Chili

6 Nov

Like most toddlers Bella goes through serious food phases.  One week she eats anything and everything I put in front of her exclaiming “It’s sooooo yummy!” after every bite.  Other weeks it is mostly grapes, graham crackers and cheese.  I can almost always get her to eat rice and beans (she is part Caymanian, part Cuban.  I guess this should be no surprise).   Add some lean ground meat and a bunch of veggies and I can send her to bed knowing that she has eaten one well-rounded meal for the day.

Chili

This is the version that I made for Bella to eat so I take it pretty easy on the heat.  You can add fresh jalapeños or scotch bonnets if you have them.  Or dried chili powder or red pepper flakes if you don’t.  Add any or all to the meat while you are browning it.  Or you can do what we do and just douse the whole thing with Texas Pete or Grace’s Hot Sauce at the end.

1 pound of ground beef or turkey, (optional)

1 large yellow onion

2 stalks of celery

1/2 a large red bell pepper

1 tablespoon cumin

1 large can diced tomatoes

1 can tomato paste

1 can each, black beans, kidney beans and great northern beans, drained and rinsed.

1 lime, zest and juice

Saute the onion, red pepper and celery with olive oil, salt and paper, until tender.  Add the ground meat and brown, season with salt, pepper, lime zest, cumin and chili flakes.  Add beans, diced tomatoes and beans.  Add enough water to cover the vegetables and meat.  Turn the heat down to low and let simmer at least 45 minutes or all afternoon. Stir in lime juice.  Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.   Garnish with scallions, extra-sharp cheddar/queso fresco, lime wedges and hot sauce.  Enjoy!

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