It's been about 2 weeks since I've had chili. That's a really really long time. For me at least. And I just got back from Florida, so I'm cold. And I have a sinus infection. And I'm cranky. The only solution? Chili.
I found a recipe online that looked tasty and I bought all the ingredients for it, but then when I went to go cook it, I couldn't find the recipe online. I searched high and low and slowly came to the realization that I was on my own. I found a recipe that had some good guidelines on Oh She Glows, but since I didn't have the same ingredients and in fact had a bunch of other things intended for the chili, I had to improvise.
We all know how well this turns out for me...
I started off with a bit of oil in my Dutch Oven (I always think of the middle school fart prank when I hear those pots called that...har har).
Then I added the following:
-half an onion
-4 garlic cloves
-1 Jalapeno pepper (with seeds)
-2 celery ribs chopped roughly
-4 carrots also chopped roughly (I might make them smaller next time)
-1 red pepper, chopped
-1 green pepper, chopped
At this point I cooked them on medium heat until they shrunk down a bit and most of the vegetables got soft. The carrots never really softened up even after like 10 minutes, so I moved on.
Then I added the following:
-1 can black beans (drained)
-1 can kidney beans (drained)
-1 can vegetarian refried beans
-1 28 ounce can diced tomates with juices
I put the heat down a little bit and started to season. I used most of the recommendations from Oh She Glows.
But I had to add my own flava, because I'm so SPICEY. So here's what I used:
-1 tbsp. cumin
-3 tbsp. chili powder
-pinch sea salt
-a chunky pinch of cayenne
-a couple shakes of Italian seasoning
-1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder (this is the key to chili, in my humble opinion)
-a squirt of ketchup
At this point, the chili was starting to taste mighty fine, but it was soupy. So, I had some leftover quinoa in my pantry and I decided, to hell with it, I'll get CRAZY and dump it in there. I probably dumped about 1/2 cup of the dry stuff into the chili. Then, I covered that bad boy and let it cook for about 30 minutes.
The end result: heavenly chili goodness.
This stuff was delish. And so thick that I had to lay down after eating a bowl. Quinoa really thickens things up, and to me, that is the essence of chili.
Here's another picture. I received some sage advice from Kaycee over at Vegan Machine and she told me to try taking pictures in natural light. I tried this, but I think that only works when there is actual natural light to be used. I took this picture at 5:30PM on a snowy day in my laundry room.
So, my dear friends. I think I have found two ingredients that make chili amazing: quinoa and cocoa powder. Any other magic tricks that make it SPECTACULAR???
My quest continues...