“Fast Food” Solutions: Super Easy Chili


Well, here is the second recipe in this series. I made it a goal about 2 years ago to streamline and simplify my everyday cooking. Luckily, this recipe was already ridiculously easy. Just like my Never Fail Spaghetti, this uses pantry items and so it is another go-to recipe on nights when time is short or the week's meal plan has gone awry. I have no idea where they get this trait, but my oldest three like spicy food, so they like this chili when it's a little on the hot side. My daughter in particular craves this chili and it's one of the few left-over foods that she willingly takes for lunch the next day. My youngest two aren't fans of it, but I'm sure that will change with time. When I make it, I try to have left-overs from another meal to fill them up.

Fyi, this is one recipe I absolutely refuse to blend! Gracie and Simon have to blend their own portions because I just refuse to turn it into a soup.

This is an easily adaptable recipe. Once again, if I had my druthers, I'd add sliced mushrooms, chopped celery, carrots, green peppers and frozen corn. Adjust the chili powder and add more or less garlic to find the right seasoning for you and your family. If the maple baked beans make it too sweet for you, just substitute another can of black beans [or any other beans you like].

Now without further ado, here's the step-by-step or you can skip to the bottom of the page for a printable version!

1. Gather your ingredients. Set a kettle to boil for the Textured Vegetable Protein [TVP].2. Chop up an onion [I used two because they were smallish] and roughly chop up a garlic clove. If you want to add a bunch of other veggies, this would be a good time +to add them. Saute veggies in a tbsp of vegetable or canola oil. You can saute with a bit of water too, if you prefer to avoid oils.

3. When the onions and garlic are translucent and the kettle has boiled, take off the heat and add 1 cup of TVP and 1 cup boiling water. Stir to combine and set a timer for 5 minutes.

4. Now start opening cans! One can of diced tomatoes, one can of dairy-free tomato soup, one can of maple baked beans [the ONLY ones that are vegan that I have found -- check the ingredients to make sure!], and one can of black beans. Drain the black beans and if you like you can rinse them too.

5. When the 5 mins are up, add all your canned foods and 1 tbsp or more of chili powder. You will have to taste to see if you have the right amount of chili powder after its begun to heat through. Heat over med-high heat until bubbling, then turn down to low and let simmer as long as you have time for, stirring occasionally. You can also add salt and pepper to taste.

6. Best served with Bannock Biscuits or Cornbread [Recipes coming soon!], along with a Garden Salad and/or veggies and dip!

Oh, and fun fact ... The cans fit into each other like nesting dolls!

It's nice when things work out like that 😉

Bon Appetit!




Super Easy Chili


Textured Vegetable Protein: A Wonder Staple


Greetings, Culinary Compatriots!

I thought I would take a quick moment to sing the praises of Textured Vegetable Protein, aka TVP. TVP is made from soy and I can’t think of a better food to help people transition to plant-based cooking. It can replace hamburger in almost any familiar recipe you can think of and it is SO EASY TO USE! SO EASY! I really can’t emphasize that enough, because gone are the days of standing over a pan scraping a solid block of slowly thawing/cooking frozen hamburger.

Instead, I boil a pot of water and five minutes later, I have my mince for any recipe I can think up. Here’s why I like it so much:

  • It has a neutral taste, and so it can take any flavour you want to add to it. I can make chili, spaghetti, taco ‘meat’, lasagna, shepherd’s pie, spicy Jamaican patties … you get the idea.

  • HUGE bonus — if you buy it from a Bulk Store, it’s super cheap. And Zero Waste if you use a cloth bag.

  • It also doesn’t go bad because it is shelf-stable. I have a huge glass jar of it in the cupboard above my stove.

  • In short, it is awesome.

To prepare it, it is a simple ratio of 1 part TVP: 1 part BOILING WATER. 1:1 — it doesn’t get easier than that. Leave it for 5 minutes to reconstitute and it’s ready to use. Don’t worry about the slightly earthy smell, once it is added to whatever you’re cooking up, it has a very neutral flavour — try it and you will see what I mean.

I hope you find it as easy and versatile as I have.

Happy Cooking!


“Fast Food” Solutions: Never Fail Spaghetti


So here is the first of a series of recipes that are QUICK and EASY to make. These recipes/menus are tried and tested in my house and I rely on them a lot for days when life gets busy or I'm tired, or a combination of both. They are generally pantry-based meals too which means that I usually have everything I need for them.

In fact, one of the unexpected benefits of going vegan is how many of the ingredients are shelf-stable, even plant-milks. I love it! It really makes life easier and cheaper ... bulk buying staples means you are always prepared and it saves money.

This spaghetti recipe is so simple and satisfying that we rely on it probably the most of all my recipes. Everyone here loves it, so it's a perfect supper to follow up a more experimental meal from the night before...and it means great left-overs for lunch the next day!

So much of home-cooking is intuitive, so I'm going to first go through step-by-step with pictures, but you can scroll to the bottom of the page for a printable recipe. Also, this recipe uses Textured Vegetable Protein, so here's my post on TVP if you don't know what it is or how to use it!


1. Put a kettle of water on to boil. Set water to boil for spaghetti noodles too.

2. Chop an onion and saute with about 1-2 tablespoons of oil.

3. Peel and roughly chop 1-2 cloves of garlic, add to onions and saute.

4. Once onions and garlic are translucent and fragrant, take off the heat and add 1

cup of Textured Vegetable Protein and 1 cup of boiling water and stir. Set aside for

5 minutes.

5. By now, your pot of water should be boiling, so you can take this moment to add

your spaghetti noodles.

5. Start your can opener! Time to add a can of tomatoes and a can of dairy-free

tomato soup. Then add oregano and basil, salt and pepper -- all to taste. I estimate

every single time.

6. Heat the sauce on medium to high until it starts to bubble up and then turn it

low to simmer. Let this simmer as long as you have time for -- it can simmer on

low for a long time, but tastes great simmering for as long as it takes to finish

cooking the noodles, whip together a simple salad or cut up a veggie plate if you're

up to it.

7. And finally, I pull out my kitchen's MAGIC WAND. My kids collectively don't

like texture -- sigh -- so I blend EVERYTHING. It's actually a great way to get

kids to eat a ton of veggies in soups too, so I guess I shouldn't complain too much.

And there you have it! A really super easy and quick supper that you can throw

together last minute. Here's Peter digging in ...


Bon Appetit!


Click here for the printable recipe!

Never Fail Spaghetti