Chili: Three Tips for the Meal That Keeps on Giving

Friday, February 8, 2013

Chili with Brown RiceThough I hadn’t been planning on it, all of the food media and then my own post ruminating on Super Bowl favorites finally got to me, and I simply had to make chili this past weekend. I took it up a notch with homemade cornbread, too, which I haven’t made in about five years. Ah, the power of suggestion, eh? Goodness knows I’ve written enough about chili, though, so today’s post is rather short, with just three tips and reminders pertaining to this dish and cooking in general. (See the original post for more instructions and ingredients.)

1. Get creative and make it your own! The reason I love making chili so much is because there’s always a different variation I employ based on my mood and ingredients on hand. The version here has a Southwestern slant with corn, black beans, and tomatillo salsa, for example. This week’s included kidney, pinto and black beans, but no corn. (Both employed texturized vegetable protein, a fabulous soy-based protein alternative that takes on the flavor, texture, and semblance of ground beef. Stop rolling your eyes and give it a shot some Meatless Monday.)

2. Stretch it out by serving with brown rice. Cooking can be pricey, and while chili is certainly economical, your dollar will go even further by serving it with a grain, like brown rice. (Remember: whole grains are far more nutritious than refined grains, and can be part of a healthy diet for most people.)

3. Make a big batch and use or freeze for another meal. Chili freezes beautifully, and making more for later is a time saver. This time around I didn’t freeze it myself because my freezer is jam-packed. Instead, we enjoyed chili for two separate dinners, shown above, and my husband enjoyed it twice for lunch.

With this weekend’s snow storm here in Boston, it’s actually the perfect time (again) to make chili, although I have Indian food on my mind, with more to come on that topic very soon.

What’s your favorite thing to cook on wintry weekends?

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Dr. P.K. Newby is a nutrition scientist, speaker, and author with expertise in all things food, farm to fork, whether preventing obesity and other chronic diseases through diet or teaching planet-conscious eating. As a health expert and food personality, she brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability to educate and inspire, helping people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time. Healthy Hedonism (TM) is her philosophy: Because healthy food shouldn’t suck.

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