As the days are getting shorter and the weather is cooling off, I find myself craving chili. It must be a fall thing! I love to prepare a big batch and let it simmer all day. It makes the house smell amazing. And, chili is a hearty, tasty meal-in-a-bowl.
Plus, chili is a simple way to feed a crowd. Last weekend, we invited some of our neighbors over for a chili feed. That’s what I call easy entertaining. The only thing I didn’t have was enough bowls. Apparently we have broken a few more than I realized from our set of dishes. Fortunately, Target had a bunch of white bowls in their clearance section so I stocked up and was ready for a crowd.
I received this recipe many years ago from a coworker and have adapted it many ways and many times. The recipe is very flexible. If you like it hotter, add some Tabasco. If you like it sweeter, add a can of corn. Like beans? Add an extra can. I’ve even added rice for the last hour of cooking to change it up a bit. This chili recipe allows you to channel your culinary creativity and customize it to suit your taste. If you’re short a can of something, don’t worry! Just add a can of something else and see what happens.
As you’re shopping for ingredients, check out the NuVal scores. The range of scores on the cans of tomato sauces, purees, soups and dices will blow your mind. This recipe is the perfect place to “TRADE UP” for better nutrition. Just select the higher scoring cans and you will pack that much more good nutrition into your chili bowl—and your body.
3-4 pounds lean ground beef, browned and drained
1 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper (I like to use the red ones, but green work just as well)
2 stalks celery, chopped
1-2 teaspoons parsley flakes (or a pile of fresh chopped parsley)
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1-15 ounce can tomato soup and 1 can of water
1-20 ounce can tomato tomato puree (or homemade canned tomatoes if you are the canning type)
1-15 ounce can tomato sauce
2 or 3-15 ounce cans petite diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons (or more if you like it spicy) chili powder
2 tablespoons worchestershire sauce
Salt/pepper to taste
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can red chili beans, rinsed and drained
1. Brown ground beef with chopped onion. Drain.
2. Dice, mince and chop vegetables.
3. While beef is cooking get out your can opener and start opening the cans.
4. Place all ingredients in a large pot or crock pot.
5. Simmer 3-4 hours on the stove or all day on low in your crock pot.
6. Serve with condiments of your choice: chopped green onions, cheese, sour cream.
Of course, with all the fun of entertaining, I completely forgot to snap a photo of the steaming slow cooker of savory chili prior to us all digging into it. So, you get to see the sloppy remains, which still look good, if I do say so myself.
Passionate about food and good nutrition, Kelly, a BLEND Program Specialist for CentraCare Health Foundation, is also a mom who wants to set her kids up for a lifetime of good health. The opinions expressed in this blog are the opinions of the writer and not the opinions of NuVal LLC, Coborn’s, Inc., BLEND, and the CentraCare Health Foundation. This blog post is used with permission from our friends at BLEND.
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