That’s right, folks. Today I’ll be sharing a Crockpot Gluten-Free Vegetarian Chili Mac recipe that is so darn easy, you’ll wonder why you haven’t made this before (that is, if you haven’t made this before…awkward).
One of my favorite parts about this Chili Mac is that it doesn’t require too many ingredients. Oh. Did I mention it’s also oh so cheesy, hearty, and filling?
If this Crockpot Gluten-Free Vegetarian Chili Mac isn’t the ultimate comfort food, I don’t know what is.
I love crockpot meals just as much as I love one pot meals, in fact that’s all I’ve been making lately. (I have a reason. Just keep reading below to find out or skip it and scroll down to find the recipe!)
Where was I from November-January?
Long explanation starts here: (Newbies BEWARE. Hehehe.) Since launching Mint to Be Gluten-Free in October 2017, my life has been a roller-coaster ride. All for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with food or Celiac Disease, or even anything that could have been controlled. I stopped posting from mid November through mid January, something that I’ve felt very guilty for because I promised myself that I wouldn’t let myself fall off schedule, especially after having just launched this new project of mine.
Still, promises can’t stop the inevitable from happening. I found myself celebrating a normal Halloween and then all of a sudden, things got weird. My significant other, Damon (age 20), became very ill. I won’t go into details, since this is a food blog after-all, but we went to the doctors and was told he had a virus. It will go away in a week, they said. Five days pass, and things are worse. Much worse.
On November 20th, the day of my 20th birthday, I found myself taking Damon to the emergency room. We arrived to the hospital after we noticed that he had lost a large amount of weight overnight and he could hardly walk on his own two feet. Hours and hours, scans after scans, it was a small bowel obstruction.
Surgery was scheduled that night, which actually didn’t take place until 1 a.m. My mom and I left the hospital to pack our bags, eat something as quickly as possible, and then rush back before surgery.
Hospitals Are No Fun
We didn’t know what to expect out of surgery. Yes, we knew it was a bowel obstruction but no one knew from what. It was a shock to hear at 3 a.m., my 20th birthday a complete blur that never happened, that my boyfriend had 2 feet of gangrenous intestines removed. The cause: Meckel’s Diverticulum, an abnormality of the small intestine that is present at birth. It had twisted itself around his intestines and completely cut off bowel function and impaired kidney function. Our surgeon said that would we have waited just a day longer, his intestines wouldn’t be fixable. (Apparently it’s not usually a good thing when a surgeon comes out from a surgery and uses the words “Impressive” or “Incredible”)
Damon was in the hospital for seventeen very long and scary days. Complication after complication occurred. Low electrolyte (specifically Potassium) levels caused heart palpitations, an NG tube (a tube inserted through the nose and into the stomach) which he had to have the whole time to keep his stomach empty, sucked blood from a clot which required him to have three blood transfusions. He consumed nothing for 14 days and was only allotted a few cups of water and ice a day. He went from 150 pounds to just a mere 119, at 6 foot and 3 inches tall.
All in the meanwhile, we missed Thanksgiving too.
Damon was released on December 7th, a very happy day for everyone we know. I took care of him for the first two weeks while he still struggled to walk and put on weight. We celebrated a wonderful Christmas and New Years and now it’s already January 21st. It’s been rough. And I’ve been struggling with my own thoughts after everything that happened. Can you blame me after I thought I’d lose my boyfriend of five years at such a young age?
We’re both recovering, and in the mean-time, all I can get myself to make are crockpot meals. I just don’t have energy for anything else right now, so you’ll just have to work with me.
Notes for Crockpot Gluten-Free Vegetarian Chili Mac:
- To make more veggie-licious: Add 2 diced carrots, a cup of fresh tomatoes, 1 can corn, jalapeno, or other veggies of choice. (You may have to add more vegetable broth, so it doesn’t become too thick)
- Serve with toasted gluten-free garlic bread, a fresh salad, or eat with tortilla chips and sour cream (hey, who am I to judge?)
- If you like this recipe, you might like my Crockpot Mexican Stuffed Peppers