Oh, hello again, Monday.
Where did the weekend go?! I failed to accomplish everything I’d hoped to and listed in my Friday Forecast, but I did manage to fit in a vintage market, some camera shopping, and the Bears. I think we can all agree my time would have been better spent at Fleet Feet rather than watching that sad, sad loss to Green Bay on Sunday, but what can I say? I love that silly football team. Even Cutler. There, I said it.
Pair that craving with a rainy Sunday and massive disappointments on the football front, and a massive pot of comfort food was more than in order.
Yes, I’m blaming my need for comfort food on the Bears, what of it?
But wait – stick with me on this one. It’s sort of amped up healthy comfort food. In my quest to increase my veggie intake and decrease my meat intake, I picked up this little gem at Trader Joe’s recently.
I wasn’t sure how it would taste, but I’m pleased to report that it’s extremely flavorful and juicy. Sometimes I think meat substitutes can be a bit chewy and taste, well, fake. This, however, tastes alarmingly close to real ground beef and isn’t overly chewy at all.
I’ll definitely be buying it again and am excited to try other recipes with it. But for now, here’s a chili recipe to help you forget (or celebrate) your team’s big game.Chili Con Faux-Carne 1 package Trader Joe’s beef-less ground beef 2 cans of black beans 2 cups of frozen or canned corn 1 can of kidney beans 1 can of diced tomatoes 1 can of tomato juice 1/3 avocado Garlic Parmesan Polenta Croutons 1/2 package of Trader Joe’s polenta, cubed 1 – 2Tbsp olive oil 2 Tbsp rated parmesan cheese
Combine the beans, corn, tomatoes and tomato juice in a large pot or dutch oven. Cook on stovetop on medium. Meanwhile, sauté beefless ground beef in a frying pan on low for 5 to 7 minutes until lightly gold brown.
Add beef to pot with simmering beans and veggies.
In a small mixing bowl add polenta, olive oil and parmesan cheese. Toss several times to coat polenta cubes and then add to a small frying pan. Cook on medium for 8 to 9 minutes, turning polenta frequently, until golden brown.
Spoon chili into bowls and top with polenta croutons and avocado.
It’s official. I’m in love with polenta. Espcially when it’s fried up with garlic and parmesan and served with chili. I could eat this all week. And I made enough that I might be able to!
It should be noted that the boyfriend loved this chili. Loved. It should also be noted that he does not know the beef in the chili was faux-beef.
It’ll just be our little secret, okay?