In the fall I could make a chili every weekend but unfortunately the husband isn’t a fan. I know, crazy… right? I mean WHO doesn’t like CHILI?!? Especially on a cool fall day! This drives me nuts as chili is the ultimate comfort food for me. I don’t care if you make it with beef, turkey, or only beans. Scoop it over rice, bulgur, pasta or even couscous, doesn’t matter. Top it with some cheese and it’s love in a bowl in my opinion.
Regardless of the husband’s opinion I still make huge batches of chili because it freezes well and I can eat for days without getting bored. I made the batch I’m about to share on Saturday and since then I’ve eaten over brown rice, couscous, on a chili dog and just straight up over a handful of baby spinach.
I don’t think I ever made a pot a chili the same way twice. I react to what I have on hand and how much time I have. Sometimes I use the slow cooker, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I use fresh chili peppers, sometimes dried. Just look at a few of the ways I’ve shared here on GreenLiteBites…
- Quick Bulgur Chili
- Golden Corn Muffin Topped Turkey Chili
- Easy Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili
- Slow Cooked Mild Turkey Chili
- Garden Chili with a Product Review
- Vegetarian Chili over Spaghetti Squash
And those are just the ones I posted about! I’ve made many other batches that I didn’t put on GreenLiteBites but this weekend I decided to jot down and share with you my recent chili adventure…
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium yellow onions chopped
- 4-5 stalks of celery chopped
- 6 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 3 small fresh red Jalapeno Peppers diced (with seeds and ribs)
- 3 large Bell peppers (I used 2 red and 1 green) chopped
- 1 large zucchini chopped
- 3 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 15oz can diced tomatoes
- 2 15oz cans of kidney beans
- 1 6oz can of tomato paste
- About 3 cups of finely chopped spinach
- Splash of tabasco to taste
In a large stock pot heat the oil over medium high heat. Sauté the onion, celery and garlic. Cook until the onion softens and browns.
Now I’m using 1 lb of lean beef but you could use turkey or any other lean ground meat you like. You could even skip the meat and just add a variety of beans. It all works. For this batch I used a 1 lbs package of Laura’s Beef…
Which I stock up when it’s on sale.
Dice up the hot peppers. I had 3 from the farm but when I don’t I just ground red pepper flakes. Add the peppers to the browning meat…
Chop the bell peppers, zucchini and add them along with the chili powder and cumin.
If you have a bored child during this process invite them to help. My little guy loves string the pot as I add each ingredient. :)
Even though he won’t eat it now I know one day he will. So I’ll keep offering it to him.
Time for the cans. Add the can of diced tomatoes with one can of water and the can of tomato paste with 1 can of water. Now I had two different cans of kidney beans…
One with salt once without (can you tell I’m a no-name person. ;) So I decided to add both with the liquid they are in. Normally I rinse them to reduce sodium but I haven’t added any salt to this and I don’t plan to so the sodium in one can should be enough.
At this point our chili should look like this…
Now.. I could have been done just simmered it for a bit and been happy. But then I remembered the bag of frozen spinach I had from saving my dying bags of spinach…
I broke it up as best I could and added the whole bag.
Taste test time! I decided it still need a small pinch of salt and a splash or two of tabasco. I used these two kinds…
At this point I brought it to a boil (little bubbles forming in the corners) and then simmered all day (about 6 hours) until I was ready to eat it.
I then served it (to myself) with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro and shredded cheese on top. It was perfect!
Since then, as I said, I made a chili dog, served it on a bed of baby spinach, over leftover brown rice from the chinese restaurant and today I made 1 serving of whole wheat couscous and topped it with the chili. Oh! and yesterday I used a flat out wrap and stuffed it with chili, spinach and cheese to make burrito-ish lunch. Seriously.. I can (and will) eat it all week and never tire of it. I told you.. I’m a chili fanatic! :)
Unfortunately I didn’t measure how many servings this batch got me so I don’t feel comfortable calculating the nutritional info but I have stretched that 1 pound of beef into at least 10-12 servings with tons of veggies and beans. It’s a healthy, satisfying, bulked up meal in my book.
Any chili making tips you’d like to share? I’d love to get some new ideas!