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Monday, March 11, 2013

Cooking for Sustenance: Chili

Because eating isn't just fun; it's essential.

Today's recipe isn't fancy.  It won't be submitted to a contest.  It probably won't impress you.  But it's delicious, made about 20 servings, and was done in 20 minutes.  Oh yeah.

I wish I had the time and the resources to do recipe testing every day.  It's one of my favorite things to do ever.  But sometimes you just need food because you have to eat.  And sometimes you need cheap food because you're a jobless hobo.  During the week, I'm rarely home before 8:00 pm, so having leftovers is super convenient.  I like to make a large pot of soup or something on Sunday or Monday, and then eat it for dinner (or lunch or breakfast) throughout the week.  So maybe I didn't sit down for dinner until 9:00 pm tonight. At least I have food for the rest of the week!

I don't usually get fancy with soups during the week.  I really just check my pantry for ingredients and then throw a bunch of stuff in a pot.  Today, my ingredients told me to make chili.  I rarely make chili the same way twice, but I do have a sort of "chili system" that I follow.  It goes like this:
*diced tomatoes
*other stuff, as I see fit

This really is a lazy recipe, but it's also tasty and satisfying.  I didn't even chop my own veggies!  [Ahh, the joy of frozen vegetables.]  You can use any mixed veggies you have on hand.  I had two bags of what was called "Mexican blend," which consisted of broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, and corn.  But use whatever you like.  Or have.  Or whatever.  Frozen veggies, canned tomatoes and beans, and a little bit of time is all it takes to make a tasty treat!

1 cup diced onion
15 oz can refried beans
28 oz can diced tomatoes
2 cups water
15 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 lbs frozen mixed vegetables of your choosing
2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
1 tsp dried cilantro

In a large soup pot, saute onion over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, or until soft.  Add the refried beans and mix with the onions for about a minute.  Add the tomatoes and water and stir to mix well.  Toss in the veggies, beans, and seasonings.  Let chili come to a boil then turn down heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until all veggies are cooked through.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

It's just that easy!  Way better than fast food.  ;)

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