One thing I’ve noticed about “growing up” is that I’ve become more aware of all the amazing influences I’ve had in my life— all of which have shaped who I am today. As a teenager, I never truly realized how lucky I was to grow up with such supportive and hard-working parents. I wrote in my mother’s day post about how grateful I am to have such a strong female role model as my mom. But today, on this special day, this post goes out to my dad for all the support and guidance he’s shown me over the years, especially as I entered my young adult stage.
My dad has always raised me to be a very independent, goal-oriented person. When I entered college years ago, I definitely took this for granted and didn’t realize that not everyone had that same sort of upbringing. He always had the highest of expectations for me, but that made my successes feel even better when he showed how proud he was. My dad was always there to help when I needed him, but never handed anything to me (which of course I hated growing up, but now I realize the value in his choices). He taught me to be hard working, that things don’t always come easy, and that our passions are always worth pursuing. I feel so lucky to have such a supportive father and want to thank him, on this special day, for everything he’s done for my siblings and I. We all turned out slightly normal because of you 😉
On to the food: it honestly took me a while to come up with a recipe that would please both my father AND my readers, as they have very different preferences in food. As you all know, this blog features mostly plant-based meals, healthy ingredients, and clean eats—- whichhhhhh is about the opposite of how my dad likes to eat. He is a meat and potatoes guy TO THE BONE. Give him a good steak and he’ll be happy as a clam! But, give him some a quinoa salad and he’ll look at you like you’re joking. Like I said, tough predicament.
Then last week, I made my hearty one pot quinoa chili and an idea instantly came to mind: loaded baked potatoes! Why, of course! My dad would definitely want to add some cheese and sour cream, but I knew I could please both crowds with this simple, comforting, filling bowl of potato-y goodness. Success!
The best part about this recipe is its simplicity, while still delivering bold flavors. If you make a pot of quinoa chili in advance, all you have to do it bake some potatoes, pour the chili on top, then add toppings on toppings on toppings. Talk about easy weeknight meal! I think even my dad could handle that 😉 Love you dad!