Taco Chili with Nacho Cheeze Sauce

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IMG 4628   Taco Chili with Nacho Cheeze Sauce

Before we get to this amazing dinner that we enjoyed last night, I thought I would update you on my vegetable garden progress!

Eric and I built the first of two raised beds for the veggie garden. Each bed is 4 feet by 8 feet.  We used this step-by-step tutorial for a raised bed.

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Our growing season doesn’t officially begin until Victoria Day Weekend (around May 20th), which is when most gardeners deem the risk of frost to be over. Some gardeners will plant before this date and then use a frost cover if there is a warning though.

Things I still need to figure out:

  • Where to buy a 100% organic topsoil (do they exist?)
  • Read up on Lasagna gardening method
  • Build or buy a compost bin- research options/methods
  • Make a list of what I will grow
  • Read up on companion planting
  • Draw a plan/diagram of where I will plant everything in boxes
  • How to get rid of my black thumb!!!

 

Right now I am thinking about planting the following:

  • Onions
  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Zucchini/Squash
  • Garlic
  • Peas
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Cucumber
  • Herbs!
  • Some type of berry (strawberries or blackberries probably)

 

What do you experienced gardeners think of this list? Is it too much for a 1st garden? Any tips?

IMG 4643   Taco Chili with Nacho Cheeze Sauce

In other news, my Mexican food kick rages on!

As does our cold and snowy weather…

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When you can’t get warm, make spicy Mexican food, I say. :)

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I bought some frozen Cilantro cubes as a more economical way to buy herbs (I hope to grow some in the summer though). I wasn’t overly impressed when I added a couple Cilantro cubes into the skillet. The aroma was not the same! Maybe I didn’t use enough? I can’t wait until I can pluck some from the garden!

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Cook your onion and garlic until translucent.

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Add in your seasonings, frozen corn, and tomato paste.

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Stir in the can of tomatoes and Cilantro.

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When the beans are cooked, drain and rinse, and then stir into the chili.

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Simmer on low for about 10-15 minutes to allow the flavours to develop.

Meanwhile, make your nacho cheeze sauce!

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Now stir in a heaping 1/4 cup of the cheeze sauce into the chili! It makes the Taco Chili sooo creamy and delicious.

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I topped a bed of romaine greens with a huge scoop of the Taco chili and garnished it with a spoonful of cheeze sauce, crumbled tortilla chips, and Daiya cheese. I prefer the cheeze sauce a bit warm so I heated it in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. It doesn’t heat very well though and it got a bit hard on the sides. It was nothing a good stir couldn’t fix though!

The Taco Chili turned out fantastic! A little spicy, a little creamy, and a ton of amazing flavours.

It was husband approved too…Eric gave it two thumbs up. :)

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I’m so COLD this morning…need more tea!

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{ 165 comments… read them below or add one }

Jamie April 19, 2011

I read your blog daily from Minneapolis! I so enjoy it and your energy to boot! ;)
I have never commented though and thought I would throw this in about your raised beds, just in case you have never heard of it before – http://www.squarefootgardening.com/
There is a book about it too, but after a lifetime of gardening in “row fashion” with my family, this new method has changed the way I garden forever! I think you might really really like it!

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Ellie@fitforthesoul April 19, 2011

that’s awesome Angela! Unfortunately, I have no advice b/c I haven’t tried gardening. yet. :) This dish looks so yummy! anything with cumin and Mexican-ish is great in my book.

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Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit April 19, 2011

It looks delicious! I’m always amazed at how much stuff you get done on a daily basis. I can’t believe you’ve already gotten that far on your gardening! The chili looks unreal… I’m obsessed with nutritional yeast right now so I have to try that cheese sauce.

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Chantal April 19, 2011

I recognize that I’m blog plugging here, but I’m in your growing zone and we’re starting up a garden too! (I have a page dedicated exclusively for it on my blog tabs) Can’t wait to get started! I don’t know how “organic” it is, but we just saw that the Loblaws has Organic Top Soil (also ones specially for veggies, perennials, etc.). Having just moved from 8 hours South, I can’t believe how late the growing seasons are here! Ah, the little things to get used to again…

Two things about composting: 1) the lasagna method is awesome (that’s what we’re starting with to kill our grass) 2) direct composting is best! We did this at my parents place for the past two years: all we did was keep a couple rows of the garden on reserve, and dug them into trenches about 4-6 inches deep, stick our compost in there, and then cover it with soil once you’ve put the stuff in. The worms do all the work, it works really quickly, and your soil becomes amazing! And the deer/bunnies/animals won’t get at it, despite my parents’ fears. Once you’ve worked your way through the whole row, and with proper dirt piling, you get a whole new wonderfully soiled row ready for planting! (it’s a lot simpler than I may have made it sound)

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Andrea April 19, 2011

Chantal the link to your Blog is not working. Thanks so much for telling us about lasagna gardening, we are just putting our beds together and defining our garden area. This is the perfect way for us to garden, we have so much clay here in our part of BC. I have lots of nasty compost to use and I love your idea about keeping an area for just that. Andrea

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Chantal April 19, 2011

Weird, I had checked if it worked on mine, but let me give it another shot… thanks for noticing! It’s http://eatdancelive.blogspot.com/p/garden-2011.html (or you can link it from http://eatdancelive.blogspot.com)
And about the clay, I guarantee you that with the direct composting method and one year of growing and composting you’ll be good to go (my parents can’t BELIEVE how their clay soil has transformed. It progressively went from that orangey-red colour to a dark rich brown in a year.)

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Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) April 19, 2011

Wow, Angela…awesome taco chili! I love it…it looks awesome! And the nacho cheeze sauce…yum! The cheezy sauce I make as the kale chip coating I use for my cheezy kale chips starts out with cashews and nooch, red pepper, more seasonings..I love the looks of yours. The mexican flavored twist to it with the cumin and salsa. I want it!

The whole meal just looks glorious..yum!

And great work on the gardening. You two are pros already just getting it all set up is awesome! Between running your blog, cooking, photography, now gardening….you must sleep less than I do :)

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Karla April 19, 2011

Oooh, good luck with the veggie garden! I’ve always wanted to try the raised boxes but we just don’t have enough room yet. I’m not sure how you are planning on starting your veggies (from seeds or plants?) but I started my plants from seeds and watched them grow into seedlings (full of pride!) until one day my bad little kitty went and ate ALL of the seedlings. Just a word of caution since I know you have a kitty!

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Stephanie April 19, 2011

Mmm, that chili looks super yummy!
I was thinking about starting a garden too, and I want to do it similar to yours. Can you keep us updated as to your progress? I’d love to see a few posts on gardening. =)

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kaila @ healthy helper! April 19, 2011

I’ve seen organic top soil at my local home depot and at some local gardening stores…..my mom uses it! And let me just say…..recipes like this prove that eating vegan can be DELICIOUS! Can’t wait to try this out!

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Baking 'n' Books April 19, 2011

Oh my I want a garden! I should move to a small town…or wait, I don’t know. Grrr….

Yum. Every night no matter what I eat it’s topped with sauce and cheese…uh, not the healthy cheese though…darn ;)

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bree marsh @ deliciously dense April 19, 2011

a little off the subject, but saw this in this month’s whole living magazine and reminded me of your blog…
“The most beautiful glow isn’t applied, it’s cultivated from within.”

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Jessie April 19, 2011

Be warned . . . strawberries are hard to contain! They spread everywhere and you either need to pull shoots or till them up. I found them in my herb garden right next to the strawberry patch. Blueberries don’t spread and Raspberries do a little. Black raspberries arch funny, but don’t take up too much space.

Have fun planning and planting your garden!

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Lisa (bakebikeblog) April 19, 2011

I also cant wait to plant some herbs and veggies!

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Stephanie April 19, 2011

So I may have made this for dinner, and ate 1/3 of it!!!! Opps.

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Sarah April 19, 2011

I’m not sure about soil, but here’s a great place to get organic seeds:

http://www.johnnyseeds.com/default.aspx

I checked — they deliver to Canada.

The husband and I are planning to grow a whole lot of stuff this year, and we’re first time gardeners. I wonder if we’re planting too many things. I guess we’ll see!

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Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin April 19, 2011

I wish I had this recipe yesterday because I was in definite need of some comfort food! I can’t believe we’re getting SNOW in April!

Wow, that is going to be a huge garden! You put my little garden of tomatoes and herbs to shame. ;) I’m excited to follow along with its progress!

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Jen April 19, 2011

I’m so jealous of your soon-to-be garden! We’re apartment dwellers so a garden is definitely out of the question for us. We might be able to get away with one of those “grow tomatoes upside down” contraptions on the balcony, but that’s about it. Sounds like you’ve got a delicious summer ahead of you!

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Paige @Running Around Normal April 19, 2011

That nacho cheese sounds SO delicious!!

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Jen (The Best Kitchen) April 19, 2011

Your taco chili look so yummy. That’s one thing that I haven’t tried yet

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Em April 19, 2011

I don’t know if this has already been mentioned in the comments (didn’t read them all), but not everything can be planted at the same time, in the same spot, or together.

Also, watch out for planting 2 different types of squash, don’t plant them one next to the other, they cross-pollinate very easily, and you’ll end up with weird cross-squashes (which can turn either good or bad).

My recommendation would be to trim the list a little, pick about 4 or 5 veg and start with that, since some plants like sun, some don’t, some like a lot of water, some don’t, and herbs can easily overgrow a garden. I have my herbs in pots, so they don’t take the beds over. I think it’s easier to take some plants that grow well (like squashes, sweet potatoes, etc…) and try your hand with those, they’re more forgiving. Once you get the hang of it, you can increase your list easily.

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Mackenzie@The Caramel Cookie April 19, 2011

This looks so delicious! I’m always looking for new vegan mexican recipes that my non-vegan husband this looks like a winner!

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Halley (Blunder Construction) April 19, 2011

I like frozen basil cubes, they definitely save $$ for almost the same flavor. Planning your garden must be very exciting, but I feel your worries about the black thumb. Just think positive thoughts, and hearty plants!

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staceyhealthylife April 19, 2011

I had something very similar for dinner tonight, yum.

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Beth@naturallyyoursbeth April 19, 2011

This nacho cheeze looks so good!!! I can’t wait to try it! I would have never though of that

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Karlee @olivewineandfood April 19, 2011

frozen cilantro cubes?! sign me up. and sign me up for some of that nacho cheeze too!

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salah@myhealthiestlifestyle April 19, 2011

Definitely got this bookmarked!!! Looks absolutely wonderful!!!

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whitney April 19, 2011

I’m starting my first herb garden this year, so excited! Maybe next year I’ll move on to the veggies. Can’t wait to see how yours turn out!

Whitney

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Dalai Lina April 19, 2011

Watch out for those crazy cucumbers! They try to take over the world…

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Lindsay April 19, 2011

Tomatoes do well when their roots are warm, so I always plant mine in dark/black containers. I also have herbs in those long/skinny planters on my deck and find that they do really well.

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Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food April 19, 2011

That nacho cheese looks so good and I would have never thought to make something like that with cashews! Yum!

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Amanda (Tomboy That Wears Makeup) April 19, 2011

Your garden will be fantastic. I was just chatting with my farm boy brother-in-law who is the gardening king- but I can’t really remember all he said.. so I’m no help. Something about when to switch fertilizers. CRAP! I need to ask him again….
I am going to get a patio garden going right away…

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Starla April 19, 2011

Are you still going to post daily glows? Not that don’t like you recipes ( I print like all of them!) I just miss the bits of life inspiring tidbits you gave x:)
Good luck with the veggie growing! Spring should be beautiful once the weather clears :)

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Hannah April 19, 2011

I’ve made Ani Phyo’s Nacho Cheeze in the past, but apart from the cashews, yours is so different! I’ll have to find a good quality salsa, as salsa is never something I have on hand!

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Olya April 19, 2011

Your bed looks awesome! We’re building this three compartment compost bin: http://www.ewswa.org/pages/resource/cmpstr1.html It make sense as you have 3 stages of compost: 1)ready to use; 2) half-way there; 3) one that you’re just filling in.

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Lori April 20, 2011

I just thought I would let you know that I made this for dinner tonight, and it was DELICIOUS!! I made it as is, except I added extra salsa and water to thin the sauce out. My 7 and 4 year old boys couldn’t get enough of it!! Thanks for all of the great recipes!

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Marit April 20, 2011

here is some of my area of intrest…
Finally i can give you some advice!!!

Firstly i’d build a compost heap/bin.
If any of your neighbours has one ask for a bucket of mulch from theirs to get it going (bacteria and all that need to be in balance and that is hard to do form scratch….)
put thin sticks in the bottom to start (for drainage and airflow), add leaf and garden waste then your neighbours mulch and top with more garden-waste and keep filling with left over food. potato peels are great, banana peals not so much but they will rot eventually… …
If you shred newspaper it can go in there too. but not whole newspapers ad they block airflow. and never glossy paper.
basically anything goes into it that can rot…
it won’t give you soil until next year but if you feed it pretty much like a pig and treat it well you will have wonderful nutritious earth for your garden. Plus… you will have full control of what goes into your garden.
If you build another then you can alternate which is maturing and which is being fed every second year.
but it’s a fantastic and economical way of gardening.

Look into three sisters gardening. tall plants (corn) supports climbers (beans, mangetout) and crawlers(cucumbers, squash et-c) shade the soil.
try some of your fave beans from your kitchen. They are organic and should sprout quite well if they are not pre-cooked or treated. seed-packets are generally too expensive and you will generally get a pretty good yeld off kitchen stuff…
I have grown broadbeans, haricots and black eyed peas from kitchen-cupboard packets and they tasted wonderful…
I have allready started this years beans, cucumbers, tomatoes and sweetcorn indoors and will transfer them to larger pots as they grow untill the outside soil is warm enough to plant in. that way they are sturdy and large enough to tolerate temperature drops and such when they go into the garden.
herbs… i find that Thyme and Lemon balm and Oregano are hardy plants that come back for years and years, surviving the minus 30 degree C winters we’ve been having latelly.

For a starter organic gardener i will also recommend inter-planting with callendula and tagetes flowers as they keep flies and moths and slugs off your veg reducing greatly your need for insecticides… Some swear to garlic but here in Norway i don’t think the slugs have discovered that garlic is bad for them…
Spraying with garlic water is however an effective remedy against greenfly if they do decide to ignore the tagetes…

Good luck!

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Jennifer Drummond April 20, 2011

Hi Angela,

I just did my research and just planted my first vegetable garden. I highly recommend the book, “The Complete Vegetable & Herb Gardner” “A guide ti growing your garden organically” book by Burpee. It’s a really nice book, all color, hardcover, over 400 pages of great information from starting your garden, soil, sun, starting composting, to pests and diseases, companion planting, what grows in your area and all the different kinds of plants. Trust me you’ll love this book. I got it on Amazon, it was the cheapest there.

Oh and I planted a Blackberry bush last year, they tend to take over, and you don’t get blackberries the first year, hoping for some this year. Strawberries are easy and delish, I recommend them, there not picky and you can throw them anywhere in your garden!

Have fun and I’m glad you starting your vegetable garden, can’t wait to see the progress!

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Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes April 20, 2011

This looks really tasty! Perfect for sitting outside with a glass of wine in the sun.

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Pamela April 20, 2011

I just recently became an offical, fullfeldged vegan and am loving every minute of it, I am now wondering why the light bulb didn’t go off years ago! My 26 yr. old daughter turned me on to your blog and I love it so much! I find myself looking forward to checking it out everyday and not just once, but usually numerous times to check a recipe, print a recipe or just read about the happenings in your life. You certainly have a knack of keeping my interest (I seem to have a short attention span). I love it when you group together all the ingredients of a recipe and take a picture of them. This is really helpful if you are not familiar with a certain brand, this helps me find items faster in the store when I can see in my head the color of the label and brand name of the item I am looking for.
Thank you for all your hard work, you have done and awesome job with your blog! I wish you lots of luck with your gardening, however I have a feeling you don’t really need it as I am sure it will be a tremendous success!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 20, 2011

thanks Pamela and congrats!

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Lindsay April 20, 2011

Hi Angela,
I am starting my second garden this year. A few things I’ve read and learned from my first attempt are below. I found helpful ideas in Mother Earth News magazine. They have a website as well!
Last year I’m afraid some sneaky bunnies ate a lot of my lettuce and spinach. This year I’ve read that if you plant spinach and lettuce beside things like onion and garlic they tend to stay away from it more. Your raised bed and chicken wire will help a lot!
Your list does look long but if you plot it out you should be able to squeeze it all in. I’ve grown zucchini before and they get huge so keep them near the edge. Tomatoes like the most sun light so you’ll want to place them on an edge. Try not to let anything shade them. Also keep a water schedule I noticed last year tomatoes and peppers split because I didnt keep a schedule! I live in the country near Brantford so I’ve dealt with similar temperatures and weather. I’ve also read putting down and pinning a tarp in between rows of veg will stop weeds from growing. Clearing weeds can be time consuming and I’m still not totally clear on what might be a weed and something I planted :S I didnt get a change to read too many of the ideas above so sorry if I’m repeating things! This is getting long but if you want more ideas I’ve got plenty.

All the best & great blog,
Lindsay

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Paulina (One Smile Ahead) April 20, 2011

I’ve had gardening in mind for such a long time! I’ll get to this week, but I’ll start out slow :D Maybe carrots or tomatoes. I need to do some reading on this topic. I’m really clueless. Good luck to you though! Can’t wait to see your garden!

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