The Most Delicious Rainy Day Chili

Even though Summer is upon us and Spring is (supposed to be) here already, there are going to be a few more chilly nights and rainy days.  This recipe is the perfect cure for a slight brrr in the air.  Your house smells fantastic and it’s healthy and delicious.  You’re welcome. Oh-and it comes together in a snap!

I’ve always been a big fan of making chili, and this one has gotten rave reviews.  I figured it was time for me to share! Some people like beans, some do not.  I am a bean lover! I make tons of stuff with beans and I’m slowly convincing my husband to eat them.  After years of blending the kidney beans before adding them to this recipe, now he even likes this chili!  With all sorts of intact beans.  I even have a stash of black bean brownies I made for the kids…they have no idea….mwahaha…I digress.

Here in Petawawa, I am lucky enough to buy an organic vegetable basket weekly throughout the summer months and leading into the fall.  The farm (Rainbow Heritage Garden) is wonderful and their produce is AMAZING.  Last year, the first couple of weeks were a little sparse so they plumped up our baskets with some of their dried bean mix.  So incredibly awesome. Yummy inspiration!

In the past I have always cooked with canned beans (I know, I know) but it was SUPER easy to use these delicious dried beans.  I let them soak overnight and then I was able to cook them up in no time to use in this recipe.  There was my previous problem…leaving them overnight.  I always had good intentions but would instantly forget and wake up the next day saying: “Oh yahhhhh…the BEANS.” And then I would use canned.

If you’re like the former me, go ahead-use canned. Try to buy organic and BPA free (but don’t stress about it) and rinse well.

 Ingredients:

1 tsp olive oil
1 sweet onion (vidalia), chopped
1 cup grated carrot (approx. 3)
2 tsp minced garlic
1 packed ground turkey (or chicken, or tofu)
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp EACH cumin and oregano

1 tsp ground coriander (optional)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)
6 roma tomatoes, diced (or a CAN! of diced tomatoes, no added salt)
2 cups mixed beans (dried, cooked or canned-gasp)
4 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups broth (chicken, vegetable, whatever)
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Saute onions in olive oil over medium heat.  Add carrots until soft.
Add meat, garlic and spices. Cook for one more minute.
Add tomatoes, paste, beans, stock and syrup. Bring to a simmer and leave for 20 minutes.
You can leave it longer…and it will only get better.
Add the salt and pepper and if you have some lying around, fresh parsley or cilantro.

Voila!  Delicious chili for the family.


The chili will turn from this…

  Into a a very hazy this…

And eventually it goes into your bowl only to be topped with even more deliciousness. What do we put on ours? 0% Greek yogurt, shredded old cheddar, hot sauce, avocado, corn, spinach…the list is endless. Or you can leave it naked, up to you! Make a chili bar! Let your kids put on their own toppings! What could be more fun? I mean really. Ok, maybe a sundae bar.
This recipe also freezes really well.  But if you forget to soak beans overnight, you’ll probably forget this is in the freezer too…so you should probably just portion it out and put it in the fridge.  It won’t last long anyway!
If you’re unfamiliar with how to soak and cook dried beans, this is an excellent and simple guide.
Enjoy-let me know what you think!