Thursday, August 12, 2010

No Chop Chili

I try to almost always have the ingredients on hand for this easy chili recipe. With the exception of the ground beef, all the ingredients are kept in the cupboard.  This recipe is nearly as easy as opening up a can of chili, but much more healthful and tasty.  I call this "no chop" chili since no chopping is required. This recipe is based on a "knock off" recipe I received via e-mail and it is supposed to taste like the chili at Wendy's fast food restaurants.  I don't know how close the recipe really is, but after tweaking this recipe a bit, I've come up with a chili my husband and I really enjoy.  Again, I make this ahead and store it in the refrigerator for easy meals during the week.  Sometimes we heat up some chili in the microwave and then cook some "baked" potatoes in the microwave. We split the potatoes down the center lengthwise and then top with a scoop of chili.  For an extra treat, we put a wedge of Laughing Cow cheese on the potatoes before topping with chili.  I wonder how this recipe would be if one were to substitute Boca Soy Crumbles in place of beef?  I wonder if my husband will notice? Maybe I'll have to try that and let you know...  Here's the recipe.
No Chop Chili

1 pound ground beef (or maybe 1 package (12 ounce) Boca Ground Crumbles)
1 15−ounce can of dark red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
1 15−ounce can of pinto beans (drained and rinsed)
1 8−ounce can tomato sauce
1 14.5-ounce can of diced tomatoes, fire roasted if available (liquid included)
1/2 of a 4−ounce can of diced green chilies (with liquid), about 3 tablespoons *
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1  to 1 1/2 cups water (less if you desire thicker chili)

1. Brown the ground beef over medium heat, breaking into small pieces with the spatula.  While the beef browns, drain and rinse the beans; set aside.  Measure the spices into a small bowl; set aside.
2.  Drain the excess fat from the ground beef; return the cooked beef to the pot.  Add the spices to the beef, stir to combine, and cook an additional minute.
3. Add the beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, diced green chilies, and water. Stir to combine.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.  Cover and simmer for approximately 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Enjoy!

* So that nothing goes to waste, I freeze the leftover green chilies in a snack-sized zip-closure bag and use it in the next pot of chili.  I pop the "chilie-pop-sicle" right into the simmering pot of chili.

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