Traveling with No Plan

I have always attempted to sustain a care-free, spontaneous lifestyle. But I will admit it, I have been in sort of a slump. Dire financial situations can take away our focus from our travel goals.

Eventually, this builds up, until I exploded. My care-free idiot side took away any rational thinking, and it was him who was now calling the shots. During a recent trip to Toronto for business matters, I saw a gaping hole in my schedule.

My weekend was wide open for adventure. My friend and I have been discussing some sort of voyage, but we cannot settle on a concret location for a weekend getaway from Toronto. Friday morning comes, and no location catches our interests. We decide to start driving towards the U.S border, passports in hand and camping gear in our trunk, ready for any implusive decision.

As we approach the American border, a thought dominated the conversation in the car. How about New York City? For years, both of us wanted to spend time in the most mystical cities on Earth. The question “Why not?”, has always been sort of a credo for our escapades.

30 minutes before the border, we book a hotel room in Manhattan, and head towards the city so nice they named it twice.

The pictures are some of the highlights from our weekend trip.

What to Cook for the Arrival of the Cold temperatures

It is getting colder.

There’s an old cliché that was constructed in order to comfort the poor souls seeing summer slip away from their grasp into the forgotten past. The cliché is that the Fall season tops the summer season.

I have to disagree, but there is something about fall time that inspire some spirited cooking. The leaves changing, the colder weather, the abundance of autumn vegetables and the return of North American sports brings new life to the table.

This recipe is inspired by my dear pal that moved to the Canadian East coast recently. He has mastered his own recipe in preparation for fatherhood. He is not a dad, but he sure does cook chilli well. Even better than the Chunky brand. I remember him cancelling plans because he had to tend to his cauldrons of chilli. The dedication to perfection is next to none.

I am sharing my own sharing recipe in homage to his bean and meat concoction, but making a vegetarian version. I will also include ideas for utilizing the chilli. Maybe one day we will get an opportunity to face them off, bean to bean.

What you’ll need

  1. 1 can of pinto beans.
  2. 1 can black beans.
  3. 1 head of cauliflower.
  4. 4 cloves garlic.
  5. 1 white onion.
  6. 1 poblano pepper.
  7. 1 small chilli pepper.
  8. 1 can of pasata.
  9. 1 tsp salt, pepper, cumin, chilli powder, nutmeg, oregano.
  10. Fresh cilantro and oregano.
  11. 1 splash of liquid smoke.
  12. Splash of Olive oil.
  13. Juice of half a lemon.

How you will make it

  1. In a pot, sauté garlic, onion and chopped peppers with olive oil.
  2. Blend the cauliflower, until it resembles crumble. Add to the pot. Then add the spice mix.
  3. Add the pasata, the pinto beans, olive oil, lemon juice, liquid smoke.
  4. Season the chilli and let simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Add the fresh herbs and simmer for another 15 minutes.
  6. Eat up!

What do you do with it?

  1. On top of bake potatoes with sharp cheddar or daya cheese and green onions.
  2. Between a ciabatta bun with cheese, and coleslaw.
  3. On top of seasoned grilled winter vegetables.
  4. Mix into a roasted spaghetti squash. Crumble on some queso fresco.
  5. With some fries (a classic).
  6. Inside some enchiladas.

A Page from the Vegetarian History Books

Vegetarianism and Veganism have gathered quite the momentum in recent years. While some might consider them a new movement or eating trend, there is a rich history of vegetarians and vegans who have laid the tracks for today’s herbivores.

On a recent trip to San Diego, my family shared with me something I would never of expected. They visited the USS Midway carrier ship used by the U.S Navy ordered in 1943. Until 1955, it was the largest ship in the world. It is estimated that more than 200 000 Americans lived above those decks. The ship is now turned into a museum in San Diego.

So what does this have to do with food, my blog or vegetarianism? We will get to that. It was explained that since the brave soldiers risked their lives to fight in war, they would at least be provided with amazing meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The museum provided their cookbook for visitors to glance at. I was thoroughly impressed. The chefs aboard that mighty vessel cooked up amazing meals for these brave men and women.

What I found even more interesting is that the cookbook catered to vegetarians. On the ship that was mostly used from 1942 to the 70’s, they had a variety of recipes for the herbivores of the US navy.

What an awesome piece of history. I even provided one of their recipes from the cookbook.