A Stick-to-Your-Ribs Meatless Monday

As an avid supporter of Meatless Monday (and recently almost every other day of the week), I am always looking for new vegetarian dishes to cook to keep my meals interesting. With the sudden decline in temperature here in DC, I decided it would be a perfect time to make two of my favorite winter dishes, chili and cornbread.

I love making chili because you can literally throw just about anything into it and it’ll taste good (re: pumpkin chili). I wanted a classic white bean recipe for the beginning of winter, though, so I consulted my favorite iPhone app, Epicurious. I have tweaked the recipe a little to account for spiciness and and flavor.


1 tbsp olive oil

2 medium onions, chopped

1 1/2 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp ground cumin

1/4 cup chili powder

2 bay leaves

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes

3 cups vegetable broth

1 8-ounce can crushed tomatoes

3 15-ounce cans white beans, rinsed and drained


Heat oil in a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and sautee until light brown and tender, about 10 minutes. Add oregano and cumin and stir until well combined, about 1 minute. Stir in chili powder, bay leaves, salt and cinnamon. Add tomatoes with their juices, breaking them up with the back of a wooden spoon. Mix in broth and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans to chili and simmer about 10 minutes longer, until flavors blend. Discard bay leaves. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese, greek yogurt and chopped tomatoes or salsa (my three chili faves).

I’m literally obsessed with cornbread. This Bon Appetit- inspired recipe is a no-brainer.


1 cup yellow cornmeal

1 cup unbleached all purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 tbs baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup buttermilk

1 large egg

5 tbs unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

3/4 cup canned corn

1 small jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and diced


Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. Mix cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into medium bowl. Whisk buttermilk and egg in another medium bowl, then whisk in melted butter. Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated. Fold in corn and jalapenos. Divide batter equally among 12 greased muffin cups and bake for about 15 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool and serve with chili.



Wild Mushroom Marinara Sauce

Hello, my name is Lauren, and I am a mushroom addict.

But really, I think I am addicted to mushrooms. I love how meaty they are for being a vegetable. They are juicy and hearty and so flavorful, and when cooked right, mushrooms taste good with just about everything. I must admit, though, I am a bit of a mushroom snob. I’m not a huge fan of button mushroom unless they’re on my pizza. But I love portobellos, chanterelles, shiitakes, trumpet mushrooms, and of course, truffles. That’s probably why I’ve been putting this wild mushroom marinara sauce on everything I’ve been eating lately… pasta, chicken, even fried eggs. I can’t get enough of it. It was so easy to make (and so delicious) that I would consider never buying jarred marinara sauce ever again. My inspiration came from this Bon Appetit version, and I would encourage you to try your own version, too!


4 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 small shallot, minced

1 small shallot, sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

12 oz mixed wild mushrooms

1/2 cup chopping onion

3 cups canned diced tomatoes in juice

1/2 cup dry white wine, I used Chateau Haut Rian from Whole Foods, which was perfect to drink alongside!

1/3 cup chopped basil

salt and pepper

salty cheese– I used feta but parmesan would work too


Heat 2 tbs olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add minced shallot and one of the minced garlic cloves and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute, stirring regularly, until they are soft, about 8 minutes more. Once the mushrooms are cooked through remove the mixture from the pan.

In the same pan, heat remaining 2 tbs olive oil and add sliced shallot, remaining garlic clove and sliced onion and saute again until tender, 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and wine, and salt and pepper to taste, and simmer until reduced by about 1/3, 10 minutes. Once the flavors have developed, add the mushroom mixture and chopped basil into the pan. Remove from heat, serve with pasta or chicken and sprinkle with cheese.

marinara- freshly dressed with Gotham Greens (NYC) basil- simmering away!

the finished product, doused in feta and alongside my remaining chile lime chicken