Double-Duty Dinners: Chili/Wraps

Some weeks I know in advance there won’t be a minute to spare, so I like to play a game by giving myself points for planning super easy dinners that can be eaten over a few days. Bonus points if I don’t have any pans to wash, and more bonus points if I can get a lunch or two out of them. Oh yeah, points are lost for exact repeats, and points are doubled if the family wants seconds on the second day. Today I will share with you one of my highscore DDD recipe sets.

Dinner Day One- “Clean the Fridge” Veggie Chili:
• One large onion, chopped
• 2-3 Chopped bell peppers (or more if you like)
• 1-2 chopped hot peppers (optional)
• Any other veggies you fancy (including cooked leftovers or    frozen veggies- the more the merrier. I throw in new ones every time and I’ve yet to find a combo that doesn’t work.)
• 2-3 cups chopped tomatoes (Fresh or canned in juice)
• 2-4 cups cooked beans (kidney, and/or any other kind). If you use canned, rinse first to get rid of extra salt.
• 1 cup pre-soaked textured vegetable protein or “TVP” (Vegetarian ground beef- for a real convenience food, I sometimes use Yves Mexican Veggie hamburger meat).
• Chili powder to taste (I use lots- starting with 4-5 tablespoons and then tasting as I go)
• Cumin- a few teaspoons. Again, taste as you go.
• Other spices or sauces as the whim hits (garlic, mexican paprika, pepper sauce etc., but taste before you go too far).

Rush home from work. Chop all the veggies (or if you’re really efficient, grab the veggies you chopped ready last night- like that ever happens in my life) and throw them in the crockpot. Add the spices and up to a cup of water or tomato juice. Turn the crockpot on high and rush back out for the parent/teacher interviews, gym, kids’ sports practice, or whatever other thing you’ve overbooked yourself for. Two or three hours later, grab a bagged salad and baguette on your way home again (unless of course you mixed a salad last night when you pre-chopped all those veggies, Martha). Enter the house to the wonderful smell of chili bubbling in the pot. Serve with the salad and baguette.

Bonus points: As you clean up and put away the leftovers, put some of the chili into a half-cup container to put on tomorrow’s lunchtime FITR salad. For salad dressing mix some hot sauce and rice vinegar, and add a small handful of taco chips for croutons (Mexi-salad).

Dinner Day Two- Wraps:
• Wraps- pre-made or homemade
• Salsa (I think this one from Vedged Out would be amazing to try in these)
• Leftover chili
• Thickener (I pulsed up some chickpeas and also stirred in some cooked squash this time, but refried beans or even hummus would work well, too)
• Other wrap fillers (again, go with what you have. Salsa, salad mix, Daiya cheese, cooked quinoa, couscous, rice, more sliced veggies- really anything you have the imagination to try).
• Vegan Sour Cream (Optional)

Rush home from work again. Mix the thickening agent into the chili (you don’t want wet wraps, so mix enough to soak up any liquid), and heat it all up. Fill the wraps with the hot thickened chili, and anything else that would taste good. I added salad greens, habanero salsa, Daiya shredded cheese, couscous, and a little vegan sour cream to cool it back down. There you go, super fast dinner, day two.

Final Bonus- if there is enough, you can make an extra wrap for tomorrow’s lunch. (But you lose a point because it is a repeat).

Total points: 2 points for the dinners, 2 bonus points for no pans on either day (reheated chili- either crockpot or microwave), 2 more points for the lunches, deduct 1 for a repeat, for a total of 5. Doubled for the second wrap eaten by a family member- leaves me with a 10-point game. Not bad.


8 thoughts on “Double-Duty Dinners: Chili/Wraps

    • Hi Judith,
      TVP is textured vegetable protein. My kids call the kind I use in chili “fake ground beef”. Usually it is soy, but can also be from other vegetable sources. Yves veggie ground round is a ready-to-use version and you can also buy it dry from natural food stores and sources such as Bob’s Red Mill brand in Safeway. Thanks for pointing out my shorthand- I’ve made a change in the article to explain a bit better.

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