Easy Chili

Part of my “most productive weekend ever” (which, by the way, does not have any relation to my current “less than most productive week ever”… I most definitely didn’t go to the gym today – but I did have my planned grilled cheese, my back is still in ruins, and I still haven’t had two decently productive days at the office but the week isn’t over…) was making some chili that would last me all week (and then some).

Now here’s that sentence sans parenthetical abuse:  Part of my “most productive weekend ever” was making some chili that would last me all week.  (So much clearer.)  So here it is.

What I like about this chili is that it’s super simple and there isn’t anything special about it other than the fact that I think it’s delicious, it makes a ton, and it’s incredibly inexpensive.  I imagine that any “real chef” out there can think of a bunch of different chili recipes that are easy and tasty or even a number of ways to improve on this one.  But here’s the thing:  You can’t really screw up chili.  Sweet.

Ingredients:

  • One pound ground beef (I’ve also made it with turkey… equally delicious)
  • One bell pepper (or two – go crazy)
  • One large yellow onion
  • One can black beans
  • One can kidney beans
  • One can diced tomatoes
  • 7 oz tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Herbs (I used chili powder, cumin and basil this time around)

Already you see why it’s inexpensive (and delicious).  And you see that I (still) shop primarily at Trader Joe’s.

Start by browning the meat.  This is where I tossed in the chili powder and cumin.  It doesn’t have to be fully cooked because everything will simmer for a while at the end.

Yes.  This was the maiden voyage of my Le Creuset.  It went swimmingly.  (Or should I say sailing-ly?  Or how do you say “swimmingly” in French?  Is this something I’ll need to know for when I go to France?  Did you know I am going to France?  No?  Well here’s a list of everything else I am going to do this year.)

While you’re browning the meat over medium heat, chop up the onions and peppers into whatever size you prefer.  Put the meat aside and toss the onions into the pot (still over medium heat).

I tossed some basil and black pepper in with the onions while they cooked.  Feel free to add you herbs whenever you want.  This is not recipe science.  It’s hardly a recipe at all.

Once the onions have softened up a bit, toss in the peppers.  Here is where the layering comes in.  Onions and peppers go on the bottom.  (I used a hodgepodge of new peppers and old.  Hence the color variation.)

Dump in the beans.  (Rinse them first.)

Then all hell breaks loose when you drop in the browned meat, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce and water all at once.  Crazy.  (Me, that is.)  Cover the pot and let simmer for 20 minutes.  Or 40 minutes if you want to go catch Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family like yours truly.  (ABC Family is so not a family channel, by the way.)  You really can’t go wrong here.

After 20 minutes (or your trashy TV marathon), come on back and stir it up.  You’re left with this (more appetizing than it looks) deliciousness.

This recipe is impossible to screw up.  It makes a ton.  I had it for lunch or dinner at least five times last week (and I don’t skimp on portions) and still have 3 more servings in the freezer.  As a matter of fact, I had one of them for dinner last night.  Followed by two bowls of Special K with Red Berries for dessert.  (See my awesome diet plan here.  It’s #2.)

You can also do this in the crockpot if you’re looking for something for this upcoming Super Bowl weekend and are on a time or money budget.  If you’re not on a budget (calorie-wise), then I also recommend making this buffalo chicken dip.  It’s basically Love Potion #9.  But cheesier.

Bon appetit, my friends.  I’m just itching to tell you about taco dip…  (Teaser: It’s a Weight Watchers recipe.  Modified, of course, because I quit WW.  And courtesy of my man’s sister-in-law Danielle.  Who is a bomb-diggity (that one’s for you, Coach) cook.  Mmmm..)

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2 Responses to Easy Chili

  1. Liz says:

    Love the recipe…I will have to try it! By the way…totally agree about ABC Family not being a family channel. The last episode of Pretty Little Liars DEF proves that!

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