I usually think of chili as an autumn/winter dish. But lately the weather has been so unpredictable (blazing hot one day and cool and rainy the next) that I found myself craving something hearty and comforting. And, I happen to love making chili for a number of reasons–the first being the “yum” factor.
Seriously, though… here’s what I love about chili. Like most good comfort food, there are as many versions of it as there are people who make it and so this is a very versatile dish. You can make it as spicy or mild as you wish. Make a meat-lovers version and experiment with everything from ground venison to left-over turkey breast. Or go totally vegan and use a variety of beans.
This an easy one-pot meal that’s great for left-overs–easy to reheat and easy to take for lunch the next day.
Finally, from a Conscious Shopping point of view, chili is great because the ingredients are versatile and can be used in so many other dishes. Often, you can whip up a pot of chili with all the meat, produce and staples you have on hand from other recipes, saving time and not greatly impacting your grocery bill.
Simply Delicious Chili
- Olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 medium carrots, cut in half moons
- 1 – 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced
- Diced tomatoes – 1 28-oz can (or you can use 8 to 10 fresh, diced plum tomatoes)
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1 T fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
- A few drops of Liquid Smoke
- 2 C stock (you can use, beef or chicken)
- 1 lb. ground meat (beef, turkey or venison)
- 1 14-oz can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Step 1 Heat oil in a stock pot over medium heat.
- Step 2 Add onions and sauté until they are soft and translucent.
- Step 3 Add garlic and sauté another minute or so.
- Step 4 Add carrots and bell peppers.
- Step 5 Add the cumin, chili powder and thyme and stir to mix well.
- Step 6 Continue cooking until carrots and peppers begin to soften.
- Step 7 In a separate pan, brown the meat and then set aside.
- Step 8 Add tomatoes to stock pot along with cannellini beans and ground meat.
- Step 9 Mix well and then add stock to pot, bring to a boil and then reduce heat.
- Step 10 Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until the liquid thickens a bit and the carrots and peppers are soft.
- Step 11 Add a few drops of Liquid Smoke along with salt and pepper, to taste.