published: Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Chili for everyone!
There is something extremely satisfying about making a big pot of chili for your family on a cool day. I find it as enjoyable to make chili for dinner as I do sitting down and eating that chili. There's just something about putting all those simple ingredients of vegetables and spices together, in a combination you know your family will enjoy, and sitting down and eating it together.
Chili is extremely easy to make and whether you're vegan, celiac, paleo or an old-fashioned omnivore, you can make a pot of chili to suit your tastes and dietary needs. The only exception would be someone unable to eat nightshade foods because you really can't do chili without tomatoes.
I have added many chili recipes to my cookbooks so I am not going to list out all those separate recipes here, but with chili, once you get the hang of it you can really just experiment and play and make it your own.
Chili - the basics
There are some ingredients that are pretty standard in a pot of chili.
To name a few:
Ground meat (pork or beef)
Make it your own
If you're vegetarian, simply omit the meat and add more veggies. Celery, carrots and even sweet potatoes are nice in a vegetarian chili. You could also use one of those ground soy products if you wish.
If you're paleo, omit the beans. If you enjoy beans as part of your diet, toss in a variety.
Chickpeas, black beans and kidney beans are a nice combo for a hearty chili.
Some like it hot
Depending on how much you like heat, it's easy to make a chili to please you. Add minced jalapeño, extra chili powder, cayenne and even hot sauce. For a different flavor profile, try adding coriander, cumin and saffron.
I love adding avocado to my chili when I serve it. Other options would be cheese, a lime wedge, sour cream or plain yogurt to help cool it off. For a tailgate party, you may want to serve with corn chips.
I like to serve chili with cornbread and a great big fresh green salad.
How do you like your chili?
Leanne Ely is a New York Times bestselling author of 'Body Clutter' and the Saving Dinner series. The Dinner Diva syndicated newspaper column appears in 250 newspapers nationwide. Learn how to cook great and save significant money with the Dinner Diva;s menus, recipes and shopping lists at www.savingdinner.com.
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