peppers
1 large white /yellow Onion diced
2 or 3 whole Jalapeno Peppers
½ bottle Dark Lager (you may need more)
4 or more Tablespoons of Chili powder
1 Tablespoon of Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 Tablespoon (you can use less if you like it less spicy or more) Chipotle Chili Powder
1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin
Salt & Pepper to taste
Put all of the ingredients into a large crockpot making sure the liquid is up to the top of the ingredients. Set at low and cook 10 hours or overnight. Serve over brown rice.
Hi, I'm Chef Shoshana. I have been cooking as long as I can remember starting out in both of my grandmothers kitchens learning by observing and practice. Over the years I have cooked my way through all of life's moments; cooking for family, friends, and clients. For me cooking has always been an expression of caring and love. Each meal I prepare is a reflection of that. When I cook for a client I want them to feel as if the meal was made by a loved one especially for them. The blog section of my website is where you will find recipes & anecdotes from my daily experiences in the kitchen with both clients and family. I hope you enjoy!