Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Vegan Paula Deen

I am obsessed with food shows. I absolutely love the food network. When I was in college my roommate and I would stay up way too late watching “Unwrapped” or “Paula’s Home Cooking.”

For years I was pretty much a Food Network addict. There should be treatment for people like me.

People always say that when you watch television shows about food it just creates this reaction that makes you want to eat, even when you are not hungry.

That would probably explain the hundreds of midnight trips to the Super Wal-Mart in college.

My addiction has waned slightly as I have gotten older. I still love it but I just don’t watch it as much as I once did. One of the things that frustrates me is that out of the hundreds of hours of programming on the Food Network and on other networks, there is absolutely no programming devoted to vegan (or even vegetarian) cuisine. I have seen a couple of shows here and there, but nothing that you think of as the Paula Deen or Rachel Ray of vegan cooking. Seems silly, right?

I humbly nominate myself to take this torch for the cruelty free community. So if any of you food network executives happen to be reading this, I will gladly meet with you. Send me an email, I have LOTS of ideas.

Picture it, Paula Deen and me smoking some tofu and baking a Vegan Chocolate Death Cake. Hey y’all…

*chubby vegan dreams*

Anyway, I am pleased to report that I saw this latest recipe on Good Morning America. So, thank you GMA for throwing in some vegan food in a segment devoted to chili. We appreciate it!

This is another Crockpot recipe that is really a cut, open, put in the pot and walk away type of thing. It is simple, cheap to make, and certainly warm you up on a cold January day.

I would like to point out that it’s good when it is right out of the pot, but I think it is even better the next day. I used the leftovers for a quesadilla, which I will post later.

Follow me after the jump for the recipe and some preparation photos.

And best (vegan) dishes, from my kitchen to yours….

Sweet Potato Chili

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced in 2-inch chunks
1 yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 (14.5-ounce) can tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (I didn’t have this, but I think it would be a great addition)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup water

Cooking Directions
Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Put the sweet potato into the pot. Add the diced onion. Follow with the red bell pepper, tomatoes, beans, garlic, and seasonings. Pour in OJ and water. (I added in more than a cup of water, which I would NOT recommend) Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or until the onion is translucent and the sweet potato is fork-tender. (If you want the sweet potato to get really squishy and disappear when stirred, cook longer.)
Peeling potatoes... better than cutting onions.
Ingredients (cheap and easy)

I have a new love for the Crockpot...
Step 1
Step 2-3: Add tomatoes and chopped onion
Step 4: Add Beans
Step 5: Add spices, water, and juice. Give it a little mix
As Ron Popeil would say, "Set it and Forget It"
Done and delicious!


  1. I have thought this same thing. It's quite sad, really. Especially with so many huge celebrities championing vegan diets. You are the best person to carry the Food Network torch! I'd watch your show religiously. Can I style you?

  2. "get really squishy and disappear when stirred"? is that a technical term?

  3. Late night WalMart trips were the best, although I don't remember actually purchasing anything..

  4. I have the same dream!! We could do a joint venture!! A vegan cook-off?? Even though I'm afraid you're far better at than I?! ;-)


  5. @SWF- You can style me any day, TV or not!

    @Caity- Technical, schmechnical... :)

  6. @Michelle- I think I purchased lots of ice cream... :)

    @Farm Girl- We can totally be partners! Rocket to vegan rock star status together! ;)

  7. I used to love the food network too but lately is has gotten really boring. I wish if they aren't going to do vegan programing (which would be so awesome) they would at least do regional cooking shows like PBS.

  8. @lazysmurf- I TOTALLY agree. Vegan programming would rule but it would be nice to see some of the programs like we have on PBS. We have some good shows on WQED in Pittsburgh. They are fun to watch. Always interesting.


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