By now you have probably realized that being vegan involves a lot of chopping. Yes, you can sometimes buy pre-chopped veggies and fruits, but they are usually not as fresh, and a lot more expensive. I usually buy organic, so the price really skyrockets. I suppose it is a necessary evil of a truly healthy life style.
I use a lot of chopped veggies in my dishes for flavor, since I try to keep my salt intake to a minimum, but I NEED flavor in my life!
Over Mother’s Day weekend, my sister and I took the kids to visit my Grandma who lives in the Central Valley here in California. I managed to maintain my healthy eating despite the fact that road trips make me crave caramel iced coffee and Doritos. I packed almonds for myself in case I got hungry and we stopped at a sandwich shop where I got a salad with balsamic vinegar for lunch. Not the finest road trip fare but it kept me feeling good, and that is all that matters.
I will chronicle my saga of making through a visit to Grandma’s house without binging on cookies, coffee and Shrimp Francesca, but another time. For now, I want to tell you about something fun!
While we were there my grandma introduced me to Zydeco Chop Chop. Zydeco Chop Chop is a blend of Dehydrated Onion, Dehydrated Garlic, Dehydrated Red and Green Bell Pepper, Dehydrated Celery, Dehydrated Green Onion and Dehydrated Parsley flakes. THIS STUFF IS AMAZING!!!
My grandma insisted we take some home with us, (and by some I mean a ton. You know how grandma’s are! ❤️), since we didn’t have a chance to try it while we were there. This is something I will no longer live without.
I loved the smell of it when I first opened it up, pungent and savory. It is Cajun, but has nothing spicy in it, so it’s perfect for my spice wimps. It has a nice, coarse consistency so it adds color to the dishes youbadd it to.
The day after we got home, I had to drop my sister off at the airport on my way to work and then put in a full day at the office before heading home. I didn’t exactly feel like making a big dinner, but darn it, we needed something warm and comforting! I popped open some beans (a can of pintos, a can of garbanzos and a can of lima beans) and, after draining, threw them in a saucepan with a small can of tomato sauce and a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste. I added about 3 tablespoons of Chop Chop and a sprinkle of paprika and chili powder and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. I made a pot of brown rice to accompany it and served it with fresh diced tomatoes and guacamole to top it off. My husband loved it so much he took the leftovers to work to eat later!
Granted, it would have been MUCH better if it had time to simmer and the flavors would have been able to soak into the beans more, but it was the perfect fast and easy dinner for a chilly evening. Utterly delicious!
I HIGHLY recommend Zydeco Chop Chop. I can’t wait to add it to my vegan Sour Cream recipe to make a dip. Mmmmm, my mouth is watering!