Saturday, February 19, 2011

Chili - à la Moi

I'm not much of a chili person. I think it's the meat. Yes, despite my cattle ranch upbringing I'm not really a fan of red meat. Now, a perfectly grilled New York steak every so often, I'll agree to, but hamburger really isn't my thing.

But - it was cool and rainy the other day and I had some quinoa I wanted to try and had seen somewhere in my interwebs travel a recipe for quinoa chili. At 6:20pm I sat down to look for it, knowing it would be a) easy to find and b) super fast to make. Premise b may or may not have been true, but premise a was definitely flawed - I coudn't find it. At 6:35pm I did find a suitable recipe, but it called for all kinds of cooking/simmering/stewing time that I didn't have. Dinner had to be ready by 7pm.* So I decided to make up my own with what I had available.

As it turns out, it was not only uber fast to whip up, but it was frankly the best chili I've made yet. Not that I've made it all that often, but this one I'll certainly be making again. Let me just get this down so I don't forget, eh?

1-2 Tblsp olive oil
1 oninon, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. diced carrot
1 zucchini, diced
1 tblsp chili powder
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1 can black beans, rinsed & drained
1 can kidney beans, rinsed & drained
1 tblsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1 1/2 tsp basil

Heat oil in skillet. Add onion and garlic, sauté until fragrant and golden. Add carrot; sauté another 3-4 min or until al dente. Add zucchini and chili powder; sauté another 2-3 mins. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans, oregano and basil. Stir and simmer 8-10 mins or until flavors are well blended. Serve with toppings like grated cheddar cheese, tortilla chips, diced green onions, sour cream, guacamole, etc.

*Yes, we eat dinner at 7pm. Call us late or call us European, but I just don't like to get dinner on the table any earlier unless it's some kind of extenuating circumstance (like a meeting or the desire for an extra-early bedtime). 7pm it is.

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