Here are the basics when it comes to meals around our home: we eat mostly plants, the meal must take less than 1.5 hours to prep/cook/cleanup, and it's a coin toss as to whether I love or loathe the process.
It seems the sweet spot for me is a meal that requires some effort initially but, once learned, permits tweaking along the way... A recipe I don't have to think too hard about or acquire new tools or skill sets for, but might glance at a few times to re-familiarize myself with as I prepare it. I try to incorporate staples for each season that easily Fit into the rhythm of the week but also keep us interested.
Chili is the default for large gatherings and busy evenings this time a year, given it's easy to make, but I often wonder whether anyone actually likes chili... When I stumbled across this recipe a few years ago I thought I'd give it a try. To my absolute astonishment, I look forward to eating the leftovers for the entire week.
I Recently made a few adjustments that have me convinced this is a staple worth sharing. If you are still on the fence about whether or not you are a chili person, give this a try and see if you don't agree with me. Your schedule will be so happy that you did.
When In Doubt, Chili
Serves: 6 adults
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
The Flavors are great right off the bat, but they also deepen with time, so I suggest making this a few hours before you plan to serve it, if possible. You can easily prep at lunchtime and leave it on the stovetop to simmer on low for 2 or more hours... otherwise just make it for dinner and reap the added beneFits with the leftovers!
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 sweet onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 red pepper
- 3 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (omit this if serving to children)
- 1 can pinto beans
- 1 can kidney beans
- 1 can Black eyed peas
- 1 (28-oz) can petite diced tomatoes, liquid drained
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp tomato paste, to thicken
- 4 tbsp chia seeds
- 2 tbsp BBQ sauce
- 1/2 tsp brown sugar (optional, but keep in mind how sweet your bbq sauce is)
- 1/4 tsp Old Bay seasoning (optional, omit this if serving to children)
- 2 cups frozen corn
- Shredded colby jack cheese, for serving
1. Prepare your ingredients by mincing the garlic and chopping the onion and peppers.
2. Drain and rinse the beans. Drain the diced tomatoes.
3. In a large pot, add the oil and sauté the onion and garlic over medium-low heat for about 5-6 minutes, until translucent.
4. Add in the peppers into the pot and sauté for another 3-5 minutes, until soft.
5. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne and sauté on low for a few more minutes.
6. Add the beans and diced tomatoes. Stir well. Slowly add the broth, 1/2 cup at a time, depending on how much liquid you prefer. Add the tomato paste and chia seeds. Adjust broth to desired consistency.
7. Now add the BBQ sauce. Check the Flavor before you proceed based on the sauce you chose, as some BBQs contain added sweetness or spice. Adjust chili to taste by adding brown sugar and/or Old Bay seasoning. (If chili is either too hot or too sweet, adjust body by adding more chili powder.) Simmer on low with the lid ajar for about 30 minutes (or more) to allow the Flavors to come together.
8. About 15 minutes before the chili has Finished simmering, stir in the corn. Set cheese out to warm to room temperature.
9. Shred cheese, add a generous helping to each bowl and serve. Can be made 2-3 days in advance and frozen if preferred.
*Originally modiFied from this recipe.