Even in Vancouver, where the climate is rather mild in the winter, warming foods are good for the body and for the soul—keeping them warm and not working too hard at digesting the nutrients—and I prepare one of those dinners for a friend and I by using both, the temperature of cooking and the addition of spices, in this somewhat ironically named Special Dish for the Week:
A chili is typically anything but “chilly”, and while I do love my spicy foods, I try to restrain myself so as to make this Chili Dinner’s dishes deliciously spicy without making them uncomfortably hot.
As the starter, I serve a Turkey Bone Broth with Lentils and Squash soup, which—as the name suggests—is made from turkey bones and meat, and contains red lentils, oven baked butternut squash, as well as the requisite for my soups onions, garlic, broccoli, and finely shredded kelp. This soup’s main spice—which also happens to be a sub-theme of this dinner—is cumin. For a little raw addition, freshly chopped cilantro garnishes the soup.
The Chili main course (le plat principal) is accompanied by pre-soaked rice spiced with cinnamon and sweetened with raisins. The chili star of the dinner is a “Maggified” version of a dish inspired by a personally made recipe book from some good friends. The ingredients for the chili, all mixed and well heated together, consist of:
- coconut oil
- ground lamb (or another free-range meat, like bison or turkey)
- black beans, pre-soaked and cooked separately with finely shredded kelp
- onion, coarsely chopped
- green peppers, diced
- shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- zucchini, thinly sliced
- can of organic diced tomatoes
- spinach, finely chopped and added towards the end
The spices for the chili include (at least a teaspoon each, a little less for the peppers):
- garlic, minced
- ginger, grated
- red Thai chili pepper
- chili powder, generous amount to taste
- black pepper
- cayenne pepper
- sea salt, to taste
- cilantro, on the side for garnish
We enjoy the warming soup and chili dishes with a well-matched glass of organic Chilean red wine, the flavours of wine and spices enriching each other on the palate.
For desert, my Polish dinner guest offers me traditional Polish donuts (paczki) with marmalade filling and glazed in liquefied icing sugar—their distinctive smell flooding my senses with childhood and travel memories. One dessert hardly being enough at nearly all Polish feasts, my dinner guest also delivers a taste of homemade cheesecake, the rest of which finds temporary haven in my freezer. Rooibos tea accompanies our sweet desserts and diverse conversation.
Meal ideas & recipes from the “Food and Love” book, and from “The Wahls Protocol” book.