Slow Cooked Black Bean Chili

ImageMy first job was as a housekeeper at the Fairmont Empress, which is a job I held all through high school, university and the start of my teaching career.  It was the best job I could have ever asked for and one that I am so thankful to have had.  Working at the hotel taught me the power of hard work, how to work under pressure and how to interact with people from all over the world.  All the while I got the opportunity to work with my best friend Sarah and meet some of the more exceptional people I now have the pleasure of knowing.  That being said I had to quit earlier this spring as we prepare to move to New York.  So last night we had a little Empress Housekeeping get together at our house so that we could catch up on the latest hotel news and warm our new home with those we cherish.

We lazed on the lawn in our back yard with some appies, homemade black bean chili and a few glasses of wine.  This chili was a hearty, rich vegan recipe that is simmered in the slow cooker for 8 hours.  With virtually no hands on prep time and yielding lots of leftovers when cooked for two people, this dish has become one of our staple meals for busy weeks.


Jay is a carnivore while I am a pescatarian , so we have become adept at combining our differing diets at meal time.  So with this in mind for last night’s meal I set up a chili.  The chili itself was vegan and I laid out an assortment of fresh chives, parsley and cilantro from our garden, hot sauces, spiced pulled chicken, taco chips, cheese, sour cream, avocado and crushed chilies for them to choose from.  The result was a chili that suited everyones preferences and dietary needs -whether vegetarian, vegan, (almost) paleo, dairy free or gluten free.  I would  have to say the meal was a hit because even after doubling the recipe there wasn’t any left to spare.

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Nourishing Carrot Ginger Soup

9b0d26b0789711e28ed122000a9f1311_6As a new teacher you are in constant contact with sniffles, runny noses and grubby fingers, and unfortunately you don’t have the immune system of a veteran educator. So in any attempt to reduce the number of times I come down with a cold I have tried to be mindful of my nutrition and weave plenty of fresh ginger root, chili and garlic into my diet. Tonight I whipped up a nourishing and hearty carrot ginger soup with a hint of sweet from the Braeburn apples, which compliments spice of the turmeric perfectly. Now I am off to catch up with some amazing girlfriends over a movie and idle chat (while I secretly oggle her three beautiful children).

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