It finally feels like fall around here! We have had temperatures in the 80’s here (still!) and today we finally had a 60 degree day. I was tired of having to run the a/c at the end of September!
One of my favorite fall recipes is chili. I’ve loved chili every since I was a kid. Chili is really a simple and nutritious meal you can make on a budget. I never make my chili the same, a lot of it just depends on what I have on hand, but usually my chili consists of the following:
- Hamburger (usually a pound if I’m making a big pot)
- Green Peppers
- Beans in some form (kidney, black, chili beans etc)
- Chili Powder
- Tomato Juice
- Tomato Paste
- Red Pepper Flakes
Optional items (if I have these items and need to get rid of them before they go bad) salsa, leftover taco meat, or black beans. I sometimes sneak in a jar of baby food (squash, carrots or sweet potatoes) for some extra and unnoticed vegetables.
I usually just pour these things in and adjust accordingly and it turns out fine. For some reason my chili today was a bit too watery. I left the lid off of the crockpot to see if it would simmer down, it did, but not enough. I didn’t want to drain off the juice because I liked the flavor so as I was dividing the leftovers up to freeze, I thought why don’t I just add extra beans when i unthaw this? That should help add a little more substance to the watery chili. I probably would have added the beans before hand, while it was still in the crockpot, but I made so much that it was simmering right near the top of the pot! If I added anything else it would have went over the edge!
I generally try to perk up my leftover chili and make a few different things so I don’t get tired of it. Some of my favorites are:
1. Chili cheese burrito – Drain juice off chili* and heat, put in soft taco shell and top with shredded cheese and onions. Microwave or put in the toaster oven until heated through and cheese is melted.
2. Nachos – Drain juice off chili* and heat, get a plate and put your favorite type of tortilla chips down. Next layer chili and shredded cheese, microwave until cheese is melted. Top with onions, black olives, salsa and any other toppings you like on nachos.
3. Chili Cheese Dog – Cook hotdogs and buns your favorite way. Top with heated chili and shredded cheese.
4. Baked Potatoes with Chili – Heat baking potatoes like you normally would, top with heated chili, onions and shredded cheese.
5. Chili Cheese Fries – (not the healthiest but oh so good!) Top your favorite microwave or oven baked french fries with leftover heated chili and shredded cheese. Yummy!
Most of these recipes are simple and can also be served pretty inexpensively. What is your favorite way to serve leftover chili? Please leave me a comment and let me know!
*You can always save the juice you drained of the chili and freeze it to use for your next batch of chili!