Spicy vegetarian chili

This soup was made for my Soup & Sandwich Swap event, which you can read about HERE for more recipes and pictures.

Betsy’s spicy vegetarian chili

1 teaspoon olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 medium red pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups black beans, cooked
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup salsa, medium
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup canned corn niblet

Heat oil in a large pot, saute onions, peppers and garilc for 5 minutes on medium heat.
Add remaining ingredients except corn.
Increase heat to high to bring to a boil.
Decrease heat to medium and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in corn, simmer until heated through.
Makes about 10 cups or 6-7 servings of 1 1/2 cups.
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Roasted Pineapple Pork Tenderloin

Roasted Pineapple Pork Tenderloin
adapted recipe courtesy of Epicurious


1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon mild or hot chili powder (or achiote paste)
1 jalapeno, finely minced
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed
1 small golden pineapple (about 1 1/2 pound), diced into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup pineapple (or orange) juice
1/4 small red onion, finely chopped
Vegetable oil cooking spray

Heat a large pan over high heat to the smoking point, 3 to 4 minutes. Brown pineapple 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add pineapple juice and stir 1 minute, scraping up brown bits from pan. Remove pineapple from heat. Combine in a bowl with pepper, onion and basil. Mash together and set aside.
Mix tomato paste with chili powder.
Combine with orange juice, lime juice and oil in a double resealable bag.
Add pineapple mixture to the bag.
Add tenderloin and marinate at least 3 hours.
Heat a grill or grill pan over high. Coat with cooking spray.
Remove pork from marinade; place on baking pan. (Discard excess marinade.)
Bake marinated pork in a preheated 350 oven, until pork is no longer pink and internal temperature is 160°F 18 to 20 minutes. Let pork rest 5 minutes before slicing.
Garnish with cilantro leaves before serving.

Spicy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Spicy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
original Joelen recipe


1 head garlic, cut in half horizontally
olive oil for drizzling
salt & pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoons spice garlic & onion seasoning
2-3 large Russet baking potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup half & half

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Tear off a sheet of foil (about 8×12 inches).
Place garlic halves onto the foil.
Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt & pepper.
Wrap the garlic & jalepenos into a foil packet and place in preheated oven.
Bake for 30 – 45 minutes; set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, boil a pot of water and add chopped potatoes.
Cook potatoes until softened and drain.
Place potatoes into a large bowl.
Add butter, half & half, salt & pepper to taste.
When cooled, squeeze garlic out of paper wrappings and place into large bowl.
Mash potatoes with all ingredients until you reach your desired consistency.
Add more butter/half & half if preferred.
Garnish with chopped chives before serving.

Pork Schnitzel & Creamy Mushroom Topping

I made the following for my Oktoberfest event. You can read and get other recipes from the event HERE.

Robert’s Pork Schnitzel & Creamy Mushroom Topping
recipe HERE

6 thin, boneless “breakfast” pork chops
1/2 cup flour
Salt and pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs
1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
12 ounces sliced mushrooms
1 teaspoon minced garlic1 12-ounce jar roasted chicken gravy
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Flatten each pork chop lightly with a flat meat mallet or heavy skillet into a uniform thinness. Place the flour on a plate or in a glass baking dish and season with salt and pepper. Place the eggs in a baking dish or pie plate. Place the seasoned bread crumbs in another baking dish or glass pie plate and stir in the sage. Dip a pork chop into the flour, coating both sides and shaking off excess. Next, dip into the egg, coating well, then into the seasoned bread crumbs. Place on a plate and continue until all 6 chops are breaded.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add 3 of the pork chops and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Turn and brown on other side, cooking until done, about 2 minutes more. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate, add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet and brown remaining chops, adding them to the plate and setting aside when they are done.

Add the mushrooms and garlic to the hot skillet. Season with salt and pepper and saute over medium-high heat until the mushrooms are golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken gravy and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Place the pork chops on a platter and top with the sauce.

German BBQ Potato Salad

I made the following for my Oktoberfest event. You can read and get other recipes from the event HERE.

Joelen’s German BBQ Potato Salad
recipe adapted from HERE


6 large potatoes (about 2 pounds)
1 cup Bermuda onions, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup salad oil
4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 egg
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Thoroughly wash potatoes and boil with the skins on until tender (about 25 minutes). Remove potatoes from pan and drain the water. Return the potatoes to the pot and place over a low heat shaking constantly to dry the potatoes. Peel and chop potatoes into 1/4-inch pieces. Place potato pieces in a large bowl and toss with onions, parsley, salt and pepper. Set aside. Meanwhile combine the vinegar, water and sugar in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Whisk egg in a bowl and pour the vinegar mixture over top while stirring. Add salad oil and stir. Pour this mixture over potatoes and place in a large skillet or pot over a low heat. Cook until evenly heated. Top with crumbled bacon.

Stuffing It… In a Healthy Way!

Today was a dreary, cold, wet and cloudy day… a typical fall night in Chicago. It definitely called for a warm and comforting dinner, but I wanted it to also be healthy. (Often times, warm and comforting means starch heavy and sauce laden meals in our house!)

It’s been a few nights since we had some seafood so I baked some flounder fillets, seasoned with rosemary, garlic and lemon slices. To go along with our flounder, I roasted some asparagus spears and served up these stuffed tomatoes:

Couscous Stuffed Tomatoes
courtesy of Weight Watchers Best Eats Cookbook

1/2 cup water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup whole wheat couscous
6 (7 oz) beefsteak tomatoes
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small zucchini, diced
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 small red bell pepper, diced (I omitted)
1 teaspoon dried basil (I used fresh)
1 (15.5 oz) can great northern beans, rinsed & drained
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1/3 cup crumbled fat free feta (I used regular feta)

Bring the water, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the couscous, cover, and remove from the heat. Let stand 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

Meanwhile, cut a thin slice from the top of each tomato and reserve (I accidentally threw it out when I prepared it!). With a spoon, carefully scoop out the seeds and pulp, leaving a tomato shell. Reserve the pulp for a soup or sauce.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the succhini, onion, bell pepper, and basil; cook, stirring frequently, until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add the beans and tomato sauce; cook until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the couscous, cheese, and remaining salt & pepper. Spooon about 3/4 cup of the filling into each tomato shell and cover with the reserved tomato tops.

* I baked these stuffed tomatoes in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes to roast them as well. This can be made in advance and frozen too!

Serves 6
Serving size: 1 stuffed tomato
WW Points value: 3 Points

Pumpkin Butterscotch Muffins

The following recipe was featured in my Muffin Swap event. You can read about it and view other muffin recipes HERE.

Stacey’s Pumpkin Butterscotch Muffins

Recipe adapted from HERE (?)

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 3/4 cups pumpkin
4 eggs
1/2 cup oil
2 cups nuts, optional
2 cups butterscotch chips/morsels

1. Combine all dry ingredients. Add pumpkin, eggs, and oil. Mix until smooth. Add nuts if desired and the butterscotch chips.

2. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until done.