What's for Dinner? Chili

The infamous question. Why is it so difficult to decide what to have for dinner each night? Is it because we don't enjoy the process of cooking, don't have inspiring choices, lack available materials? This is a conversation my husband and I have almost every evening. I ask, "What do you want for dinner?" His reply is, "I don't know, what do you want?" If I knew what I wanted, I wouldn't have asked him what he wanted. We find ourselves in a vicious circle. In part, after cooking for 35+ years, I may be a little burned out. All the cooking shows that have come on the scene in the last 10 years help in some respect but for the most part they usually require items I realize at the last minute I don't have or I can't acquire easily. It might be that since there are just the two of us, it is more difficult to cook in the appropriate potions. What ever the cause of the problem, it is a continual dilemma.

During this time of the year, it is a typical occurrence in Texas for it to be in the 70's one day and almost freezing the next. That is exactly the situation I find myself in today. Given the above scenario, I decided tonight's meal would be simple yet hearty. (Not to mention that today is my birthday...but we did go out to eat last night.) Tonight, this was the solution. Excellent served over half a baked potato.

Easy Chili
1 TBSP olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 lb. lean ground beef
4 C. kidney beans, cooked or if using canned, drained
2 C. stewed tomatoes
1/2 green pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
chili powder, to taste
Tabasco or Frank's Red Hot Original Sauce, to taste
jalapenos, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste

Over medium high temperature heat olive oil in a large dutch oven. Saute onion in oil for 2-3 minutes, add garlic and bell pepper. Continue cooking until vegetables are translucent and softened. Remove vegetables from the pan and set aside. Cook meat in the same pan until no longer pink. Remove excess grease from pan and add all other ingredients including sauteed vegetables. Combine well. Season to taste and simmer for 30 minutes or until chili reaches desired consistency. Stir frequently. If additional liquid is needed, add a little beef broth or tomato sauce. Serve over rice or on a baked potato.
ground turkey for ground beef
black or pinto beans for kidney
Rotele tomatoes for stewed tomatoes

Make your own additions or substitutions.


This is just the kind of recipe I love, especially on a raw, rainy Saturday. And chili just gets better and better if the leftovers linger for a few days.

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