Chili. It's What's for Dinner.
Years ago, a friend said to me that he wished figuring out what to eat wasn’t such a challenge. He didn’t like to cook. He didn’t love always grabbing something from the closest chain restaurant that caught his attention on a particular day. And because of that, he barely liked to eat. For him, eating was a chore that he could do without. Well, that is of course if he could do without it and still live a long, active life.
Unfortunately, so many people feel that way. And, after spending the day hard at work, figuring out what to eat for dinner, especially when you’re trying to eat relatively healthy, can be one chore that is tossed right on out the window!
I had one of those days this week. As I made my way home from the office, instead of focusing on the radio show playing in the background (yes, I’m that chick that listens to talk radio), I was trying to figure out what we’d eat for dinner. I had a headache and was tired so it had to be something quick and easy. As I browsed the mental picture of what I had in the pantry it came to me!
CHILI! That’s it. Chili is easy! And fast…I think!
While I don’t typically have canned or boxed anything, I did have a can of black beans and crushed, fire-roasted tomatoes (try to think organic and BPA-free lining). There was an open beer in the fridge from fajitas made a few days before (beer lovers, please don’t judge) and some jalapeños left from the salsa that went with those fajitas. The organic bell peppers were on sale this week so I had tons (I WIN!). I also had carrots (hadn’t used carrots in chili before but thought I’d try) and onion. Oh! I also has a vegetarian bullion cube and fresh garlic.
I honestly didn’t know WHAT was going to come of this mix of items as I had never made black bean chili before, but was ready to give it a try.
Veggies were chopped and sautéed. Tomatoes and black beans were added to the mix along with salt, pepper and a little water. Something was missing!
DUH!!! I forgot the flavorings that make a pot of chili an actual pot of chili! BUT, thank God my memory isn’t completely shot! Cumin, cayenne, Worcestershire, smoked paprika.
MAGIC!!! In about 45 minutes (chopping, sautéing and all) dinner was ready to be served. And that picky eater in the house went back for seconds! Seconds of a meatless meal? I WIN!!!
Sometimes, when we’re trying to figure out how to make a meal happen without spending eons slinging pans, allow yourself to get a little creative with the things you may have already on hand. You may not know how it’s going to turn out, but that’s ok. The important thing is always the effort and love you put into creating a nourishing meal for yourself and/or the ones you love.
NOTE: Wondering what gave good flavor with only a little time? Worcestershire sauce is magic. And smoked paprika is one of my new best friends.