Chili for When the Chill is Back!
According to the calendar, it is Spring. According to my body this morning – winter was back – brrrr! Watching the news I see winter is hitting us back all across the country. Bonus for us, we will go into the freezing zone again tonight with the possibility of freezing drizzle and slick roads for the morning commute. Ugh!
As we are all so eager to pull out the shorts, and really put away the winter coats and mittens (I just pulled the gloves back out again), old man winter is back again. On days like this one of my favorite, cold day recipes is chili. It is such a Fall recipe to me – usually pulling it out on those first chilly Fall evenings – so comforting and soothing as we enjoy the first coolness of the season. But as I was wondering what to put on the table for tonight’s dinner, feeling the air and knowing the cold will be hitting as the day goes on, dinner will be chili for sure! And you know it will definitely be gluten-free, dairy-free and corn-free!
I first learned how to make chili when I was in my 20s from my dear friend Cheri. (Thanks Cher!) Once she showed me how quick and easy it was – I ran with it. I have added wonderful different peppers to it to give it an extra spice, or added in other ingredients – different beans, chicken, or veggies. Your standard pot of chili is just too good to pass up on a cool evening with your family. The best part of cooking chili during the day is after you pick everyone up from all the daily activities, and walk back into the house – BOOM – you are smacked with that wonderful, spicy, decadent smell you cannot wait to devour.
For our basic chili you will need:
1 lb. ground turkey (You may use your favorite ground meat or beans here as well)
1 14 oz can of organic crushed or diced tomatoes – the diced will give it a chunkier texture
1 medium onion – diced – large or smaller chunks – I like to mix it up and make some small and others larger
1/2 red pepper – sliced and diced (not too small)
1/2 green pepper – sliced and diced (not too small)
2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 T Chili Powder
1 t. Ancho Chili Powder
1-2 T Olive Oil
1 can of red kidney beans, or your favorite beans, rinsed well. (You can soak the beans while the chili is cooking before you add them in, or boil them for about 20 minutes. For some, this makes it easier on the belly, less gassy.)
Dice up the onions, peppers and garlic. Saute the onions and peppers over medium heat in a large soup pan until starting to wilt. Don’t cook them down too much. Add in the ground turkey and saute until almost all cooked through. Stir together well. Add in the garlic, stir and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, chili powders and mix well. Allow to come to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for about an hour. I have cooked this from 30 minutes to 4 hours. The longer you cook it, the better the flavors come together. Really just matters how much time you have! Keep coming back to stir every so often. After an hour, add in the beans and let simmer another 30 minutes to allow to soak up the flavors.
Of course, as chili is so easy to make – you will want to use your large pot and double the recipe. (Mom Tip!) Once cooled, freeze the leftovers and you have dinner for another night. Easy, simple, another night of yum!
Enjoy your chili on its own, topped with avocado, cheese, sour cream (for those who handle dairy), or sprinkled with chopped parsley or cilantro.
Serve the chili over rice, quinoa, mac-n-cheese (homemade of course – ha), or your favorite sautéed greens.
Of course, it is delicious on its own!
Anyway you have it, enjoy! I know I will!