Happy Monday everyone! Mondays rock! Yeah right, who am I kidding?!? Anyone else feeling the burn of another grueling week and too-short weekends? But, I thought I’d take a quick break from writing papers and taking endless notes to share a fantastic lunch or snack recipe! I whipped this up this morning for my brother since he’s home for college and I’m trying to put some meat on his skinny bones! He also requested some healthy options because apparently a diet of greasy dining hall burgers and 3am Taco Bell isn’t hitting the spot any more… Who’da thought?!
The great thing about this dish is that it’s essentially just two ingredients: hard-boiled eggs and avocado. Then you just season it however you like! I usually go for guacamole-type flavors because who doesn’t love guacamole? So, to keep it brief for you and so I can get back to my studies, here’s the recipe!
Also, I’ll note that at some point I will post a tutorial for my never-fail hard boiled egg process. So keep an eye out for that for the simplest, most perfectly cooked eggs you can make!
So easy I made it in the morning before school! And somehow didn’t devour it!
Bold claim right?! How can something be better than butter?? It’s America’s favorite ingredient! I have to say, in my humble opinion, roasted garlic rivals it. If you’re never roasted garlic before drop everything and try this right. now.
It starts with just a plain old head of garlic. Just chop off the top and husk some of the outer papers, leaving enough intact so it’s not falling apart. You may have to cut down a little lower on some of the outer cloves to be able to see their middles. You want to be sure that when you drizzle olive oil over it (about a Tbs or so) the oil reaches almost every clove.
Then wrap the whole thing up in a layer or two of foil and pop it straight into the oven at 400F. Be. Patient. I’m telling you this process takes a while. You’ll start to smell the wonderful aroma after about 30 minutes and want to take it out and rub it all over your body eat it but trust me, just wait.
Not done yet. We’re starting to see a little of that golden caramelization but this baby hasn’t reached potential yet.
Now THAT is what I’m talking about. See how it’s all wilty and soft and mushy and golden? That’s the good stuff. And trust me, you’ll smell it. This is about 50 minutes after I put it straight on the rack in the oven.
All that’s left is to squeeze the head from the bottom and let all the “meat” of the garlic ooze out. Your fingers are going to smell the rest of the day. You won’t be sorry.
Voila! Roasted garlic!!
The reason I post this is because I use roasted garlic in just about everything! Its rich, nutty flavor is much less sharp than the uncooked bulb and lends itself well to toast, soups, and any dish that calls for garlic! My favorite is to spread it on a piece of my favorite homemade, nutty bread. Garlic is a great sub for butter in this case because not only is it more flavorful, but it is way healthier! Garlic has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and is naturally fat-free. Can’t beat it!
Give this a try today, I like to roast 4-5 bulbs at a time to have on hand in the fridge. Be on the lookout as I’ll definitely be using this in future recipes! And let me know, is it better than butter?!?
“What the heck is TVP?” Direct quote from my mother. Yes, it sounds more like an ingredient in fixing car engines and less like a vegan protein source. The only ingredient listed on the package (I use Bob’s Red Mill) is “defatted soy flour.” The jury is out on whether this is a healthy product or not. I like it because of its high protein, fiber content, and chewy texture. Some argue that it is highly processed, lacks nutritional value, and should be left alone. I’ll let you make up your own mind. If you’re interested in learning more, Google it. For now, I’ll treat it as a processed product that I’m ok eating now and then as an easy meat substitute.
Ok that being said… Let’s get down to this chili! I was inspired by the recipe on the bag of TVP and decided to give it a few tweaks and try it out!
Texturized Vegetable Protein. Friend or foe, you decide.
After prepping and chopping all my veggies and gathering ingredients, it was time to play with this new ingredient. In order to use the TVP, you have to rehydrate it. It comes in dry, hard little pellets that smelled a bit like a grain or flour, a bit nutty, a bit sweet. Rehydrating is where the flavor infusion occurs. I threw it in a bowl, dolloped some ketchup on top, and poured boiling water overtop per the bag instruction. Immediately, it started to soak up and disappear into the TVP and it almost resembled the cooking of quick oats. After letting it soak, the spices go in- I included a picture of this step because it looks like a LOT. You’re going to think you’re overdoing it, but consider that this is where all of the spices for the entire pot of soup come from. Don’t be shy about really dumping it in. Once that’s been seasoned and fluffed with a fork, this looks a lot like you run-of-the-mill chili recipe.
Dry TVP with big blobs of ketchup ready to be rehydrated.
After the boiling water was dumped over.
Told you it looks like a lot of spices….
Once mixed and fluffed it takes on the texture and flavor of ground beef!.. Almost.
Get the veggies sautéing in a large pot or dutch oven to cook them down. Once the onions are translucent, just dump everything else in! Then pop the lid on and simmer it for about 30-45 minutes. Stir in the frozen corn and cook for about 15 minutes more or until the corn is cooked through. That’s it! This makes about 16 cups of chili which is TON, so I recommend freezing half if you don’t think you can eat it all in a week. I somehow managed to devour all of it. But you might not be a crazy soup fanatic like myself.
TVP may not be a perfectly whole, unprocessed food but in my opinion, it beats ground beef in the health department any day! Plus it’s delicious, chewy, and easy to work with! Win win win!
Finished product served up with my favorite multigrain chips!