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Easy Three Bean Beef Chili

January 3, 2012

I can hardly believe that 2012 is already here and 2011 is just a memory. While I spent the most of last week and this past weekend sick with a killer cold, we did manage to have a little bit of fun ringing in the new year.

Joey’s sister and brother-in-law, Amber and Jake, along with baby Baylen, as well as Joey’s brother, Jason and his fiancé, Ali, all made the trip to Grinnell to stay with us for the long weekend. Since I was a slacker with my camera, I’ll have to wait for Amber to send some photos my way before posting a recap of our weekend. Today, since I was still feeling pretty under the weather, we spent most of the day laying low and watching football. It’s what Nutmeg does best…

Typically, when we have people over, I stress out about preparing meals. It’s not the cooking that gets me worked up as much as the combination of cooking and enjoying myself in the process of it all. I’m a bit of a work in process where entertaining is concerned.

Joey, realizing this, said he wanted me to pick easy meals that didn’t require much stressing about. And since I wasn’t feeling like myself with this cold, I was more than happy to stick with quick and easy. French toast for breakfast, make your own sandwiches and fresh fruit for lunch, and my mom’s chili with homemade cornbread for dinner on New Year’s Eve.

Although my mom wouldn’t brag about her chili, it really is something special. First, because it’s thick, hearty and filling. Second, because it’s unbelievably easy and comes together in under 30 minutes. It’s easily adaptable for vegetarians, too, if you leave out the ground beef.

Of course, you can make this chili in advance and allow the flavors to meld together as the simmer on the stovetop, it’s entirely up to you and when your company wants to eat.

Easy Three Bean Beef Chili
*2 lbs. lean ground beef or ground turkey
*1 large (30 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
*1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
*1 (30 oz.) can Mrs. Grimes Chili Beans, undrained
*1 (15 oz.) can black beans, undrained
*1 (15 oz.) can white kidney beans or white great northern beans, undrained
*2 to 3 tablespoons chili powder, depending on how hot you like your chili
*Salt and pepper to taste

*In a large stockpot over medium high heat, brown ground beef or ground turkey. Drain off fat.
*Add remaining ingredients to the stockpot. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer. Cover to keep warm until ready to serve.

Happy Cooking!

30 Minute Vegetarian Chili

February 10, 2010

I love chili. In all forms, flavors, and areas of the country, with cornbread, rice, toast, if you put a bowl of chili in front of me, I will eat it. The only exception to this rule being that chili is not allowed to be watery; it has to have substance, a mix of textures, and big flavor. 

But unfortunately, chili and I have a bit of a love-hate relationship. In the winter I could eat it every night, but it’s often a gut-bomb, packing hundreds of calories and many grams of fat in a single serving, not including all the delicious extras that chili demands to be eaten with. 

My remedy to this problem? Make it at home. It’s incredibly easy (you can make it in under 30 minutes!) and you can control everything that goes into the pot. The version I bring you today is a vegetarian chili, though there are plenty of healthy, delicious, carnivorous versions to be had. After a bit of thinking, I’ve decided this recipe would be delicious served with a few cups of brown rice, though I’m not sure anything can top a slice of cornbread with butter. 

*3 Tbsp. Olive Oil

*1 medium yellow onion, diced
*2 bell peppers, seeded and chopped (I used one red and one orange)
*1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
*4 cloves garlic, minced
*2 tsp. coarse sea salt (or 1 tsp. regular salt) 
*2 1/2 Tbsp. chili powder
*1 tsp. cumin
*1 tsp. ground coriander 
*1/2 tsp. black pepper
*2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes
*1 cup water
*1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
*1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
*1 (15 oz.) can whole kernel corn 
Sour cream (optional)
*In a large heavy pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in onion and peppers. Sautee 5-7 minutes, until onions and peppers are softened but not brown. Add in garlic, salt, chili powder, cumin, coriander, and black pepper. Cook 2 minutes, until spices are evenly coating onions and peppers. 
*Add in remaining ingredients, except sour cream. Bring to boiling, reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve in bowls with sour cream, if desired. 

Happy Cooking!