This weekend was all about domestic bliss… it’s funny because I’d actually planned for it and it turned out exactly how I’d wanted, which doesn’t happen often, does it? A tall and wise man once told me that he believed that not having expectations was a very clear and light way of approaching life. Although I haven’t always succeeded in following that philosophy (who does?) I do believe it is imbedded in my way of thinking now and I try to keep it in my mind when I deal with everyday things. Anyway, I did go out on a limb and plan this weekend as such, turning down invitations to go to dinner, and another to go to a film, and just did things here at home.

I tackled a mass of much-needed grocery shopping, and managed to cook some exceptional food… (more on that later) I also decided to go offline for Sat and Sun, just to eliminate the temptation to check all the sites I normally would, losing hours of my life as a result. I cheated and did log on 3 times in the two days, but overall I spent less than 15 minutes on the web, and it felt really great.

What was nice about the time spent, is that I indulged in things that make me feel proactive and productive, like a trip to the health food store, a big stop at the Moroccans for nuts and dates, I read a book for hours on the couch snuggled in a blanket with my cat, polished the wood around the jacuzzi (I really enjoyed that, is that weird?) and filled the bathroom with plants, and basically did all kinds of cleaning and re-arranging of furniture downstairs. I also spent a lot of time with my flatmate, as we did lunch at the English pub and watched a disturbing film together on Saturday whilst dining on my hellfire vegetarian chili and wine, beside the fireplace. T’was time well spent, with no regrets.

Now, onto the best part, the food! OK, so I was a wee cooking bunny this weekend! I should mention that I was able to sing to my heart’s content while cooking, which, I swear should be some form of therapy because I always feel so happy when I sing and dance around my house.

First: Chili – this was really easy because I opted to use canned beans. The entire meal takes less than 45 minutes to prep and cook, so it’s a bit of a no-brainer, but the yield is high and so I have tons left over in the freezer now.

Vegetarian Black-Bean Chili

  • Prep Time 15 minutes
  • Total Time 30 minutes
  • Yield Serves 4


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced (I added more)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (Same here)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 zucchini (about 1 pound total), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • Because I was lazy, I bought a bag of mixed frozen veg with bits of corn and peppers
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (I added more, but WOW, it is unbelievably spicy now!)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin (added more too)
  • 2 cans (19 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes (Added 2)
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • Package of vegetarian meat crumbles


  1. In a pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes.
  2. Add zucchini, carrots, chili powder, and cumin veg. Cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes since I used frozen veg, it was more like 4 minutes. Add beans, tomatoes, corn, veggie crumbles, and 1 cup water. Simmer until slightly thickened and carrots are soft, 8 to 10 minutes more.

It is seriously good too… you can have it with a corn torilla (which is what I did) or even french bread slices. Today I ate some cold on Wasa crackers. I opted not to add dairy but I’m sure that would also be amazing.

Image and recipe: Whole Living


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