Homemade Chili!

I’m always looking for ways to cook & eat healthier, so with this chili recipe, let me forewarn you that there’s a bit of prep work with the beans. I use dry beans from our storage to make this recipe; this past time of preparing it I used black-eyed peas & kidney beans. To get them the right texture for the chili, I put them in 4 quarts of cold water with a couple teaspoonful of salt to set for several hours (8+ is the recommendation, & overnight is probably best; just don’t exceed 24 hours!) This helps soften and break down the hard bean skin & even makes the skin  more likely to break off. Then, about an hour before I’m actually going to make the chili, I bring the water the beans have been soaking in, to a boil & then simmer the dry beans for 50-60 minutes, stirring sporadically. (Yes, it’s a little more work than just dumping cans of beans into the chili, but I prefer that the beans aren’t sodium-enriched, which is usually the case with canned beans, & therefore less healthy to consume.) I gathered most of these tips/ideas on beans from The America’s Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook, 2013.

Ingredients you’ll need to make my version of homemade chili:

1-1½  cups of kidney beans

½ cup of black-eyed peas

1 lb. of hamburger meat

1 can of diced tomatoes

1 (4 oz.) can of green chiles

1 packet of original chili flavoring (McCormick seasoning is my fav!)

**Baked potatoes (I prefer Russet)

Directions: 1) With the dry beans, drain them after the simmering phase and set aside to be combined in with the other chili ingredients. *2) Preheat the oven to 350° for the baked potatoes & then wrap the potatoes in tin foil. Rub vegetable oil & salt on the potato skin before putting in the oven to bake. (This makes them so much tastier, & you’ll get more of your household to eat baked potatoes with this trick!)  3) Brown the hamburger meat & add the chili flavoring/seasoning after draining the fat. 4)Simmer and stir the diced tomatoes and green chiles in a pot together. Add the browned hamburger meat to it & stir infrequently for about 10 minutes. Then serve it up on the baked potatoes or in a bowl; enjoy!

*This is an option for if you want to put the chili with or on something instead of eating it plain; it’s a very filling meal this way, though!*

-Katie

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