I am still settling into the new cooking rhythm around our house, now that the hubby and I are trying to eat dinner with Nora most nights. Yesterday, I planned on making a batch of my crock pot veggie chili for dinner. Nap time is prime meal preparation time nowadays, but once it rolled around, I had gotten tied up in other projects.*
* Yeah, I really needed to start painting the master bedroom. We picked a color more than a month ago, and the paint has just been sitting in the garage, mocking me, since then.
So, I figured I’d pop in a Signing Time and let Nora watch it while I sliced and diced. She was cool with that for the first few minutes, but then she wanted me to come and sit with her (which I happily did while the onions sautéed for a little bit), and she didn’t want me to get up. Then the video was over, and I needed to rescue those onions, but it was nearly impossible with a toddler clamped to my leg. In case you couldn’t tell, she was feeling a little clingy.
In any case, I made it work, but by the time all was said and done, the chili was into the crock pot much later than I had planned, and with a little less prep. That’s okay — we’re flexible around here. I cranked the crock pot to high and hoped for the best.
As it turns out, the best is what I got! By the time dinner rolled around, the chili was perfect. I was so pleasantly surprised with the result that I just may never make it the old way again! Nora heartily approved, too.
Of course, there is no better way to enjoy a hearty bowl of chili on a brisk fall evening than with a nice cold beer.
I chose a Sierra Nevada Tumbler, their fall seasonal brew, and it was delicious. Next time, I may even substitute a beer for the water in this chili — I think that could lead to even more greatness!
Based on this recipe
2 onions, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 Tbs canola oil
1 large or 2-3 small sweet peppers, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
1-3 summer squash (depending on size), chopped
1 to 2 Tbs chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of refried black beans
1 10-oz can of fire-roasted tomatoes, with liquid
1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
salt to taste
In a large skillet over medium high heat, sauté the onion and garlic in the canola oil until soft and translucent. Add the chopped peppers, squash, chili powder, and cumin. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes.
Transfer to slow cooker. Add the beans, tomatoes, rice, and 2 cups of water. Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours. Season to taste with salt and serve warm topped with cheese and/or sour cream and with plenty of warm tortillas or tortilla chips alongside.