Different Cooks in the Kitchen

I would be blatantly lying if I said I do all the cooking “around here.” I definitely don’t, so if my blog has given you that idea, I apologize. Shaun is my co-chef and I’d say we split the duties pretty well. My cooking style and Shaun’s perfectly complement one another. I plan far ahead, search recipes, make lists, and shop accordingly. Shaun has a knack for coming in in the clutch, using leftover ingredients, and making quick and easy meals from scratch.

If I could sum up Shaun’s cooking mantra in a few bullets, I think it would be this:

  • Make recipes as simple as possible;
  • Use as few pots and dishes as possible; and
  • Get rid of as much in the fridge as you can in one shot [if there’s one place that he and I differ, it’s that I LOVE a fully stocked fridge, and the sight of it drives him insane].

It’s yet another rainy day, as evidenced by this guy doing this all the time:


So, we thought it would be the perfect time to whip out one of the best kitchen tools ever:

Dun dun dunnn.

The Almighty Crock Pot. It is fall, after all, right? Wrong. It’s ridiculously hot and humid outside today, but regardless, the Almighty Crock Pot allows us to let dinner simmer for a few hours while we study, work out, and take Grady to puppy class. When we return tonight, dinner will be ready, no prep required. And what do you do with a crock pot when you have butternut squash pre-roasted and ready to go in the fridge? Butternut squash chili.

Yep, that's it.

And then throw it in here.

Simmer fall colors on "high."

Just a few simple ingredients and spices, and in a few hours, you’re good to go. See, don’t you already love Shaun’s style [especially since I’ve tortured you with 1,003,493,403-ingredient oatmeal recipes for the last two weeks]?

Not only is it vegan, this recipe is also packed with protein, fiber, minerals, beta-carotene, and potassium, and Shaun offered to share it with readers today. Thanks, dude.

Oh: and one of his other favorite things? Getting rid of leftovers. When he sent me the ingredient list, he also sent me the list of things he emptied out of the fridge. I’ll give you a hint: it’s every ingredient in the recipe. Our fridge is clean [which means I can go crazy at the farmer’s market Saturday] and my stomach is growling because I’m working in the kitchen and I can already smell it. Can’t wait until 8PM!

Shaun’s Crock-Pot Butternut Squash Chili (Vegetarian, Vegan)

Prep Time: 0-5 minutes.

Serves: 2-4

Tools: Crock Pot!


  • 3-4 cups of roasted butternut squash (for roasting instructions, check here)
  • 10 ounces of portobello mushrooms, sliced (or a standard box from the store)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • A “little less” than 1/2 of a block of Twin Oaks brand soy sausage
  • One package of pre-mixed chili seasonings (or make your own: garlic, cumin, pepper, salt, lime)
  • 2-3 cups water
  • Salt & pepper, to taste


1. Toss it all in the crock pot. Bam. Maybe give it a stir.

2. Simmer on high for 2-3 hours, then turn to low. If you need to be away longer than 6 hours, keep it on low the entire time.

3. Eat. Reflect on simplicity.

Notes: None, because this is just so easy and delicious. Do something fun with the 30-45 minutes of dinner prep time you just saved!


Tags: , , , , ,

Categories: Recipes


Courtney grew up in Reading, PA, and has lived in New York City (where she earned a bachelor's degree at NYU), Prague, Philadelphia, and Charlottesville (where she received a J.D. from UVa Law). Courtney and her new husband will settle in Philadelphia following a six-week Euro-trip extravaganza in September of 2012. Courtney's interests include music, writing, criticism, fitness, travel, cooking, and sports. Please enjoy the blog. LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/courtney-marello/1a/375/b30 Tumblr: http://abarrelofoddsandends.tumblr.com/


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