Since I'm a big fan of the idea that the hallmark of a healthy diet is flexibility in meeting one's own individual needs, I decided to reintegrate some meat back into my life.
I still eat vegetarian (and, save for my Greek yogurt, mostly plant-based) during the day, but dinners now involve meat of some kind. My husband, who is very much a meat-eatin' Texan and was probably an apex predator in a past life, is quite pleased.
So, the recipes I post here will sometimes reflect that change -- but because some of my dear friends are vegetarians (and, in other cases, some of my dear friends live with or are married to vegetarians), I plan to try and provide vegetarian options for each omnivorous recipe I post.
One of my favorite blogs, Peas & Crayons, gives her readers what she refers to as T-Rex and Brontosaurus options -- and I love that idea, so I'm going to follow suit. Wherever possible, I'll show vegetarian and omnivore-friendly options for each dish. I want to show some love across the omni-veg schism, you know?
Anyways, without further ado, I present:
Chili Verde Chicken & Black Beans
I'm constantly on the hunt for new recipes to try out with Hubs. We both love Mexican food -- what with him being from Texas and me being from Colorado and all -- and we both really miss it. DC has exactly zero good Mexican restaurants, so I wanted to give this recipe a shot as soon as I saw it.
I used this recipe from Epicurious as the basis for the dish, but I omitted the milk, cheese, and black pepper. I also made a number of substitutions and additions (changes in italics below):
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 3/4 cups Mexican salsa verde (sometimes called tomatillo sauce; from a 16-oz jar)
- 1 3/4 cups Edward & Sons vegetarian chicken-flavored broth
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups coarsely shredded cooked chicken (from a 2-lb rotisserie chicken, skin removed)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups coarsely crushed home-made tortilla chips
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1 cup chopped onion
Vegetarian option: If you sub out the chicken broth with the vegetarian chicken-flavored broth listed above, the only thing left to do is nix the chicken and double the amount of black beans, or add 1/2 cup corn and 1/4 cup quinoa (uncooked - let it cook in the salsa verde, and it'll thicken things up nicely). This baby will be filled with plant protein and all the good-for-you awesomeness that black beans and quinoa bring to the table.
Vegan option: In addition to the substitutions above, omit the sour cream and use fresh avocado or guacamole. I'd wager that this is far better than sour cream (damn, I wish I'd thought of that before I cooked this!), because really, you can never go wrong with avocado or guac. Ever.