Chili for Vegetarians

Preparation: In a large frying pan or wok heat 2 T. olive oil for about 30 seconds on medium.  Add onions and sauté for about 3 minutes until translucent.   Add chopped red peppers and carrots and cook 2 minutes. Add corn kernels and continue cooking, stirring occasionally.  Stir in diced mushrooms, and continue cooking until all vegetables are soft, another 5 minutes.  Add 2 15 oz. cans of tomato sauce, spices and seasonings.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.  Serves 6 – 8.

Serve the all-vegetable chili, as is, or stir in 1 can undrained red kidney beans or drained cannellini beans. For spicier chili, season to taste with a few dashes of cayenne pepper or Tabasco sauce.


2 T. olive oil

2 medium onions, chopped

1 large red bell pepper, chopped

3 medium carrots, grated

1 – 1 ¼ cups fresh corn kernels, removed from 2 ears fresh corn (may use canned corn, drained)

3 cups baby bella mushrooms, diced

2 15 oz. cans tomato sauce

2 ½ T chili powder

1 ½ T ground cumin

½ tsp. garlic powder

½ tsp. salt or to taste


1 can red kidney beans, undrained or 1 can cannellini beans, drained

Note: if using beans, stir in during the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Optional garnish: shredded cheddar cheese; sliced black olives; Greek yogurt or sour cream.


Matzo Balls In Vegetable Broth

To Make the Vegetable Broth:

3 leeks, sliced lengthwise, most of green cut off

1 large potato, peeled, cut into large chunks

2 medium turnips, peeled, cut into large chunks

2 large carrots, peeled, cut into large pieces

½ bunch, fresh parsley, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons “Better than Bouillon” vegetable base

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

Fill a medium soup pot ¾ full with water, and add all ingredients.

Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to simmer for 1 hour.

Leaving soup at a simmer, remove all vegetables with a slotted spoon and set aside, but leaving in or returning most of the carrots to the broth.

Make matzo balls according to matzo ball MIX package directions (or follow the directions for matzo balls in the Chicken Matzo Ball Soup Recipe also on this page).  Return soup broth to a boil. Lightly form the matzo ball mush into golf ball or walnut size balls and drop softly and release quickly into boiling broth. Reduce to medium and continue to cook for about 15 minutes.

While matzo balls are cooking, puree all the vegetables in a food processor to a consistency resembling smooth applesauce.  Set aside until matzo balls are cooked. Remove matzo balls from the broth and add the pureed vegetable mixture.  If too thick, add some water.  Stir until evenly blended.  Return the matzo balls to the broth. Serve or when cooled, place in a plastic container and freeze until ready to use.

Chicken Matzo Ball Soup 

MB Soup

Simmer a good chicken, an onion, two or three carrots, two stalks of celery, one tablespoon of salt, and a ¼ teaspoon of pepper in a big pot of water until the chicken is cooked. I chill it overnight and then remove the layer of caked fat.  I remove the chicken pieces and place the pot on the stove. Test for flavor and add more salt and pepper if necessary.

The matzo ball mush is easy. I beat two eggs until very light. Add one tablespoon of vegetable oil, ½ cup of fine matzo meal, and a 1/4 teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper.  Stirring it as little as possible, fold in the matzo meal until it is combined into a sticky paste. Set the mixture into the refrigerator for about ½ an hour.  Then form the mush into egg size balls or larger if you like, and drop very quickly and carefully into the soup broth that you have brought to a rapid boil. Place the lid over the soup and cook it for about 15 minutes on a medium fire. Often, before I freeze it for later or serve it for the meal, I bite into one of those fluffy, light balls. The familiar taste takes me back to Pittsburgh and Grandma Esther who taught me to make matzo balls in her restaurant kitchen.

Turkey Meatballs in Mango Sauce

mango meatballs finished


For Meatballs:

1 lb. ground turkey

1 t. fresh chopped thyme

1 t. fresh, finely chopped oregano

2 spring onions, white part only, minced (2 T.)

1 T. Garam Marsala

1 t. tandoori spice curry powder

1 t. sea salt

1 egg, beaten

1/3 c. Italian bread crumbs or panko

For Sauce:

I bottle Curried Mango Sauce or 1 jar prepared mango chutney

(about 1 2/3 c.)  Mango 2

1 c. unsweetened coconut milk


Mix all meatball ingredients in a medium bowl,; if the mixture does not hold together well, add more bread crumbs.

In a 10” skillet, pour mango sauce or chutney. Wisk in the almond milk a little at a time until it form a smooth but thick sauce.  Heat on medium until it begins to simmer, then turn down to low.

As sauce is cooking, form ground turkey mixture into two-inch balls. Add to the sauce.  Cook until meatballs are thoroughly cooked, about 15 – 20 minutes on medium-low heat.

Pour into bowl. Serve on small plates or with toothpicks.

Marinated Shrimp Skewers (Using Starbucks Sticks)


  • 1 lb. fresh 16-20 count shrimp
  • Combination of finely chopped, fresh herbs such as thyme, oregano, and parsley
  • 2 T. seasoning salt
  • 1/4 virgin olive oil
  • 1 T. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • Cherry or Grape tomatoes, about 20
  • Marinated Mozzarella Balls, about 20


Put shrimp into a 6 quart pot and just cover with water, several tablespoons of old bay seasoning or other seasoning salt. Start heating the water.  When you see the first few shrimp come to the surface, even if the water has not boiled, the shrimp are done. Drain into a colander and quickly submerge the drained shrimp into a water and ice bath to stop the cooking process.  Allow to sit for a few minutes. Drain again and peel the shrimp, using your hands to remove any bits of shell or debris. Pat them dry and set aside.

Combine olive oil, vinegar, chopped herbs, salt and pepper. Pour over the shrimp and stir to make sure all of them are covered with the marinade. Cover the bowl and put in the refrigerator for an hour or two.

To Assemble: Thread 1 each of a tomato, shrimp, and mozzarella ball on to the Starbucks skewers.

Note:  Starbucks sticks don’t have pointy ends, so a little force may be necessary.

From Edna Lewis’s recipe for Seafood Gumbo: 


  • 1/2 pound bacon, chopped
  • About 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 quarts fish or chicken stock (or a combination)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice, drained and chopped
  • 1 pound frozen cut okra (not thawed)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • 1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
  • 1 rounded teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 1 1/2 pound medium shrimp in shell, peeled and deveined
  • 2 dozen shucked oysters with their liquor, oysters picked over for shell fragments
  • 1/2 pound lump crabmeat, picked over
  • Accompaniments: rice; gumbo filé powder


Cook bacon in a 10-inch heavy skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium heat until browned but not crisp. Transfer bacon to a bowl with a slotted spoon and transfer rendered fat to a heatproof liquid measure, then add enough oil to fat to bring total to 3/4 cup.

Stir together fat and flour in skillet with a wooden spoon, then cook roux over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until well browned (a shade darker than peanut butter), about 20 minutes.

Add celery, bell pepper, onion, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a 6- to 7-quart pot.

Stir in stock, tomatoes, okra, thyme, bay leaf, cayenne, and 2 teaspoons salt and briskly simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes.

Add parsley, scallions, shrimp, and oysters with their liquor and cook, stirring, until seafood is just cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Stir in crabmeat and bacon and simmer until heated through, about 1 minute. Season with salt. Discard bay leaf.

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My Notes: You can skip the oysters and add your favorite cooked sausage instead as a variation. 

Everyone is trying gluten free recipes, so I decided to give it a go, too. I used Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose flour because I read that it yields the best results.  

3 C GF Muffins3 C GF Muffins

Headnote: These corn, cheese and chorizo savory muffins get a boost from gluten-free flour. Round out into a meal by adding a soup and salad.  They will spice up any omelet as well.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Note: muffin baking cup liners are not recommended.

Dry Ingredients:

1 ½ cups Gluten-Free Flour

1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

¾ teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon dried sage

½ teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Wet ingredients:

1 egg, beaten

½  15-ounce can of creamed corn

½ cup low fat milk

3 Cs:

½ cup fresh or defrosted frozen corn

¾ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, about 3 ounces grated

1 cup diced pea-size chorizo pieces from two fully cooked sausages For the dry ingredients: In a medium size bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, thyme, sage, coriander and nutmeg.

For the wet ingredients: In a separate large bowl, whisk together egg, creamed corn, if using, and low fat milk until well blended.  Add dry ingredients and to stir with plastic spatula to combine until all is mixed together.

For the 3 Cs

 Add corn, cheese, and chorizo to large bowl and fold to incorporate into the mixture.  The mixture will be thick.

Baking:  Pour or spoon batter from large bowl equally into the 12 cup muffin tin.  Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until the muffins are golden, the top begins to split and tooth pick comes out clean when inserted into the muffin.  Remove from oven and let cool 5 – 10 minutes.

Remove from tin and let cool a tad before serving.  May serve with butter or herb butter.

Cook’s Tips

Use a plastic spatula to fold in the three Cs.  A quarter cup measuring cup works well for spooning batter into the muffin tins.  To get an accurate measure of flour, spoon flour into the measuring cup until flour is over the top, then using the back of a table knife, level flour to the top rim of the cup.

Chorizo can be made into pea-size pieces by cutting each sausage once lengthwise.  Place the four sausage pieces smooth side down on the cutting board. Cut each half again lengthwise into three pieces. You will have 12 pieces. Begin to cut horizontally into quarter-to-half inch pieces until all are pea size.

Herb Butter Option

Let one stick of sweet cream butter come to room temperature, put into a small bowl and stir lightly with a spoon. Add and blend thyme, sage, coriander, garlic powder and table salt to taste.

Shopping List

Gluten-Free all-purpose flour 1 small bag or box

Creamed corn 1 15-ounce can

Frozen sweet yellow corn 1 small bag

Chorizo sausage 1 12-ounce package fully cooked (4) sausage

Sharp cheddar cheese 6-ounce block or 1 medium bag shredded

Low fat milk, 1% or 2 %, if not on hand in your refrigerator

Eggs, if not on hand in your refrigerator

Pantry List: If not on hand, add to shopping list

Table salt

Dried thyme

Dried sage

Recent Posts

Fresh Summer Corn Salad

This recipe is courtesy of Ina Garten.


5 ears of corn, shucked
1/2 cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion)
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup julienned fresh basil leaves
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the corn for 3 minutes until the starchiness is just gone. Drain and immerse it in ice water to stop the cooking and to set the color. When the corn is cool, cut the kernels off the cob, cutting close to the cob.
Toss the kernels in a large bowl with the red onions, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Just before serving, toss in the fresh basil. Taste for seasonings and serve cold or at room temperature.

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