Chilly Funday Monday

Okay, it wasn’t really chilly. Actually, it was a gorgeous fall day in New England where you barely needed a jacket, but I needed a play on the words! Forgive me! And yes, this is a Winesday post, but the meal took place on a Monday instead. I needed to fit yoga and a mani/pedi/facial into my schedule, Amber had a date on Winesday, and no one said you couldn’t drink wine on Monday!

This was kind of a last-minute plan that turned into an amazing meal with a bit of a southwestern theme.

The Wine

  • Relax Riesling, (usually) $10-11, and the best Riesling you can get for that price. It has apple and peach notes without being overly sweet, and it pairs well with almost anything, especially salads and crackers with soft cheeses. Oh, and it has a screw cap…that helps you get to the wine faster.

The Salad

  • A bagged salad mix to which we added grape tomatoes, sliced black olives, tortilla strips, and chipolte ranch salad dressing. Holy chipolte, we have a southwestern-themed salad just like that! The original creation was courtesy of Ms. Michelle.

The Entree

  • Vegetarian Black Bean Chili with an assortment of toppings created by Ms. Amber and adapted from

Stuff You’ll Need

Serves 4 to 5

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 28 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with mild chiles
  • 1 10 oz package frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1-2 cups water
  • 1 heavy pot or 5qt Dutch oven
  • Toppings (optional): shredded cheddar cheese, baked tortilla strips, lowfat sour cream

How to Do It

  1. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in the heavy pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook until the onions begin to soften, about 4 minutes.
  2. Add zucchini, carrots, chili powder, and cumin. Stir occasionally, and cook until the carrots are tender but not soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Add beans, diced tomatoes, corn, and 1 cup of water. Simmer until the chili is slightly thickened, approximately one hour, and keep the lid on the pot. Add additional water if you prefer the chili to be textured slightly thinner.
  3. Serve the chili in individual bowls, and cover with optional toppings. Baked tortilla strips and cheddar cheese work fabulously!

The Dessert

  • Apple Coffee Cake (not themed…though I wasn’t aware we were following a theme until I brought the coffee cake!).


  1. That was a delicious meal!!! Makes my mouth water just thinking about it on this train ride home 🙂

  2. Stephanie,
    Looks like you enjoy RELAX, too! I’m a social media team member for RELAX and Fünf, another Schmitt Sohne wine. We found your blog and gotta say, we love it!

    You are one of a handful of knowledgeable writers that might agree with us that drinking wine is supposed to be fun. A drink should be an expression of you, not something expressed on a score card. That’s why we’re shaking things up with our Mix it Up with Fünf drink contest.

    And we’re challenging you, Stephanie, to give it a shot!

    That’s right. We’re challenging you to come up with your own cocktail using Fünf Sassy White, Sweet Red or Moscato and submit it to our contest. Show off your creativity to your readers with your own cocktail. The Top 50 recipes will get a Fünf shaker, and we’re sending the creator of the best recipe to Vegas with a friend.

    So what do you say? Are you going help us put a little fun back into drinking wine? Go on. Give us your best shot.

    – Brad Luttrell
    Fünf Buzz Builder

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