For some reason I’ve always thought chili would be difficult. I never really found a recipe that looked good to me and I didn’t like the homemade chili that looked like more of a soup than a chili even if it does taste good. So I’ve been playing around with it for the last few months and I absolutely love my chili!
One of the great things about chili is that once you have a base recipe it’s as simple as deciding what extras you want to put in that you love and make it your own. If you love your celery, carrots or even zucchini you can make a unique and healthier chili that becomes a very good meal.
So all the other recipes that I was following basically had me use broth and beans and let it simmer for hours and hours. Well, the key to getting that darker colored thickness is as simple as tomato sauce. I was making chili and added a can of tomato sauce and diced tomatoes and after simmering for 40 minutes to an hour all of a sudden I had thick and textured chili. Now for those of you out there that are sitting there saying “duh! How could you not know that” I already told you I’m no chef. I’m a regular person trying to help other regular people with the little things that I’ve figured out as I’ve become a better cook. And for some strange reason every recipe that I tried stuck with broth.
So, moving on, get a big pot and stick it on the stove. I like to start at med-high heat just because I don’t give myself 4 hours to let it simmer. What can I say, I’m impatient. What’s so easy about it though is that you just have to toss everything in all at once and just let it cook. After it starts to really heat up and boil I switch it down to med-low heat and cover it letting it cook at an aggressive simmer until it’s time to eat.
It will definitely look more like soup and very watery until it all starts to thicken up. But it will all come together and what you have left is some very delicious chili. And if you want to make it even tastier and not quite as healthy add some cheese and a generous dollop of sour cream. I am always looking for anything that will elevate my food. If you have any of your own tips or tricks I am always open and want to hear about it.
And the nice thing is that when serving with kids the veggies are soft enough that most kids won’t even notice. I had a family with 9 kids that said it was a big score for them.
Easy Peasy Chili
1 to 2 lbs browned ground meat
2 cans black beans rinsed and drained
2 cans pinto beans rinsed and drained
2 cans chicken or vegetable broth
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
optional chopped vegetables of choice
2 tsp chili powder and parsley
1 tsp cumin, salt, pepper, oregano, and basil
Combine all ingredients in a large pot. cook at med-high heat and let boil for 15 minutes. lower to med-low heat and cover for 45 minutes to an hour stirring occasionally. Eat as is to have a healthy meal or serve with cheese, sour cream, chips, or french bread.