Monday, December 20, 2010

Preparing for the Solstice

Last year I began a new tradition, a gathering of women in my home to celebrate the Winter Solstice. Inspiration for this came from Charlotte Kasl, author of many books including the classic  Women, Sex and Addiction: A Search for Love and Power as well as her series If the Buddha Dated, If the Buddha Got Married, and If the Buddha Got Stuck. Charlotte shared her way of celebrating and I used that as my starting point.

I began food preparation yesterday, making a traditional meat chili. Today I decided to add a vegetarian chili for my women friends who choose to not eat meat. I found this recipe in Real Simple magazine and decided to try it. The odd spices and the inclusion of a sweet potato made me think this would have a decidedly different taste.

Vegetarian Chili
Real Simple, November 2010
Serves 4-6

I medium red onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped (I omitted this)
I medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped into small cubes
4 garlic gloves, peeled and minced
2 T chili powder
1 T cumin
1 t unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ t cinnamon
1 - 15 oz can of black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 – 15 oz can of kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
1 – 28 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients into a slow cooker and cook on high for four hours or low for seven to eight hours.

The sample batch I made today filled the house with a wonderful sweet smell with a spicy undertone. It tasted even better than it smelled so I’ll make another batch for the Solstice. The slow cooking over night means that tomorrow I’ll wake up to this heavenly aroma. Maybe chili for breakfast? I’m thinking chunks of corn bread on top and a mug of Earl Gray tea. Yum. A simple delight for a snowy morning.

Breakfast Chili


  1. Oh this chili was soooo good. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  2. Your are so very welcome. We foodies have to stick together!