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Vegetarian Chili August 17, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Vegetarian Recipes.

tomatoes98x127I have hesitated to post my “recipe” for Vegetarian Chili because it’s more a general list of ingredients than an actual blueprint for making Chili.

My recommendation:  If you have a recipe for Chili con Carne (with meat) that you and your family love, use that as the starting point:

* Omit the meat, and replace each pound of meat with a 15-oz. can of beans (black beans, pinto beans, and kidney beans are all excellent in chili).

* Another option, especially during the transition phase to a more meat*less diet, replace the meat with Boca Crumbles (or other TVP product).  TVP stands for Textured Vegetable Protein.  It’s generally made from soy beans and looks and acts like meat (but it’s better behaved ~ less fat, calories, and cholesterol than meat, and it doesn’t clog your arteries).

IMGP4091* A third option, replace the meat with onion, green or red pepper, jalapeno, corn, celery, or carrots.

Adding extra veggies adds chunkiness to your chili, without making you chunky in the process.

Mix and match any of these suggestions and . . . Voila!  Vegetarian Chili!

If you don’t have a tried and true recipe for Chili to use as a starting point, here are the general steps I follow.

Vegetarian Chili

1-2 chopped onions
1 chopped red or green pepper
2 ribs of celery, chopped
2-3 carrots, peeled and diced (or thinly sliced)
10-12 oz. frozen corn kernels
28-oz. crushed tomatoes (or 16 oz. tomato sauce and 12 oz. tomato paste)
2-3   15-oz. cans of beans (black, pinto, or kidney beans all work well)
1/2 c. water

Season with Chili Powder (1 Tbsp.), Cumin (2 tsp.), Cayenne Powder (1/4 tsp.), Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (1/2 tsp.), and Tabasco ( a few shakes).  After cooking a few hours, taste the sauce and adjust seasonings to “kick it up a notch,” especially if you like your chili hot and spicy.

Another option:  use a packet (or two) of pre-mixed Chili Seasoning to season your chili ~ usually found near the gravy mixes.

I generally cook the chili in a slow cooker for 4-6 hours (low and slow).  But you can also make it on the stove.  If doing it stove top, sauté all the veggies until the onions are limp before adding the beans, tomatoes, and seasoning.   After adding the beans and tomatoes, turn to low and simmer for 1-2 hours.

Serve over cooked brown rice or noodles.  Top with cheese, sour cream, or chopped jalapenos.

Delicious with fresh baked bread or cornbread.

Live A Little ~ Live A Lot August 17, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Gratitude, Happiness, Mindfulness.

Live a little.
Live a lot.

Have a blast.
Take a chance.

Converse, laugh, communicate, explore, dream, discover.

Why wait?  Life is not a dress rehearsal.  Quit practicing what you’re going to do and just do it.  In one bold stroke you can transform today. ~ Phillip Markins

Artwork by Marlane Wurzbach ~ available at Marlane Wurzbach.com.

Getting Paid To Play! August 17, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.

When a job is a custom fit for our unique talents, interests, and abilities, we no longer dread Monday mornings.

Knowing that the work day will fly by, we look forward to rolling up our sleeves and getting back to work:

Hi Ho!   Hi Ho!    It’s off to work we go . . .         

Sounds great, huh?

For most of us, that type of job sounds more like a fairy tale fantasy than reality.  But dreams do come true . . .

If your job actively detracts from your joy and happiness, you may need to update your resume and look around for something better suited to your time and temperament.


In contrast, if your job doesn’t excite you, but doesn’t negate happiness in other areas of your life, you may not need to shop for an interview suit just yet.

Working mindlessly with widgets all day is not a problem if you have enough time, money, and energy to explore other more creative pursuits and interests after hours.  Many writers pay the bills with a 9-5 job, while happily creating articles and/or story lines when the work day is done.

Let’s say you’re a well-paid (but uninspired) CPA by day and a volunteer in a soup kitchen at night.  If your life feels balanced, you don’t need to change your job just because it doesn’t excite you.

But, what if you could be the accountant for the soup kitchen?  Or for other non-profits?  That might be worth exploring.

If your job isn’t a perfect match with your favorite interests, make an effort to pursue those interests off the job.  If you have a hobby you enjoy, make time for it every day.

When you develop a certain level of proficiency at it (whether “it” is painting, photography, sculpting, woodworking, or completing tax returns), explore ways to get someone to pay you to do what you already love to do:

* If you love sailing, what about getting a part-time job at a marina?

In time, you might start a charter business for landlubbers who long to get out onto the ocean but lack the skills to do so.


* If you love baking delectable desserts, consider working weekends at a bakery.  In time, you could be running your own catering business called Delectable Desserts.

* If you love animals, you might enjoy being a pet sitter, dog groomer, or even a veterinarian (if you have enough motivation to return to school).


Every day, people transform favorite hobbies into careers they love . . . jobs  they would  be willing to do for free.

If they can do it, why not you?

When you love what you do for a living, you’ll never have to work another day in your life.

Instead, you’ll get paid to “bang on your drum” all day.

There’s COAL In That There MINE August 17, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Magick & Mystery, Mindfulness, Nature, People.

Just as the blackest COAL transforms into brilliant  diamonds over time, we can transform ourselves into the Spiritual Jewels we are at the core.

Finding our essence may take a bit of soul-searching and excavating, but we are all diamonds in the rough. 

As we let go of Ego concerns, and wash off the accumulated debris and detritus, our inner light shines forth brighter than the stars in the night sky.

Eventually, we realize it’s not just COAL in the MINE . . . it’s gold!

To see the transformative magic of alchemy at work, try a word game!   

In FUN with WORDS, I tossed out a few doublet challenges for you from the Guinness Book of Words. 

Here’s a solution to #6:  from COAL to MINE:


Did you have this solution?

A different one?

A shorter one?

Please share your solution below. 

More alchemy and transformation on the way!

Aphorisms from Aa to Zz: Xx August 17, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Magick & Mystery.

Caveat:  Although none of what follows qualifies as an adage or aphorism, I’m leaving the intentionally misleading title as is.  My bad.  

X Marks the Spot

Classic-pirateArgh, matey, I am a pirate, seeking treasure
Me map is clear ~  X marks the spot

Aye, matey, the riches ye seek
Can be found right here, right now
Locked in a jeweled chest, they be
Forever engraved upon yer heart

Look deep, ye’ll find ’em within


Xanadu exemplifies life
Xanadu exculpates all
Xanadu awaits
Depart right here . . . right now

Enjoy the Trip!


The Xanthippe’s anger stemmed from her xenophobia:

I would not like IT in a box
I would not like IT with a fox

I would not like IT here or there
I would not like IT anywhere

IT is quite abhorrent, you see
She “hmmphed” with moral certainty