Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Vegetable Chili

This could also be called: "Everything but the Kitchen Sink" Chili. (Or as Kevin says, "Stuff In A Pot.") No seriously. It all began when I looked in the fridge and saw the fresh broccoli. I didn't want it to go bad. I wanted to use it. And I wanted soup. But something fattening like cheesy broccoli soup wasn't cutting it for me. I was craving chili. Which happens frequently. Hmm. How could I incorporate broccoli into chili without making something disgusting. I searched for recipes for quite some time and came across a recipe on Betty called "Vegetable and Bean Chili." Most of the ingredients sounded just right, but not all of the veggie options sounded right to me.

So I adapted the recipe to my liking and as I was cooking I continued to find items in the fridge that went well and needed to be used up. Hence the 1/4 lb of ground beef (it was a leftover uncooked burger.) And the half a green pepper. (It needed to be used.) Both of those ingredients could either be eliminated altogether OR you could add up to 1 pound of ground beef and 1-2 whole green peppers.

Honestly, I would give this an A+. It's different enough from my traditional chili but similar enough that it's still chili. We both had two servings and will enjoy the leftovers. (As in, this recipe will serve 6 people or more.)

1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped (1 cup)
2-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 lb ground beef
2 large carrots, thinly sliced
2 cups chopped broccoli, fresh or frozen
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 can red kidney beans, drained, rinsed
1 can black beans, drained, rinsed
1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
2 cups water
2 tablespoons chili powder
3 teaspoons ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper

In large Dutch oven (5-6qt), heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic; cook 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are softened.
Stir in ground beef, carrot, broccoli and green pepper. Cover. Stir occasionally and cook until softened. Add remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover; cook 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chili is hot and vegetables are crisp-tender. (Optional: simmer up to 3 hours, stirring occasionally.)

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