Saturday, March 1, 2014

Kitchen Sink Veggie Chili

I'm really not planning on this being a recipe-heavy blog, but I had to get this one out before winter ends, and today we had one of those not-so-horrible winter days that reminds you that yes, spring will come eventually...

I make a big batch of this stuff a couple of times a month in the wintertime. I love it, and it's super healthy. I freeze some individual portions and I have lunch for days. I make it a little bit different each time, depending on what I have on hand, thus the name.

This is the very basic recipe along with a number of options that I mix and match - feel free to throw in your favorite spices, leftover veggies, meats (I like it as a veg dish but it certainly doesn't have to be), whatever. You really can't mess it up.  Make it up quickly to eat right away (it takes about half an hour), or in a crockpot before you leave for the day and come home to deliciousness.

2-5 cloves garlic, sliced
splash of olive oil
1 large can of tomatoes (crushed or diced)
1/2 can of corn (use the whole can if you like)
3 cans beans, rinsed and drained (literally any kind you like - I like garbanzo, kidney, black)
1 Tbs chili powder (or so - I never measure)
optional: 1/2 cup to 1 cup of kale (or spinach or any other veggie you like, fresh or frozen)
optional: the rest of that jar of salsa sitting in your fridge
optional: one package diced and pan-fried turkey sausage or cooked meat of choice
optional: up to 1 cup as needed for extra liquid if it's too thick (chicken or veggie; I use bullion)
optional: salt, pepper, other spices to taste (if you like spicy - add dried chili flakes)
optional: something starchy to serve it over; some of my favorites include: a baked/peeled sweet potato, quinoa, brown rice, and pasta.
optional: toppers: cheese, sour cream, greek yogurt, diced tomatoes, jalepeƱos, bacon bits

Lightly brown the garlic in olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan or pot. Add the tomatoes, beans, corn, and chili powder and any optional ingredients (except for the last two) you like. Simmer over medium heat until heated through. (Crockpot variation: brown the garlic in a frying pan and then put all of the ingredients in a crockpot at least long enough to get hot - you can hardly overcook it.) Serve over something starchy if you'd like, and top with cheese and/or other toppers, or just enjoy as is.

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