Vegetarian Chili

I always seem to struggle at lunch time. I’m not a sandwich person and I’m pretty picky about my leftovers. If I was home for lunch, I’d have more options… turkey burgers, stir-fries, homemade pizza…. pretty easy stuff that just tastes better when you make them on the spot.

I decided to try my hand at chili this week, healthified since I’m trying to eat less junk and to get back in shape. This one was inspired by a friend of mine, with lots of veggies. Its one of those meals that I think I’d throw just about any veggie or bean I had on hand into, such as my mushrooms that were left over from quesadillas and taco night.

Vegetarian Chili

By Books n’ Cooks

Ingredients for the Chili Seasoning:

  • 1 Tbs. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 3/4 Tbs. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. dried minced onion

Ingredients for the Chili:

  • olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red or green pepper, diced
  • 1 c. diced mushrooms
  • 1-12 oz package veggie protein crumbles (I used Smart Ground Mexican Style)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1-28 oz. can crushed tomatoes

In a medium saucepan, heat a teaspoon of olive oil. When hot, add onion and sauté until soft.

Add all other ingredients and simmer for 30+ minutes, stirring occasionally, until flavors have fused.

Serve with a cheddar or Mexican cheese blend.

Sausage, Barley & Spinach Soup

It’s been cold and rainy and I’ve been craving soup. I love the Sausage soup at Bertucci’s, and had hoped to find something like it.

This recipe is heavily adapted from Everyday Food magazine. I used twice the amount of sausage than the original recipe, both because I like a hearty soup and because that’s what the package came in. To balance it out next time, I would add a couple more cups of chicken broth as well as another 1/2 c. of barley.  If you have a little bit of hot Italian sausage on hand, this soup would probably be very good with that as well

Sausage, Barley & Spinach Soup

Heavily adapted from: Everyday Food Magazine


  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 16 oz. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 c. dried barley
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 6 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 10 oz. fresh spinach (add as much as you’d like!)
  • kosher salt and ground pepper
  • other spices to taste (I added 1 tsp. of fennel seeds)


In a heavy stockpot or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add sausage and brown.

Add onions and celery, cooking for a few minutes until soft.

Add barley, water, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Add salt, pepper, and any other spices to taste.

Reduce to a simmer and partially cover pot (I left the lid open just a crack). Allow to simmer for about 45 minutes or until barley is tender.

Remove from heat and stir in spinach. Spinach will wilt quickly.

Enjoy with a warm piece of bread on a cold and rainy day.

Rich & Easy Clam Chowder

I made this a couple months ago for some friends. I don’t actually eat clam chowder and have no idea what it tastes, so this was an experiment for me. The entire pot was gone, so I guess it went well!



Rich & Easy Clam Chowder

Course Soup
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings 5
Author Liz


  • 3 10 ¾ oz. cans cream of potato soup
  • 2 10 ¾ oz. cans of New England clam chowder
  • ½ c. butter
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 pint half-and-half
  • 2 6 ½ oz. cans chopped clams
  • 1-2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


  1. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cook on low, stirring occasionally, for about 2 hours.

Recipe Notes

The original instructions say to cover and cook on low for 2-4 hours. I found that it was ready in closer to 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally.

This recipe was adapted from the Fix It & Forget It Cookbook.