Chili. Your Way. Let's get cookin'.
It's chilly outside and the leaves are falling. Football season is here and going strong, and comfort food is on my mind. And one of my all time favorite comfort foods that is perfect for chilly fall weather and game season is chili. Made YOUR way. Are you ready? Let's do it!
What I love about chili is that it's different EVERY time. At least for me it is. There are so many variations and ways to make it your own. Beans, meat, veggies, spices...it's all up to you! AND...it's actually pretty good for you, which is even better if you're working towards making lifestyle and nutrition changes to help support a healthier way of living.
I've made chili SO many ways and wanted to share my tried and true chili "base" with you, and allow you to make it your own. I grew up eating a mostly meat and bean chili. My husband prefers no beans and I love all beans and no meat. My kids would rather I skip the veggies, but I LOVE veggies and we have to sneak them in where we can, right mamas?! So I thought I'd share where I start, but also give you ways to change it up depending on who you're making it for and your mood. Because we all know that MOOD is everything in a house full of chaos with small humans.
Chili. Your Way.
Like I said, this is your base recipe. Start here:
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium to large yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 green pepper, cored and chopped
1 red pepper, cored and chopped
1-2 jalapeno peppers, ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped (feel free to use another hot pepper of your choosing here, depending on availability)
1 (15 ounce) can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 ounce) can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (28 ounce) can of crushed tomatoes, fire roasted is the best
2 (15 ounce) cans of diced tomatoes. I suggest petite diced for the picky eaters. You can also use freshly cut diced tomatoes if you have a lot to use up
1 cup broth of your choosing (beef, vegetable or chicken)
2 heaping Tablespoons of chili powder
1 heaping Tablespoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon oregano or mexican oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
Optional: 1 pound of ground turkey or ground beef, 1-2 extra cans of beans like kidney, pinto, white northern or black, and extra veggies such as mushrooms, extra peppers like poblanos, green or other sweet peppers
Optional toppings: shredded cheese of your choice (may use dairy free if that's your thing), plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream (I like Fage, personally), hot sauce, avocado, tortilla chips or if you're like my husband and kids, Saltine crackers.
Let's get cooking! Like I said, the base is where you'll start. It's your turn to get creative and make it your own!
If you haven't already, chop all of your veggies. You want to make sure they are ready to go!
Heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. If you're using ground beef or ground turkey, add this now and start to brown it. Once it starts to brown, add your onion, peppers and garlic. Cook for about 7-10 minutes or until the meat is completely browned. If you're only using veggies, cook until your veggies have softened, around 5 minutes or so. You can drain the excess fat from the meat if you have some. I use pretty lean meat, so generally don't have a lot of excess grease or fat, if any, to drain.
Once you're done cooking the meat and veggies, add all of your remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Feel free to taste as you go, adding more seasoning to your liking. No one will notice ; ). Cook over low heat, allowing it to gently simmer, for 30-60 minutes. The longer you let it simmer, the more flavorful it becomes.
Serve warm, with desired toppings of your choice. Enjoy!
I can't be certain how many servings you'll get out of this because it will all depend on how big your veggies are, if you add meat and/or beans etc. But I can tell you that this recipe makes a good 8 servings for us. Let me know if/when you make it and how YOURS turned out! I'd love to hear what tweaks you made to make it your own!