Easy as 1-2-3 Chili
There is nothing quite like a steaming bowl of chili (with all your favorite toppings of course!) to make the winter blues melt away – at least when it comes to warming your tummy! You might have your favorite type of soup/stew that you look forward to, but I kind of favor chili because I can easily incorporate veggies, beans, additional fiber in the form of my secret ingredient (yes, I will disclose it pretty soon here) and also a sneaky dose of antioxidants (hello cocoa!).
Chili receives a mixed reception in my household! My kids usually whine “why??!!” when I tell them I am making it but usually polish off their bowl – even if half-heartedly at times! May be that goes back to one of my earlier posts about eating habits forming early in childhood. Despite their little whimper about not wanting any chili, I proceeded to make some the other night because I had all the ingredients on hand and I will be able to whip this up rather easily to share with my neighbors (you may remember that I was going to share some with them for helping us clear the snow).
I really prefer to go the route of made-from-scratch rather than semi-homemade. I think you can be much more creative with using things on hand and coming up with something quite unique and delicious. So, except for couple of canned items, most ingredients are freshly prepared.
Before you go to the list of ingredients, here is a disclaimer. Do not let the rather longish list discourage you from trying out this recipe. Once you prepare the ingredients, it is really a snap to put it all together – and you will be glad you did when you savor the first spoonful of this delicious chili with your favorite toppings!
1lb ground lean beef or turkey
2- 15-oz cans of beans of your choice
1 cup diced red pepper
1 cup chopped carrots
½ cup chopped onions
2 large cloves of garlic (minced)
1 cup of diced celery
1 tablespoon coriander powder
1 ½ teaspoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt (adjusted to taste)
1 tsp minced chipotle pepper with a bit of sauce
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup chopped cilantro, if desired
Thanks for still hanging in there.
1. Start by preparing all the vegetables, including garlic and cilantro. Have your seasoning containers laid out or even better measured out. Now you are ready!
2. Heat a large pot over medium high heat and brown the meat for few minutes (about 5 minutes or so). To that add the onions, garlic and celery. Saute for few minutes till onion and celery become a bit soft.
4. Drain the canned beans and rinse well. Add them to the pot and stir briefly. FYI, in the picture below, you will see some strange brownish beans. These are brown pigeon peas leftover from another recipe the previous day and I just used them up as well.
6. Cover the pot with a lid, reduce heat to medium low setting and let simmer for about 25 minutes.Now, add the “secret” ingredient (which is not so secret anymore) and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes till all the flavors meld together and you get a delicious pot of awesomeness.
7. Serve a bowl of this with your favorite toppings – sour cream, bacon bits, cheese, green onions/chives, crushed tortilla chips or just a toasted slice of bread. Enjoy!