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Laura makes vegan chili, builds a fresh veggie salad with a very special guest, and shows you how to make the best bento box for lunch on the go!

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Transcript

- Chili is a great week night dinner because it could not be simpler. You're basically just dumping everything into one pot. I'm gonna show you how to make my recipe, which is gluten free, vegan, and is awesome for leftovers. Let's go make it. So, a lot of people don't know this, but if you want to be getting the most nutritional value, you should really be soaking your grains, like these lentils, overnight. Otherwise, your body can't fully absorb all these important nutrients, like zinc, magnesium, calcium, and iron. But if you can't do that, at least try to get them soaking for an hour before you cook 'em. So, this is a super simple recipe. It's all done in one pot. Really easy. It's basically just a matter of dumping things in, in stages. So, if you're a human, you can probably do this. So, this is a vegan recipe. It's not raw. So, I'm gonna turn on the stove for this one, and add in some coconut oil. Coconut oil does really well at high heat. It's a great cooking oil. In case you're worried that this is going to taste like a dessert chili, don't freak out. There's so many flavors going into it, you're not even gonna taste it. Add the onions. And I'm also gonna cut up some bell peppers. You can use any color. I'm using yellow and orange. I like to just leave all the seeds and the pith in there. So, mine's gonna be a very rough chop. So, now I'm gonna add this in. Stirring these up a bit. I'm gonna add a little bit of salt right now. I'm also using a heavy bottom pot, and that is because it helps to distribute the heat evenly, so you're not just burning everything in the middle of the pot, and the outsides aren't even getting done. But now I'm just gonna add the garlic. Garlic's just a little more delicate, so it doesn't need as much cook time. I'm gonna add in my tomatoes. We're adding about half of the tomatoes now. And this is because these guys are gonna cook down a lot. And these guys, we're gonna put at the end, because we want that fresh, tomato texture. Great, this is lookin' real nice. So, now we're gonna add in our spices. We've got chili powder, smoked paprika, and cumin. It's about a tablespoon each. So now, we're gonna add in tomato paste, which is great, because not only does it add flavor, it's also a gluten free and dairy free way of thickening up the chili. These are our lentils, which we've been soaking overnight. I'm just, have 'em drained here, and I'm gonna add them in. Okay. Mix these in. And I'm also just gonna add a bit of water. Help these lentils cook. Keep it from drying out. And now we're just gonna let this go for about 15 minutes. Okay. This has really cooked down a lot. The texture's looking great. It also smells delicious. I'm going to add in my beans. I'm just using canned beans this time, but you could certainly soak and then cook your beans first. So, I've got a mix of kidney, black, and garbanzo beans here, nice and colorful. And now, it's time for those tomatoes I was talking about earlier, which I'm just gonna chop up pretty roughly, and throw in there. These guys are gonna retain their texture. They're not gonna be as cooked down, so they'll be a little snappy when you bit into 'em. Definitely does not need to be perfect. Give it all a good stir. Looking great. So, just another cup of water. Keep it from drying out. So, I'm gonna let this cook for another 15 minutes or so, while I get cleaned up. Brrrrr! It's getting chilly in here! So our chili is done. We get to dress it up with all the garnishes, which is a great way to personalize your chili. We've got raw vegan sour cream, chopped up avocado, some scallions, cilantro, and a little lime to squeeze on top. Gonna be delicious. Okay. I'm gonna start with some lime. Some scallions. This is a good time to get some green in here. Some cilantro. A little bit of avocado. And a bit of sour cream on top of it all. And there you go. Feelin' chilly? Why not warm up with some delicious, gluten free, and vegan, and dairy free, and delicious chili? Oh motion. Come on. My dad his this really amazing garden that I come and steal produce from all the time. So, I'm actually here to help him do a little bit of the gardening. I'm gonna go find him in the green house right now. Hey dad. - Hey, Laura, how are ya? - [Laura] How you doin'? - I haven't seen you in a while. - [Laura] So Dad, what are we gonna do today? - I've got some basil that I want you to help me put up to larger pots. - Oh awesome. - And also, I have some chard that I want you to help me with. - [Laura] Cool, I love chard. So where are we gonna start? - First of all, let's start with the basil. - Okay. - Now, what we want to do is move these up to larger pots. Now, the way we do that, we get some soil, so the pot looks like this. - Uh-huh. - We take a basil plant. Take it out very carefully, and you see how all the roots are intertwined? You kinda have to separate it very gently, so you don't hurt the plant. Then, you put a hole in here, so that you can put it down very gently, so it doesn't disturb the root structure. Put the soil back around, and put it up, so it's firmly against the stem. - And press it down? - Yeah, press it down. What you wanna do is firm up that stem. 'Cause right now, it's kinda limp. You want to put some soil around it, so it gets stronger, and then, give it a squirt. Now what this is, fish emulsion and worm castings. In about three or four weeks, we'll have a strong looking basil plant. Good job. - [Laura] Thanks. - [Dad] Make a farm girl outta you, yet. - Speaking of a farm, this is not the house I grew up in. I grew up in the country. - We had 20 acres. - My dad had an orchard, and a green house. We had cows on our property. - We had sheep. - That we had to feed with baby bottles. - We also had birds. - A lot of birds. - I have to tell you this story. Laura and I had our own little business. We raised and sold love birds. In fact, we called it Love Birds R Us. - Don't steal that name. Trademark. Copyright. - Now you wanna try something new? - Sure. - This is chard right here, and they're smaller seedlings than what you've been working with, the basil, but you see, they're so small, and kinda - They're delicate. - Several little pieces of chard in one little pot. Now, you have to separate it. Now, see that little, little thing like that? - Yeah, hang on. Let me hold it up. You can see how thin it is. - Now, what we have to do is separate those, and do the same thing we did before, but in a smaller scale. - Did you grow these from seed? - I grew them from seed. - Oh, okay. - And they're about two weeks old right now. - So, you're doing the same thing. You're poking your finger down to make a little hole, and then we're just gonna - That's right. - Pop it in there. - Add some soil around it to make it firm. They're very resilient. See? The long root structure is a good thing. All plants get their nutrients from the roots. And in a few minutes here I'll show you what they end up looking like when they're finished. - Oh, great. Beautiful, so what are the next steps with these guys? Like, how long does it take them to turn into-- - In another, let's say, two or three weeks. They'll end up like these. - Ooh. I was actually thinking of making some lunch. Do you have some stuff in the garden that I can pick and work with? - Oh, absolutely. - All right. What do we got here? - This is Romanesco. See the flower? That's what you're gonna be cookin'. Cauliflower and broccoli mix. - Oh. - It's kinda beautiful. - Let's get some of that. Looks so cool. - Isn't that great? - So, they actually grow into like, big bulbs if you let 'em go for a long time, right? - Yeah. - [Laura] And we have broccoli right here, too, right? - Absolutely. With this broccoli, you cut off the main stem, and then, these little broccoli-ettes come out. Like this, and they're very nutritious, very good. - They're like, softer, right? - Yes. - Perfect, that's great. What else? Some kale, maybe? That's my favorite. - We'll cut off this big stalk here. - Great. - And if you've ever had Laura's Kale Chips, they're delicious. - They're pretty good. - What else do we need? - [Laura] How about those mustard leaves? - [Dad] This is red mustard. It's gonna be good in your salad. Celery's ready, see? Down at the bottom? One thing good about all these plants, once I cut 'em like this, they'll grow back. - That's the excuse I give when I come steal all your plants. Okay, this is great. Let's go make a salad. I'll feed you. So now, we're gonna take all of the stuff that we just picked out of my dad's amazing garden, and make a little salad. I'm also gonna add beans and rice, because it makes a complete protein, which is really important for vegans and vegetarians. Then, we're just gonna make a really simple kind of honey Dijon dressing. So, will you peel the stems off? - Sure. - Okay. And I'm gonna cut up some of these mustard greens. A secret to making salads that you will actually eat, is to chop everything up because it makes it a lot easier, when you don't have to like, try to force a giant leave into your mouth. You're more apt to eat it. I'll put some of this broccoli in here. I'm gonna cut these up, but I'm still gonna keep the stems, 'cause the stems are actually really nice, and they add a bit of crunch to the salad. Actually, I'm gonna do the same thing with the celery. I'm gonna add some leaves in. Not all of these, but. And again, the celery's just gonna add some nice crunch. It's also so fresh that you can really smell it when you cut into it. - Smells good. - Yeah. Romanesco. This is actually really pretty. Unplanned. It's nice to be able to just pick whatever, and chop it all up and throw it in a bowl, and pretty much no matter what, it's gonna taste good, because it's all so fresh. - It hasn't had time to just sit on a shelf for a while. And they're very nutritious. There's not pesticides. It's all natural. If we didn't eat these, I'd have to feed 'em to my chickens. - Yeah, my dad has chickens. And if there's anything that he has too much of, or scraps, or whatever, the chickens get everything. By the way, he doesn't eat the chickens. He's not a monster. - No. - He does eat the eggs. Okay, so now we're gonna make a really simple dressing. I'm just gonna have you shake it up in this jar. Let's add some honey. Honey is not vegan. So, you could also use agave, if you're strict vegan. This is local honey. And then just some mustard, and some apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar just has a ton of health benefits. And now, you shake. So, while he's doing that, I'm just gonna start plating up our salads. I like to eat salad in bowls, 'cause it's easier to scoop it into your mouth. Now, we're gonna add some rice and beans. These are great because not only are they really good for you, a complete protein, but they're also really cheap. So, it's good for when you're on a budget. I'm just gonna get some brown rice. This, I cooked ahead of time, so that we'd be ready to go. Some black beans, that I've also cooked. So now, if you wanna just drizzle a little bit of the dressing on. Beautiful. Great. All right. We've got some forks. And you're ready to go. Thanks for letting me raid your garden, Dad. - Oh, it's been a pleasure having you, Laura. - Let's go eat. - Yup. - I get a lot of questions from parents asking what they should pack for kids' lunches. I don't have kids, but if I did, I would definitely pack their lunches in bento boxes, because they're super cute, and it'll make 'em the coolest kids at school. Let's go make 'em. Oh, hey. Look at all these gluten free, vegan ingredients. As far as superfoods go, quinoa is kinda nippin' at the heels of kale right now. It's full of fiber, protein, iron, magnesium. All those things that you want to feed your kids to keep them fueled throughout the day. So, to start off, we're gonna make some pizza bites, which is a really great thing to pack for kids' lunches, because kids love pizza, and also, kids love to dip stuff, 'cause it's super fun. In order to make our pizza and our pizza sauce, we are first going to saute some onions and garlic on a skillet right here. So, let's just heat this up a bit. Add a little bit of oil. Get our onions, which are just diced. We're gonna let these go for a couple minutes, and then add the garlic in. They don't have to be completely caramelized. We just wanna soften them up, and they're gonna add a great flavor to both the pizza sauce and the pizza bites. Then, I add the garlic in. We'll just let it saute for a couple more minutes. It's already starting to smell really nice. Okay. These look good. I'm just gonna turn the heat off, and put about half of what's in here into our bowl, to make the pizza bites. The remainder, we're gonna set aside, to go in the pizza sauce later. Now, we are going to add in our big ol' flax egg, which is just water and ground flax, that you let sit for about 15 minutes. It's really good for gluten free baking, 'cause it helps to bind and add some moisture. Let's get this in here. It's sort of like a magic little combination. Dried basil, and dried oregano. Kinda pizza herbs. Some nutritional yeast, to give it a little bit of a cheesy flavor. Also, add in those B vitamins. Some baking soda, a little bit of salt, and some brown rice flour, but really, you could use any gluten free flour that you like. Let's just give this a quick mix. It is a pretty dry mix, so don't panic if it does not look like pancake batter. And also, I'm going to add in some quinoa that I've already cooked, and in mix. Okay, this looks good. Now, we just have to bake it. I'm gonna use these cute little muffin tins, and give it a good spray with some olive oil, after I pump it. You could really use a regular muffin tin, but I like to use the minis because they're kind of bite-sized. And then, we're just gonna spoon a little bit of this mix into each of these little tin things. I usually use my fingers for this part. So, really just packing it in, to make it into a dense little pizza bite. We're making a lot of little bites. Okay. These are ready to go. Let's pop these in the oven at 350 for about 15 to 20 minutes. All right. While that's going, we are going to make a very quick pizza sauce. We're basically just going to blending a bunch of stuff in our food processor. We'll start out with some sun dried tomatoes, which I've been soaking in water for about 15 or 20 minutes. You just wanna get most of the water out, and put it in there. Now, I'm gonna add in some fresh tomatoes. A little bit of olive oil, maple syrup, some red pepper flakes, a bit of salt, some lemon juice. Okay, I'm just gonna blend this for a sec. And then we are going to add the rest of the onions and garlic from when we sauteed these earlier for the pizza bites. Just blend it a little bit more. I like to do it last because it keeps it a little bit chunky. Our pizza sauce is done. Let's go check on those pizza bites. Okay. Let's let those cool down for a few minutes, while we grab a few other things. I have these kale chips, which were actually another recipe on the show. We'll put a link to that. And we're also gonna make dates with almond butter in them. So, all you're gonna do is take these dates, and remove the pit, which I have already done, and replace the pit with almond butter. Okay, it's not the prettiest thing, but it's delicious. Let's make a few of these. So you're putting somewhere between a teaspoon and a tablespoon of almond butter in here, depending on how big your date is. All right, and we have one more thing. We're gonna cut up some watermelon. So what I'm doing is just cutting rounds, so that I can then cut this fruit into adorable, tiny little shapes, like, oh my God. Adorable! All right, let's do some other shapes. Maybe your kid doesn't like hearts. That's fair. Maybe your kid's different. That's good. I'm different. And here is a star, to let your little one know that they are a star. How about a moon? Come on. Okay, so now, all of our components are done. All we have to do is assemble the bento box. I have this cute stainless steel one, but they come in lots of colors that are cuter and brighter for kids. I am just going to ladle some delicious pizza sauce into this first little zone. Smells real good. Okay. Let's check out these pizza bites. It's nice and dense. Perfect little snack size. And we'll put a few in here. This size is perfect for the bento, 'cause you can get lots of little ones. Oh, it's so cute. And add as many kale chips as we can possibly fit. This is a really nice way to pack greens for your kids, 'cause they can eat 'em with their hands, and they're more fun to eat than a salad. That looks great. Now, I'm gonna add my delicious date bites. And my adorable little fruit shapes. And we are good to go. There you have it. Your kid will be the coolest one at the lunch table. If not the coolest, then definitely the healthiest, with the best digestion, and that is pretty cool by me.

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