Ground Beef Chili over Stir-Fried Vegetables (Serves 6)
Dozens of people kept saying how much they loved Austin, Texas-based Melissa Joulwan’s chili. I was not quick to try it because my only adult, chili-experience was the canned stuff from Hormel. Finally I tried it and now I want “Mel’s Favorite Chili” all the time! What I am sharing here changes Mel’s recipe slightly to suit my tastes and laziness; I used one tablespoon of garlic powder instead of four cloves of fresh garlic and two teaspoons of salt instead of one. And I used chicken broth instead of beef because that is what I had opened in my refrigerator. And I changed the tomatoes a bit, but it’s pretty similar. Either way, this is good stuff that I hope you will try. Just remember: If you like it, give Melissa the credit. If you don’t like it, blame it on my changes.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 120 minutes
2 pounds of ground beef
2 sweet yellow onions
6-8 yellow squash
1 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes (fire-roasted Muir Glen tomatoes are fabulous)
1 6-ounce can of tomato paste
Low sodium chicken broth (Imagine Organic includes no sugar or soy)
Extra virgin olive oil
Chop onion into bite-sized pieces. Add one to two tablespoons of olive oil to a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and let cook until soft, stirring occasionally. Add meat. Stir with a wood spoon or spatula until browned evenly and in small crumbles. Mix spices in a small bowl – 1 tablespoon of garlic powder, 2 tablespoons of chili powder, 2 tablespoons of ground cumin, 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, 1 teaspoon of allspice, 2 teaspoons of salt. Add spices to the pot and mix everything well. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste and a few ounces of chicken (or beef) broth. Stir well and bring pot to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 2 hours. About 15 minutes before the chili finishes cooking, Chop zucchini and squash into bite-sized pieces. Add one to two tablespoons of olive oil to a wok over medium heat. Add vegetables and a light dusting of salt and garlic powder. Stir ingredients well, cover, and let cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a splash of water to the wok if vegetables become too dry. When everything is done, arrange a bed of vegetables on a plate, ladle chili over the vegetables, and eat!
Note: As soon as I finished this batch of chili, I made it again with mock tender steak in a pressure cooker. And I just bought ground turkey to make chili a third time. More recipes are coming!
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