Monday, 17 August 2015

Quick and Easy Chili

I love chili and often make it in my slow cooker. Sadly, a slow cooker is slow. Last week, I really wanted some homemade chili. It was a rainy, foggy day, and chili just seemed like a good choice. The problem? It was 4pm. I couldn't really break out the slow cooker and expect it to be ready for 5:30. I had hamburger thawed in the fridge, some beans and tomatoes in the pantry, so I decided to freehand it for some stovetop chili! This is what I came up with:

Quick & Easy Chili:
  • 2t oil
  • 1lb of ground beef (a 1/2 lb would work if you want to cut down on the meat... Or use a mix of different ground meats-Turkey, sausage, beef... The options are endless!)
  • 2 packages of mushrooms - sliced, diced, or chopped - use more or less, to your own preference 
  • 1 onion, diced
  • garlic - a clove or two, diced
  • bell pepper, chopped - any kind and as much as you want. (I used half an orange pepper)
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes (you could use two cans of diced, if you prefer)
  • 1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed to get rid of the bean "sauce"
  • 2T chili powder (or more or less, your choice)
  • 1t cumin
  • 1/2C or so of your favourite salsa - optional, but I find it adds some quick flavour!
  • salt & pepper, to taste
1. Add a little oil to a good sized pot and heat, then add ground beef, breaking it up as it cooks. (While it is cooking, cut up mushrooms, onion, garlic, and pepper.)
2. Once no longer pink, drain fat from ground beef, and add onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms have released liquid and it has evaporated a bit. (I love mushrooms, but hate it when mushroom juice waters down my food!) Add peppers and cook for a couple more minutes. If you want them crunchy, don't good for too long.
3. Add tomatoes (diced and crushed), beans, spices. Heat until it's simmering and reduce heat. 
4. After about 10 minutes, taste and make adjustments to spices, if needed.
5. Simmer for another 10 minutes, and you're good to go!

Serve it solo, in a bowl as it is, or with chips, sour cream, and/or cheese! Yummy comfort food!

- - -

It turned out pretty well, and I figured that it would be even better the next day, but sadly, my fuzzy mom-brain prevented that from happening, because I forgot to put it in the fridge overnight! I was one sad mama as I poured it into the compost bag. Next time, I need to remember to portion it out in containers and put it in the freezer right away!

What I love about a simple recipe is that it's easily changed up. Have some leftover corn from last night's corn boil? Throw it in! Tomatoes that didn't get used for your salad? Dice 'em up and toss them in! 

Any suggestions on how to make this quick recipe better?  I'd love to hear them, especially if you have any ideas on other vegetables to add in!

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