Warming Roasted Vegetable Chili

Oh it was grand to see my Little Sis, her family and so many other relatives over the holidays.  I am very blessed in that all of my relatives like and prepare good food, so we very much enjoyed having others cook for us on our 11 day jaunt around the Mid-Atlantic!

We made it back to TN ahead of the Polar Vortex but with the temperature cold enough to make one think about warming foods like soup and chili.  All of my chili recipes include meat or a meat substitute (of which I am NOT a fan*), AND it is January after all and time to de-tox from the sugar and other excesses of the holidays…. so I made us a warm and spicy vegetable chili which is chunky and satisfying. Continue reading

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30 Minute Bean and Bulgur Chili

We finally made it through the fall crud.  This tenacious little virus swept its way through all four of us, Mr. Little Sis being the final victim.  I was long done with soup, but he still needed a little respiratory assistance.  Mr. Little Sis’ favorite form of respiratory assistance is spicy. And so, I whipped up some lunch (to avoid sharing with the ungrateful spicy-hating children) to give him a leg up. 30 minute bean and bulgur chili made a quick, spicy, and satisfying lunch for both of us.

Bean and bulgur you say? Those who’ve been playing along with us for a while will be familiar with the bean and bulgur combo, but if you’re new, check out this earlier post. The short version is that beans and bulgur together make a cheap, easy, and tasty substitute in a lot of recipes that traditionally use ground meat. I’ve found that making up a batch of bean and bulgur allows me to use it in a couple of dishes in the same week  with tasty and speedy results.  This chili was the second bean and bulgur dish of the week, after these burgers, so admittedly the 30 minutes does not include cooking the lentils and bulgur.  You could, however, use any bean and grain combo successfully – leftover rice and canned pintos? Great! This recipe is very forgiving and you should, as always, feel free to tweak according to your preferences and the ingredients you have on hand.

30 Minute Bean and Bulgur Chili

  • olive oil for the pot/panIMG_0323
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 c lentil/bulgur mixture
  • 1/4 t ground sage
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 can drained and rinsed black beans (or 1 1/2 c soaked and cooked)
  • 2 large cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t chipotle chili powder
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 1 t oregano

Warm olive oil in skillet over medium.  Add lentil bulgur mixture to skillet and LET IT SIT.  You are going for a little browning and crisping here.  If you stir too much, you will get neither. Check after you’ve given it a few minutes, add sage and 1/4 t salt to lentil/bulgur,  then stir/flip to brown the other sides. Warm olive oil in large pot.  Add chopped onions and saute until onions have softened and become a bit translucent.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add green peppers. When lentil/bulgur mix is browned to your liking, transfer to pot with onions/peppers. Add spices and diced tomatoes.  Stir to incorporate.  Bring to simmer and let cook to meld flavors, about 15-20 minutes.  30 minute bean and bulgur chili.  Done and delish!

IMG_0311 IMG_0313

Piccadillo – Cuban Chili with or without meat

This recipe is  beloved as you can see from the spatterings of tomato, sauteed onion, olive oil, brown sugar, smushed raisin, and olive juice decorating it.  I lost the piece of paper it is on (how about that a recipe on a piece of paper instead of on my kindle) and recently found it just where I’d left it! 🙂

The smushed and splattered ingredients sound interesting, don’t they?  My Sis-in-law introduced me to this recipe many moons ago and it was my go to recipe for guests.  It is ‘company good‘ as Little Sis would say.

Originally I made this with ground turkey, but I’m telling you that ground organic turkey costs about as much as caviar!  AND since we’re trying to eat less meat anyway… I thought I’d re-do the protein factor of this dish with my favorite legume – the humble lentil.  Lentils cook faster than many beans, do not need to be soaked overnight, do not overpower the flavors they join and are cheaper than a dozen new chicks.  Get it?  Cheep-er?  (My husband says if you have to explain it, it isn’t funny.  Ah well.. I amuse myself)

On to this yummy recipe that creates a fulcrum where interesting and tantalizing flavors meet in a beautiful balancing inter-dependent dance of delish.   Nuff said?  Too much said.

How’s about a picture?

This is what, in my opinion, along with the great spices, makes this dish so great:

Do you really need anything else? Shall we just eat now?

Picadillo (Adapted from a recipe given me by my Sis-in-law, from a friend of hers – tried to find it online and couldn’t find this one)

1 & 1/2 lbs. ground turkey
OR
3/4 cup lentils cooked in 2 cups of broth.  Boil water, add lentils, loser heat, simmer until soft.  Add a little more water if it disappears entirely, but don’t leave it soupy in the end.
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 large onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper of any color
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes undrained – or about 1.5 cups diced tomatoes if you have fresh.
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1/2 cup dry sherry
3/4 – 1 tsp ground cumin – I like things spicy, so all of these are higher than the original, but with a range for ya!
3/4 – 1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 -3/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
1 – 1.5 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup coarsely chopped stuffed green olives (In all my coarseness, I simply chop in half)
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds (I use whole almonds from Costco and also cut in half – WAY cheaper than slivered almonds.  I also do not toast out of laziness but it would probably make it even better to do this step)

If using turkey, brown in olive oil
If using lentils, cook them – allowing about 20 minutes for this – a great time to chop!


Add in to turkey (or start fresh with olive oil) onion, garlic and pepper and saute 3 – 5 minutes
Add lentils in to the saute pot, or the saute pot contents into the lentils
Add remaining ingredients and bring to a slow boil.
Simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, uncovered.

The lentils can thicken things up a bit, so if you need to, add a little more broth or water or more diced tomatoes with juice to reach the desired thickness.

I serve this with either rice or cornbread.  You don’t have to serve it with anything because it totally rocks to quote my 1 year old.

Any other entree dishes out there with raisins in them?