An American Girl in Washington

World’s Best Vegan Chili. Ever. Seriously.

Posted in AG Goes Veggie by AGinDC on 6 October 2013

photo 4This vegan chili is one of the best things I have ever made. I eat it constantly, even in summer. Even in a hot-as-hell-proof-global-warming-is-a-thing DC summer. That’s how yummy. And the best part is that you can make a ton of it and then eat it every day. I sometimes have it for lunch every day for a week. And you can stuff it with as many veggies or whatever that you want. And USE THE CHIA SEEDS. They’re so good for you, as is this chili. Make it on the next rainy day. Or when you don’t want to cook for a week. Or when you’re broke (I can make 4 days’ worth for $13-15 dollars). Or if you just really like chili. (Of course this is from Oh She Glows. Everything good is.)


  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1-3 cloves garlic, minced (I used 1)
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • pinch sea salt
  • pinch cayenne
  • 1 can each: black beans, white kidney beans, red kidney beans (rinsed) (I used 1 large mixed can)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 can organic mushrooms, drained
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • juice of 1 lime (optional, I didn’t include)
  • Secret Ingredient –> 2 tbsp CHIA SEEDS (it thickens up the sauce soooo much!)

Directions: In a large pot, add the EVOO and heat over medium. Add garlic, peppers, onion, carrot and sauté until everything is soft, approximately 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, cover, and cook for about 30-40 minutes on low to medium heat.

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Homemade Applesauce!

Posted in AG Goes Veggie by AGinDC on 6 October 2013

I bought a big bag of apples for a hackathon and nobody ate them (hackers prefer red bull and burritos). By the time I brought them home they were a little bruised, plus I could never have eaten all of those apples. What to do? I channeled my inner Laura Ingalls Wilder and made some homemade applesauce! I can’t remember where I found the recipe but this one from Hell Yeah It’s Vegan!, another awesome food blog, looks about right.

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  • several pounds of apples
  • lemon juice
  • ½ c water; more as needed
  • sugar, cinnamon, and cloves as desired


  1. Roughly chop apples.
  2. Lightly sprinkle apples with lemon juice (for color and tartness).
  3. Place chopped apples and water in a large, thick-bottomed pot.
  4. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Quickly, liquid should start to cook out of the apple chunks, which will help cook them down further.
  5. Simmer apples over low heat until they’re very soft and can be easily mashed with a large spoon or potato masher. Stir apples occasionally, and if necessary, add a small amount of water and/or reduce heat to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.
  6. Place food mill over a large bowl and add as much of the apple mixture as will reasonably fit.
  7. To avoid making your applesauce too thin, let the mixture sit in your food mill for half an hour so any excess apple juice can drain out. (You can discard the syrupy liquid or keep it in your refrigerator for flavoring drinks — try stirring some in with your seltzer!).
  8. Turn the handle of your food mill clockwise, pressing the apples through the sieve.
  9. Every several turns, rotate the handle counter-clockwise half a turn; it’ll scrape up any skins and seeds blocking the mesh.
  10. Continue rotating handle clockwise until only dry, tough skins and seeds remain in your food mill.
  11. Transfer applesauce to containers and refrigerate or freeze until using. If you want flavored applesauce, you can stir in sugar and spices at this point. If you’ll be freezing your applesauce, be sure to leave room at the top of your chosen containers for expansion.

Black Bean, Sweet Potato and Red Quinoa Soup

Posted in AG Goes Veggie by AGinDC on 6 October 2013

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Another Oh She Glows favorite. I have discovered a love for soups that I can add fresh ingredients to and this one is top of my list. The fact that it’s very Southwestern is an added bonus. I started eating a lot of quinoa when I became a vegan. It’s full of protein, iron and fiber and it’s super easy to cook. And of course sweet potatoes couldn’t be better for you, what with the Vitamin A and C, the potassium and fiber and many nutrients that consistently rank them one of the healthiest foods. Black beans are of course full of fiber, protein, iron and everything else that could be good for you. Together, along with the avocado, tomatoes, cilantro and anything else you thrown on top, this soup is a nutritional powerhouse.





  • 1 cup uncooked red quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut oil (or other oil)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cup diced sweet onion (about 1/2 large)
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded if preferred and diced
  • 1 large sweet potato (350 g), peeled and chopped to 1/2-1 inch dice (2.5-3 cups)*
  • 1.5 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1.5 cups cooked black beans (one (15-oz) can rinsed and drained)
  • fine grain sea salt and black pepper, to taste (I used 1/2 tsp salt or a bit more)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or red pepper flakes)
  • 2 handfuls Spinach or kale leaves, optional
  • toppings: avocado, corn chips, cilantro, cashew cream, lime juice, tomatoes or salsa, green onion

1. In a medium-sized pot, add quinoa along with 1.5 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and cover with tight fitting lid. Simmer covered for about 17 minutes or until the water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. Remove from heat, fluff with fork, and keep it covered until ready to use.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large wok or pot. Add garlic and onion and sauté for a few minutes over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper. Now add in the jalapeno and sweet potato and sauté for 5-7 minutes more.

3. Stir in the cumin, chili powder, coriander, and broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 18-20 minutes uncovered, or until the potatoes are tender.

4. Just before serving, stir in the cooked quinoa, drained and rinsed black beans, cayenne, and optional spinach. Season with salt and pepper to taste, adding more spice if desired.

5. Garnish soup with cherry tomatoes, cilantro, green onion, corn chips, avocado, and/or cashew cream.


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Buffalo Cauliflower

Posted in AG Goes Veggie by AGinDC on 6 October 2013

A friend of mine made this buffalo cauliflower for a Super Bowl party so I would have something to eat. It was AMAZING and I scarfed it all down like my mother hadn’t taught me manners. Then I went home and learned to make it myself. This cauliflower is so good, you won’t even miss chicken. Also, vegan ranch is insanely expensive so use it sparingly or like, when you win the lottery or something.

This recipe is from the awesome blog Bullfrogs and Bulldogs and it’s delicious. Try it during football season. You won’t regret it.

Buffalo Cauliflower

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  • 1 head cauliflower
  • For the batter:
  • Dash of Frank’s Original Hot Sauce, or whatever kind you like
  • ½ c. white rice flour
  • ½ c. water
  • Pinch salt
  • For the Buffalo sauce:
  • ¼ c. Frank’s Hot Sauce
  • ¼ c. oil, canola oil works best
  • Pinch salt
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix together the batter ingredients in a small bowl. Dip the cauliflower in the batter until coated evenly then place on greased baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the batter hardens.
  2. Mix together sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Once the cauliflower are done baking, brush them with the hot sauce mixture and bake again for a few more minutes, until cauliflower is crispy.
  3. Remove from oven. You may want to add a bit more buffalo sauce to taste.
  4. Enjoy!

Spiced Red Lentil, Tomato and Kale Soup

Posted in AG Goes Veggie by AGinDC on 6 October 2013

Chronicling some of my favorite vegan meals here, mostly for my own reference but if there’s anybody reading out there, try them. They’re good. They’re also mostly from Oh She Glows sooo… you could just go there too. =)

Spiced Red Lentil, Tomato and Kale Soup

photo 1Ok, this tastes way better than it looks. It also looks way better on Oh She Glows. But this red lentil and kale soup is INSANELY delicious. If global warming ever goes away, I’ll be making this soup all of the time. Red lentils have tons of fiber and iron, which are incredibly important for vegans. They’re also full of folate and magnesium. I could Google what those do but I’ll just trust that they’re good for me.




  • 1 tsp coconut oil (or other oil)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 & 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp smoked sweet paprika, to taste
  • 1/8th tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 14-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 5-6 cups vegetable broth, more if desired
  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • fine grain sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 handfuls torn kale leaves or spinach

1. In a large pot, sauté the onion and garlic in oil for about 5-6 minutes over medium heat. Add in the celery and sauté for a few minutes more.

2. Stir in the bay leaf and the spices (cumin, chili powder, coriander, paprika, cayenne). You can add half the spices and add more later if you prefer.

3. Stir in the can of tomatoes (including juice), broth, and lentils. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and then simmer, uncovered, for about 20-25 minutes, until lentils are tender and fluffy.

4. Stir in kale or spinach and season to taste adding more spices if you wish.

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