There are a lot of moments in life that humble me. Getting to live my dream of promoting local, sustainable food in Seattle AND meeting a ton of awesome fellow food bloggers? I couldn’t be more grateful.
Last weekend I was one of a couple dozen folks who were lucky enough to attend a special Urban Farm Dinner at Janelle Maiocco’s home. Janelle is the CEO of Barn2Door, an awesome website that connects farmers to the community with the goal of making farm-fresh food more accessible for us. (In case you don’t remember, I’ve shared more about Barn2Door here along with a great recipe for sweet potato hash that you seriously need to make…)
I wanted to share some of my favorite moments of the evening, including…
- The décor. The setting was absolutely gorgeous! We got really lucky with the weather and got to enjoy our dinner on the back patio by candlelight. Unfortunately I don’t think these pictures do the evening justice.
- The food. Yum. An amazing farm-fresh menu featuring spatchcocked chicken, lamb sausage, harissa carrot salad, greek salad with heirloom tomatoes, fall harvest chili from yours truly (recipe below), and czech black pepper poppers that I still can’t get out of my mind.
- The conversation. I had so much fun meeting such amazing talented bloggers, writers, chefs, and foodies. I learned so much and felt so inspired by the energy of the evening. Thank you to Janelle for organizing this dinner and for everyone making the evening so special!
- Learning Instagram. For many years now I’ve been saying that I don’t have an Instagram account. Then, I was informed by a fellow blogger (thanks Alyssa!) that I do, in fact, have an Instagram account. Apparently I set one up circa 2012 and then forgot about it. Yikes! Once I got back on Instagram I realized I actually like it so I’ve been using it ever since. If you’re interested in seeing what I’m up to and looking at more farm-fresh food, you can follow me here.
Speaking of farm-fresh food, I think it’s time to talk about Fall Harvest Chili. This chili used A LOT of fresh produce! Check out these beauties from Edible Acres farm…
I wanted this soup to accommodate a variety of diets so I opted to make it vegetarian/vegan. If you’re paleo and/or don’t eat legumes, I would recommend substituting two pounds of ground grass-fed beef or turkey instead. This chili is perfect on a crisp fall evening and makes a great one-pot meal.
Since I was serving this for a crowd, this recipe yields enough for 6 – 8 people. You know what that means? It’s time for a fall harvest dinner of your own! Or, you can make a batch of this and then save leftovers for easy weekday lunches or freeze leftovers for later use.
What are your favorite ways to enjoy farm-fresh produce this season?
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 2 medium yellow onions, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 5 black and red czech peppers, seeded and minced (jalapeños can be substituted if necessary)
- 2 medium eggplant, chopped (about 8 cups)
- 4 cups crimini mushrooms, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 5 pounds fresh tomatoes, diced
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 4 cups cooked kidney beans
- 2 cups cooked white beans
- 1 cup dry grey-green lentils
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- Add coconut oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and peppers, and saute for 5 minutes, until fragrant.
- Add the remaining ingredients, increase heat, and bring to a boil.
- Lower heat and simmer for 45 minutes - 1 hour, until lentils and vegetables are tender.
- Serve hot.