A friend posted some horoscope-like thing for babies born on October 6th – Shea’s birthday. Of course, I read it. It claims that Shea enjoys harmonious surroundings, has an artistic side that is very good with colors (fashion, interior design, etc.), and she may have a career building places for people to live, worship, and/or work. She will (supposedly) have a healthy and passionate, yet balanced personality. And perhaps most interestingly, “people born on this day tend to be ravishing cooks.” Huh!
I’ll cross my fingers.
Growing up, my mom fed us very “American” food. Some basic cooking, nothing crazy. Definitely some Hamburger Helper thrown in for good measure. I wasn’t raised on a lot of ethnic cuisine as I’m sure pizza nor Chinese take-out fit the bill. My brother was extremely picky in his early years and we ate a lot of Taco Bell as it was one of the few things he would eat. For MANY years, the boy would not touch tomatoes, lettuce, or onion…and I’m sure plenty of other things.
It was really being a dietitian and then getting married that lead me to the kitchen. What better time to experiment with cooking than when you have another mouth to feed and appreciate your efforts? Plus, home cooking can definitely offer a nutritional edge and lord knows I’ll take all the help I can get in that department!
Cooking just takes practice and the understanding of some basic concepts and techniques, which thankfully, were a part of my schooling to become a dietitian. I can’t say I’ve made homemade mayonnaise since that day in food lab my junior year, but it’s something I could do if Hellmann’s failed me.
But so much of the way we eat has to do with the food we were raised with. Some people think it’s so odd to serve chili over pasta, but that’s how I grew up eating it. I used to say my mom made the best chili and though I haven’t had it in years and she follows no specific recipe, it was always delicious…and always served over pasta.
When this recipe rolled in for the chili contest and I knew I could enjoy that little piece of my upbringing, I was thrilled. It did not disappoint with its meaty, beany, veg-heavy goodness. So many tomatoes, so much flavor. And my gosh does it make a lot to enjoy over and over again. Use a BIG pot for this one!
- 3½ lbs 93% lean ground beef
- 2 jalapenos, diced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4-5 stalks of celery, chopped
- ⅔ cup chili powder
- 2 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp onion powder
- 1 Tbsp cumin
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans medium chili beans
- 1 (28 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
- 1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
- 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (28 oz) can tomato sauce
- 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
- In a LARGE pot over medium heat, cook ground beef, breaking up with a wooden spoon until no longer pink. Add jalapenos, bell pepper, onions, celery, and garlic; cook for 5 minute or until vegetables get tender. Add chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, pepper, and salt; mix thoroughly.
- Add beans, diced tomatoes and petite diced tomatoes; stir. Add tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes; stir.
- Cover and cook on low for about 4-5 hours stirring every 15 minutes or so. If desired, serve over noodles and top with cheese, sour cream, and crackers.
- Sunday: Rotisserie chicken with Stuffing Cups
- Monday: a version of this Goat Cheese and Apple Chicken
- Tuesday: Chili Lime Chicken Tacos with Grilled Pineapple Salsa
- Wednesday: Nine Vegetable Hot and Sour Soup
- Thursday: leftovers