Fare With A Flair: Chili is filling and flexible

Fare With A Flair: Chili is filling and flexible

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I recently made a big pot of chili for one of our sons who needed to feed a crowd.

As I was making it and tasting it along the way, I wondered “Why don’t I make this more often?”

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There are oodles of variations of what we call “chili” and for the most part it’s a very economical meal.

To make it easy on yourself, consider using canned beans in the recipe, but if you really want to stretch your food dollar, use dried. It’s simply a matter of soaking the beans overnight and then cooking them.

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The ground meat in this recipe can vary from beef, pork, chicken or turkey. Of course, you can omit the meat completely and fill your pot with an assortment of vegetables and a few grains for a vegetarian version.

Chili is almost as flexible as soup.

This recipe is easy and quick. Leftovers are great the next day.

Here’s to comfort food.


Easy Chili

(Serves 6-8)

1 tbsp. (15ml) vegetable oil

1 onion, diced

1 stalk celery diced

1 small jalapeno, seeded and diced

2 cloves garlic minced

1 lb. (500 ml) ground beef or chicken

1 red pepper, cored and diced

2 tbsp. (25 ml) chili powder

1 tbsp. (15 ml) brown sugar

1 – 28 oz. (796 ml) can of diced tomatoes

2 – 19 oz. ( 540 ml) cans of red kidney beans, drained

juice of 1 lime

salt and pepper to taste

Garnish options:

Sliced avocado

Grated cheddar cheese

Sliced green onions

Chopped cilantro

Sour cream

Quartered limes

Directions:

1. Heat the oil in a stock pot over medium heat. Cook the onion and celery until starting to soften.

2. Stir in the jalapeno and garlic and cook a further minute. Add the ground beef or chicken and cook until no longer pink.

3. Add the red pepper, chili powder, brown sugar and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer. Cook until peppers are tender.

4. Stir in the beans and bring back to a simmer. Stir in lime juice.

5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6. Ladle into bowls and serve with desired garnishes.

Note: for a smokier chili, consider adding a few drops of liquid smoke.

Leftover chili is great served on baked potato halves, covered in grated cheese and baked in the oven.

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