by MELISSA GORDON
The holidays are over and I only have one thing to say: Hooray!
Now before you interpret my glee as the bitter “bah humbug” of a grinch, hear me out. Remember way back on November 1, when I cheered you on to get through the holidays? Those cheers were cheers of support, optimism, encouragement, and, as it turns, out naivete.
I actually did pretty well through November, but I only got about 10 days into December before I threw in the towel. I can tell you the exact moment it happened. I was at a holiday-themed family-friendly event in town where candy was handed out to all the kids. My daughter asked if she could eat hers, and even though she’d already eaten chocolate from her Advent calendar and a Christmas cookie from a platter a friend had dropped off, I said yes. It was the season, after all, and my response seemed less like giving in and more like partaking in the fun festivity of the season.
From there the festivity only increased, and with it the cookies and cakes and treats. Indulging felt so natural. ‘Tis the season!
So you see, I’m not a grinch at all — but I am ready to move on to the next season, the season of scaling back, of returning to normalcy, of, dare I say, resolutions to make healthy changes. Happy New Year!
10-Minute Black Bean Chili
If you’ve got 10 minutes, you can prep this chili. Then, simply turn on the crockpot and when dinner comes around, you’ll be ready!
• 1 cup dried black beans, rinsed
• 2 large carrots
• 1 medium green pepper, chopped
• 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
• 1/4 cup quinoa
• 4 cups water
• 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
Combine all the ingredients in the slow cooker and close the lid. Set the cooker on low and cook for six hours. (After six hours, test the beans for doneness. If they are not quite tender, cover and cook for another half an hour.)
Serve hot or transfer to containers to refrigerate or freeze.
Note: My favorite thing about this chili is that it’s delicious just as it is with under 10 ingredients, but it also works as a great base from which to personalize it — garlic? Onions? Sausage?