Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Landed With A Punch

For many here in the United States and in the Caribbean Halloween has landed with a punch this year. During natural (and unnatural) disasters I sometimes feel helpless and often wish I could do more. This week I donated canned goods to our local food bank. Residents put canned goods at the mailbox and they picked them up. What could be easier than that. I also plan on making donations to Red Cross. Please check the Red Cross website to learn ways you can help victims of hurricane Sandy such as volunteering, giving blood, sharing information, fund raising, donating money, and so many other ways.

I've included this photo of Rudbeckia or Black Eyed Susan (or brown eyed) from my previous garden for visual relief. I love this variety with it's Fall colors. Meanwhile we've been checking on relatives in New Hampshire and New Jersey to see how they are coping. Here it's turned cold and windy in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy. Gusts of wind are blowing every which way, leaves are falling by the dozens, and we have high fire danger here due to lack of rain and low humidity.

I decided to make some comfort food with the change in the weather. I started with my mainstay of vegetables and canned tomatoes but in the back of my mind I remembered Lori's recipe for Quinoa chili and decided to adapt my recipe to incorporate some of the details of Lori's recipe and make Sweet and Spicy Vegetable Medley which tastes a lot like chili.

1 shallot chopped fine
1 inch cube of fresh ginger chopped fine
2 zucchini chopped medium
2 crookneck squash chopped medium
4 cubanelle peppers chopped medium (bell peppers can be substituted)
5 large mushrooms chopped medium
1 medium can diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1 cup water
1 heaping teaspoon Vietnamese garlic chili sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried mustard powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 cup brown rice precooked

Saute the ginger and the chopped shallots in a pat of butter. When softened add the peppers, squash, canned diced tomatoes, tomato paste, water and spices. Reserve the chopped mushrooms till the end since they cook much quicker. Start one cup of rice to cook in a separate pan. Cook the tomato vegetable mixture over medium heat till the vegetables are softened. Add the chopped mushrooms and cook another few minutes. Lastly add the precooked brown rice and stir in well. Serve up a nice big bowl and enjoy the warmth it provides. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.


  1. Your chili looks great.

  2. Good for you inventing a new yummy recipe...whatever it's called. I got in the mood to make gluten free pancakes yesterday and freeze them.

  3. That looks like a really yummy adaptation. I'll try it.
    Thanks for the link.

  4. You always make such wonderful food! Thank you for sharing your recipes. :)

  5. I have been worrying about so many friends I have made in the bloggosphere - and yes, I have felt helpless.
    Now it is time to get off my behind and make a donation to the Red Cross. Thank you for the reminder.

  6. Hi GC, thanks, so quick and easy to make too.

    Hi Lori, thanks, I never would have thought to add the cinnamon if I hadn't of read our recipe, thanks.

    Hi Barbara, thanks, what a good idea to freeze the pancakes, makes it easier for the next meal.

    Hi Julia, thanks, glad you appreciate the recipes.

    Hi Elephant's Child, thanks, I think every little bit helps those in need.

    Hi Ms. Sparrow, thanks, it's good for leftovers the next day too.



I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment