The January Pantry Reset

Happy New Year! As some of you know, I’m starting the year out on a different path. No resolutions, no ‘feel better’ schemes, no diet plans. Just some good-old-fashion organization and inspiration. I’m spending the month of January helping you reset your pantry and be inspired to cook from all those grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds you might already have on hand. I’ll be doing weekly recap emails you can sign-up for or you can follow along on YouTube or keep up on instagram. Don’t worry though- I still have quite a few delicious recipes I’m sharing on the site.

So, if you’re just looking to cook a few more plant-based meals or you’re looking to overhaul your dinners, I have you covered. Hope you enjoy the series and happy cooking!

And to get started, a bit of inspiration for all those pantry items I’ll be chatting about throughout the month!

Legume inspiration

Bulgur Lentil Ragu with Parsnip-Rutabaga Mash | Naturally Ella
Berbere Chickpeas and Chard with Farro | Naturally Ella
Black Bean Tacos with Avocado | Naturally Ella
Lentil Meatballs with Burst Tomato Pasta | @naturallyella
Chipotle Black Bean Chili
Turmeric Chickpeas with Ginger | N

Grain Inspiration

Quinoa Bowl with Za'atar Avocado and Egg
Ricotta Kale Risotto with Farro
Amaranth Porridge with Roasted Pears, Maple Pecans, and Yogurt
Roasted Carrots with Kale Pepita Pesto | Naturally Ella
Moroccan Carrot Salad with Millet and Pomegranate

Nut/Seed Inspiration

Vegan Roasted Carrot Sandwich with Sunflower Cream | @naturallyella
Ginger-Soy Slaw with Quinoa | Naturally Ella
Roasted Carrot Polenta with Sage and Walnuts | Naturally Ella
Beet Wild Rice Salad with Pistachios | Naturally Ella
Sweet Potato Pasta with Walnut-Sage Sauce | Naturally Ella
Spinach Roasted Asparagus Soup with Lemon Sunflower Cream | Naturally Ella

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Slow Cooker Black Bean Chili with Kahlua

This black bean chili is a little bit naughty, but mostly nice as we round the corner into the new year. Quite honestly, I’m not sure the world needs another chili recipe, but this one checks a number of boxes that are sometimes tricky to check. It’s vegan. It’s flavor-forward. It’s hearty, and feisty, and easy to tweak (more heat, less heat, etc). It’s perfect for a slow cooker, and it has a wild card ingredient – Kahlua. But don’t worry, the alcohol cooks off, and the liquor just leaves a nice bass note of sweet coffee-ness. Not too much sweet, just a kiss, and I think it gets balanced out by the cumin and cayenne in most chili powders, and the smokiness of the chipotle. Slow cooker black bean chili for the weeknight win. I’ve also include notes for a stovetop version, and Instant Pot (pressure cooker) version, so everyone can come along.

Slow Cooker Black Bean Chili with Kahlua

I know, black bean chili is pretty much the Birkenstock of slow cooker staples, but I wanted to take a fresh look at it, and lock down a good go-to version with pay-off. Also, to write a recipe that doesn’t have thirty ingredients, but tastes like it does. 😉

Shout out to my friend Chris at Bi-Rite Market, who always listens to me thinking out loud about what I’m working on. I was running through all the typical black bean chili wildcard ideas – pumpkin, orange juice, espresso, etc…We landed on Kahlua (before flirting with a whisky version)….and it turned out NICE!

Slow Cooker Black Bean Chili with Kahlua

Slow Cooker Black Bean Chili with Kahlua

Also, here’s a shot of the Breville Fast Slow Pro. It was the multi-cooker I originally purchased. Unfortunately, it was damaged during shipping, and I replaced it with the Instant Pot DUO Plus 6 Qt 9-in-1. Then, Breville kindly sent me a new one to work with. Long way of saying, I’ve been testing, and experimenting with both now, and have a bit of a strengths/weaknesses chart going. I’m not going to do a product review at this point, just know, the recipes work in both.

Continue reading Slow Cooker Black Bean Chili with Kahlua…