I grew up in Chicago. I always loved my mom’s spicy chili on brrrrrr-cold winter nights. This chili packed with veggies and served with a slice of warm, crusty bread was a family favorite. The winter months always stretched a little longer than I wanted in the Midwest so chili kept our insides warm.
My Italian mama spent lots of hours creating in the kitchen but I remember Sunday nights after church she usually served up quicker, easier meals. We needed time to get ready for the week ahead. This chili was easy to make and good to feed a crowd on a budget.
Even though I call California home today, I still have that longing at certain times of year for something with a little heat. My daughters are more sensitive to spicy than their mama. If I’m making this for the family, I use less cayenne pepper or cut it out altogether.
Another pairing I love is chili and cornbread. I created this cornbread recipe one night when I didn’t have much cornmeal left. It’s been a hit in my family ever since and my mom even has her fifth grade students make it each year when they are studying prairie life. I love the moist, honey tones. Serve it warm with a touch of organic butter as a side to the chili. I also like to serve it with our Tortilla Soup or Butternut Squash & Turkey Chili.
Is there a special meal that you ate growing up that speaks comfort to you? Please share in the comments about some of your faves. Join my email list to get recipes, encouragement and free resources delivered to your inbox!
Dorina’s Chili Pizazz
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, cut into 1-inch strips
1 yellow pepper, cut into 1-inch strips
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch strips
1 cup ground beef or turkey, browned
1 15 oz. can kidney beans
1 15-oz. can black beans
1 29-oz. can organic diced tomatoes (or fresh if in season)
1 15-oz. can organic tomato sauce
1 quart chicken broth
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes (optional if you like spicy)
2 teaspoons salt
2 bay leaves
1. Saute veggies in a large pot with olive oil.
2. Meanwhile, brown ground turkey in a frying pan and add to pot.
3. Add spices to veggie mix with tomatoes, sauce and chicken broth. Cook approx. 30 min.
4. Add beans and simmer additional 20 min.
5. Serve with warm bread or over rice.
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 cups unbleached, unbromated flour (or gluten-free flour)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup organic butter, melted
2 teaspoons (aluminum free) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (aluminum free) baking soda
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 by 8 square pan.
2. Beat eggs. Add remaining ingredients and mix in.
3. Pour in pan and bake approximately 30 minutes until golden brown on top.
4. Serve warm with honey and/or butter.