Wednesday, June 19, 2013

That Good Old Chili

I find it rather ironic that a post on chili, complete with a recipe of this scrumptious dish, has to follow the earlier discussion on plant-based nutrition. But oh well... I EAT MEAT! And I am not going to apologize for it.

I started this morning at 7 am, first soaking the 13 Bean Soup Mix by Bob's Red Mill, and mixing the dough for a fresh loaf of multi-grain bread. I have been making my own bread ever since we bought the Breadman- a wonderful machine that, although a wee bit expensive, paid for itself in virtually no time! 

navy, black, pinto, baby limas, large limas, garbanzo, great northern, 

kidney beans, black-eyed, yellow split, green split peas and lentils

Bought this past weekend, elk patties were to be used in lieu of beef. Recently, Jon and I have been making a great effort to replace conventionally grown meat and fish with grass-fed, free-range or wild alternatives. The chicken breasts might be half the size of the regular store's and the price tags leave you cringing, but our health is infinitely more important. Besides, reducing the amount of meat in our diet (I am no oblivious to the fact that we consume more meat than needed for ultimate functioning) should very well justify pricier animal foods in our freezer.

Once the elk patties thawed out, I sauteed some onions and mushrooms in a frying pan, then added ground meat and cooked all for about 15 min. At the same time, I placed the beans in a pot with enough water to cover them and boiled the mass for 5 min, then reduced the heat to low. I sliced yellow and orange peppers and placed in a pot, together with meat, beans and a little bit of fresh garlic. 

Now, it is time to make some tomato sauce! Vitamix is great for preparing delicious home-made sauces, smoothies and even peanut butter. I used 3 ripe tomatoes, a clove of garlic, half the sweet red pepper,  some lemon juice and half a cup of ready canned tomato sauce to make the process of blending easier. 

Once completely liquefied, the tomato sauce goes in the pot to join other ingredients. Now, it is only a matter of letting everything simmer on low for 90 min or until the beans are soft. Once ready, serve the chili in a bowl with a pinch of grated white cheddar cheese and some cilantro (I ran out of the latter, so all you can see decorating my chili is cheese) and a slice of multi-grain bread.

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