At a certain point it’s just too boring to talk about the weather, but perhaps you will forgive us Bostonians this month if we can’t help ourselves. There is so much snow! We’re still shoveling walks, digging out cars, and trying to navigate sidewalks lined with eight foot snowbanks. A trip to the grocery store? Forget it. If ever there has been a winter to make good use of canned and frozen food, this is it!

But you don’t need to wait for an emergency to discover how easy it is to make delicious meatless meals from what’s already in the house. One of the key messages behind the Oldways Vegetarian Network is that when you maintain a supply of canned beans, canned tomatoes, vegetable stock, whole grains such as brown rice, bulgur, farro, freekeh, quinoa, several kinds of pasta, and a variety of frozen vegetables including spinach, green beans, baby peas, corn, and edamame, plus a few onions, some garlic, a little olive oil, nuts, and some herbs and spices, you can make a number of quick, easy, and nutritious meals.

Click here to read one of our favorite resources: What Can You Do With Canned Beans? And for dozens of great plant-based recipes, visit the Canned Food Alliance website.

Here’s a recipe that’s became a favorite in my household a few Sundays ago.  (It’s based upon a recipe developed by Rachel Mount for O, The Oprah Magazine.) Give it a try and you’ll see what I mean about being prepared.

Super Bowl Vegetarian Chili
There are dozens of ways to use this tasty mixture. Serve in bowls with corn chips, top it with a dollop of guacamole, spoon on top of baked potatoes or baked sweet potatoes, or use as a taco filling. Freeze leftovers.

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teapsoon cinnamon
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, with their juice
4 cups vegetable stock
1 15-ounce can pinto beans
1 15-ounce can kidney beans
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
1 4-ounce can diced green chilies
2 cups frozen corn
Salt to taste
½ cup uncooked bulgur

Put the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and saute for about 5 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, and cinnamon and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot.


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