Category Archives: Chili

Help the Earth? Yes We CAN!!!

“Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land.” – Aldo Leopold, author and conservationist

Today, April 22nd, marks the 46th anniversary of Earth Day, reminding us of the importance of taking care of our home, the Earth!

This week, we offer our new recipe for three-bean vegetable chili, a craft using tin cans, recycling tips, a garden update and, of course, the bears!

THREE-BEAN VEGETABLE CHILI

For health reasons and to reduce our carbon footprint, we have been having more meat-free meals. Here is a recipe for a delicious, satisfying chili that fits the bill.

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Ingredients:

  • two tablespoons olive oil
  • one cup onion, chopped
  • one cup yellow squash, diced
  • one cup frozen corn
  • one lb. bag mixed pepper strips
  • one 16 oz. can vegetarian refried beans
  • two 15.5 oz. cans each of black beans, cannellini beans, red kidney beans, rinsed
  • one 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • one tablespoon tomato paste
  • one cup medium salsa
  • one 4.5 oz. can chopped green chilis
  • two tablespoons (or to taste – careful very spicy!) chipolte in adobo sauce, pureed. (Hint: puree a 7 oz. can in the food processor and freeze the excess for future use.)
  • two cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried cumin
  • two cups water

To make:

  • Saute onions and squash in olive oil for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in minced garlic.
  • Add corn and pepper strips and cook until they are defrosted and warm.
  • Stir in refried beans and heat until incorporated with other vegetables.
  • Add the remaining ingredients.
  • Salt to taste. (Canned items may have a lot of salt, so use caution. You can always add more later.)
  • Simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Serve with guacamole, sour cream, chips and your favorite toppings.

Here is an interesting post about the impact of beef on the environment:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/21/beef-environmental-impact_n_5599370.html

SAVE YOUR CANS!

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The chili recipe above uses a lot of canned items, and the cans should be recycled. As another option, why not make the cute tin can man, woman or robot (featured photo above)? Place him or her in the garden for whimsical decor. Over time, it will rust beautifully and add even more charm to the patio! (If that’s possible!)

We used:

  • One 16 oz. can for the head
  • One 28 oz. can for the body
  • Eight 6 oz. cans for the legs and arms (two for each limb)

You will also need:

  • wire
  • drill
  • wire cutters
  • silver duct tape

To make:

  • Remove labels from cans, clean and wash.
  • Drill holes at the areas where you want to attach pieces together.
  • Attach limbs and head to body with wire, twist to secure in place.

We used some colorful magnets for our face and buttons, but you could use screws, hardware, paints, stickers or whatever will show your creation’s personality! Use silver duct tape to cover wires and sharp edges on cans.

We have just started to work with this idea, so look for updated tin can creations in future blogs.

Warning! Will Robinson! Danger!!! This is not a toy! This is a decorative item we plan on using in our garden. The wires and can pieces are sharp. Use caution when assembling and displaying your creation. As with all of our projects, do this at your own risk!!!

A COUPLE OF INFORMATIVE, EDUCATIONAL EARTH-FRIENDLY LINKS:

Here’s one from the EPA about recycling and ecology:

https://www.epa.gov/earthday

Here is last years post with some good ideas and links:

https://funclesarts.com/2015/04/19/the-earth-is-in-bloom/

GARDEN UPDATE

Still a little early to plant our flowers and vegetables. Today was a beautiful summer-like day, so we brought some of our houseplants outside to soak up the sun and meet our tin can creation.

Repurposing is very earth-friendly, and the garden is a great place to make that happen. Here are photos of the toolbox we adapted into a planter, and the desks (no longer house-worthy) we used as garden tables.

Flash back to repurposing:

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FOOD ART

Don’t cry, the flowers will be back soon!

(Shopping day is tomorrow, so onions are this weeks star!)

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JOKE OF THE WEEK

Why are recycle bins optimistic? Because they are full of “cans”!

Source: amomwithalessonplan.com

THE BEARS

Inspired by this week’s craft, the bears wanted to get in on the act!

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However, they found it more comfortable resting on the Earth map pillow!

(Earth map pillow was made from a recycled fabric remnant years ago!)

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Enjoy!

Roy & Kevin

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