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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Comfort food {Four Bean Chili}.

Brian and the guys at work have been REALLY busy lately.  They're all working long hours and not getting home much, so I thought I'd make them a home-cooked meal to eat while working today.  I wanted something that could simmer in the crockpot for a good portion of the day and still taste good ... if not better.  

Yeah, that just screams CHILI.  

My plan was to use my parents' recipe ... until Brian remembered this morning that his boss has recently gone back to being a vegetarian.  And his girlfriend, who also works at the office occasionally just to spend time with her man, is also a veg.  I love it when he forgets things.

So I went scrounging in my fridge and pantry and came up with a base that could stand alone without the ground beef, so that 2 of my favorite vegetarians could still enjoy something warm and delicious.  And you know what?  It was awesome.  Even the veggie chili was good.  Not as good as the meat kind, but I'm really a carnivore at heart.  So I thought I'd share the deliciousness that was lunch today.

Four Bean Chili

3 bell peppers (I used red, yellow, & green) -chopped
1 onion -chopped
3 cloves minced garlic
1.5 pounds ground beef
2 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes
2 12-ounce cans tomato sauce
1 can dark red kidney beans
1 can light red kidney beans
1 can northern beans
1 can black beans
3 tsp salt
5 tsp chili powder
2 dashes paprika
2 dashes cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
2 tbsp sugar

Saute peppers, onion, and garlic with small amount of oil in large stock pot until slightly tender.  Add ground beef and brown. When the meat is browned, drain grease if necessary, then add tomatoes, tomato sauce, and beans.  Add seasonings and mix well.  Simmer for at least 1.5 hours before serving.

 If you want to make a portion of vegetarian chili like I did, transfer a small amount of peppers and onions to a separate pan to cook with the ground beef.  Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans, & seasonings to veggies and mix well.  At this point I put some of the veggie chili into a small crock pot, then added the meat to the rest of the veggie base.

I made mini honey cornbread muffins (Krusteaz Honey Cornbread mix ... limited time friends) which were delicious, but I forgot to keep some for the boys & I for lunch.  So Brennan & I whipped up some heart-shaped Bisquick biscuits to go with our chili.  Not bad, but cornbread would have been better!

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