Foodie Friend Friday #1: Annie Makes NOMZ (A.K.A. Risotto)

I am very excited to introduce a new column of sorts to my blog: Foodie Friend Friday!

I asked five wonderful friends of mine to each contribute a recipe to my blog. I’m going to post one on each Friday this March, starting this evening (better late than never). I thought it would be a nice way to showcase some of my kitchen-savviest friends’ delicious recipes, as well as diversifying what’s on this blog of mine a bit. I hope you enjoy what they have cooking for us!

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(Slow Cooker) Vegetarian Chili

When I’m trying to plan my meals for a busy week, I like to prepare a dish that is a complete meal — no need for a side dish means I can grab my food, eat it, and go!

Chili is a classic meal-in-a-bowl because it’s full of vegetables, protein, and — most importantly — flavour. If you can make the time to put everything together, the quick leftovers are totally worth it.

I personally prefer vegetarian chili because I find I’m more creative when it comes to protein source selection; there’s no meat to rely on, so I think about it more and end up with a more balanced, less fatty meal. Generally, I try to aim for 4 to 5 types of beans, plus texturized vegetable protein (TVP), which has a consistency similar to ground beef and works perfectly in vegetarian chili, meatloaf (lentil loaf, anyone?), etc. Even if you are a meat eater, you should consider adding TVP to your diet. A little extra variety never hurt anyone!

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Homemade Dumplings (Pot Stickers)

Last summer, my sister and I both experienced a bizarrely sudden and intense craving for Chinese-style dumplings. I had some experience using wonton wrappers, so we concocted our own vegetarian pot stickers and gorged on them.

A few weeks ago, my sister, again struck with dumpling desire, actually went through the trouble of creating a private Facebook event for she and I to make more delicious dumplings. Complete with videos. She wanted them that badly.

Provisions were purchased and we spent the first half of an evening in my kitchen stuffing wontons full of veggies and frying, then steaming them to perfection. The second half we spent rolling around on the couch and floor, stuffed and feeling sorry for ourselves.

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