Guess I took a break!

So, for me, when blogging gets to be a little “overwhelming” I take a break. I don’t stop cooking, I just stop writing about it.

The bad thing is, I continue to make up new recipes and try new things on a weekly basis… and then my husband asks if I “blogged” it, or at least wrote it down because he wants it again… I say “no, sorry!”. Sadly, it’s when I’ve “winged” something and cannot remember the exact measurements and will have a very hard time replicating it because I didn’t pay attention when I was making it.

One of those things was this chili. I did re-make it (because he said it was his favorite chili that I’ve EVER made!!!) And so, I figured out how I did it, re-made it, and it’s a winner!!!!

Since he loved it so much, it inspired me to get back into WRITING down what I’m cooking if it’s not a repeat. I also am going to document it here. Not just for the few followers, but for myself! I may also turn this blog into a cookbook, even if it only sits on my family’s shelves.

So, here’s my chili recipe:

 

Husband’s Favorite Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 small yellow onion diced (freeze the remaining onion for later!)
1 cup crushed tomatoes (I have yet to find a can of crushed tomatoes in an 8 0z. size, so save the rest of it for later, or make a double batch!)
1 – 1 1/2 TB chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
dash cayenne pepper (I go light on this, to turn up the spice, add more!)
2 TB Masa Flour (Corn flour). You can also just grind Corn Grits (or polenta) into a flour consistency with a blender or magic bullet!
1 can black beans
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 bottle of beer (I use whatever my husband has in the fridge… it varies!)

 

(I currently do not have any pictures of this chili…. boo! I’ll have to make this again, and post pictures when I do!)

Place the ground beef in a large pot and throw in the garlic and onions. Cook the meat and “chop” with spatula to get the meat into nice small pieces as it’s cooked. Cook until browned and cooked through. Drain off the excess fat, and then pour in the crushed tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and cayenne. Stir together well, cover, and then reduce the heat to medium to medium low. Simmer for 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the 1/2 bottle of beer (about 1 cup). If the mixture becomes overly dry, add 1/2 cup water at a time as needed.

A few minutes before you want to serve the chili, place the masa harina (or your ground corn meal) in a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup water and stir together with a fork. Dump the masa mixture into the chili. Stir together well, and then taste and adjust the seasonings. Add more masa paste and /or water to get the chili to your preferred consistency, or to add more corn flavor. Add the beans and the frozen corn and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with shredded Cheddar, sour cream (or PLAIN greek yogurt) and some fritos!!! You could even top it with some jalapeno slices!!!

 

And that’s it! It’s a basic recipe, but it’s a winner! You don’t need to make it too fancy to make it DELICIOUS!! You will LOVE this recipe! I’m pretty sure it’s going to be the only chili recipe made in this house for a while! 🙂

No Meat Lentil Chili

My husband called me last night and asked the million dollar question: “What’s for dinner”? Hahahahaha… yesterday was grocery shopping day, and I had NOT gone grocery shopping yet. Plus side? I still had 1 meal left from my meal plan that I had not yet made… LENTIL CHILI!!! I told me husband as much, and his response was actually less than excited… can you imagine?! HA! J/K. I knew he was going to be a bit hesitant when he heard the word “lentil”. You think of anything but chili when you hear the word lentil.

I didn’t want to thaw my last pound of ground beef, I was saving that to make meatballs for my littles today, and I didn’t want to use it in chili if I didn’t have to. So… lentil chili it is! And you know what? We LOVED it!! My husband cleaned out his bowl and went back for seconds! And, if you change a few of my ingredients, you can make a vegetarian version for sure!!! This was a winner, don’t be scared off  by the word lentil, even your kids would like it! Just wait until after they are done to tell them it was meat free deliciousness!

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INGREDIENTS
  • 2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 medium sweet yellow onion, chopped
  • 3-4 mini sweet peppers (multi-colors), chopped
  • 1 tsp Minced Garlic
  • 3 tsp. Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • 2 TB Cornmeal mixed with 1/4 cup water to thicken chili
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn (or fresh)
  • 1 can Organic Black Beans (rinsed)
  • 1 1/2 cups rinsed brown Lentils
  • 1 28 oz. can Fire Roasted Crushed Tomato
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cartons (48 oz) Organic Low-sodium chicken Broth(use vegetable broth to go for the Vegetarian Option)
  • ⅓ cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • Optional toppings: sour cream, cheddar cheese, croutons, tortilla chips, avocado
  • salt and pepper to taste

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INSTRUCTIONS
  1. In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and chopped peppers; saute the vegetables for 8 minutes or until onion is soft and lightly browned.
  2. Stir in garlic, cumin, cayenne, black beans and chili powder; cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add lentils, tomatoes, bay leaf and chicken broth (or veggie broth). Bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer partially covered for 30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Add the water and cornmeal mixture and let simmer for 5 minutes to thicken.
  4. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaf.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Stir in cilantro and serve.

Top with: more cilantro, cheese, sour cream, avocado pieces, etc!!! ENJOY, you seriously will!!

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And now, for the quote of the day:

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30-minute Southwest Chili

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My recipe is adapted from this original recipe: http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/southwestern-beef-chili-corn-00000000006977/index.html

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, onion, garlic and bell pepper and 1/4 cup rotel and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.
  2. Add the beef and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until it is slightly darkened, 1 minute.
  4. Stir in the beans, chili powder, 3 cups water, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Then add the corn. (I used 1/2 cup of frozen sweet white corn)
  5. Simmer over medium heat until the vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the corn.
  6. Divide the chili among bowls and top with the Cheddar and scallions.