The Meal Planner


I'm all about chili. I love it so much. Especially on a blizzardy April day like today, it warms the toes. I like a good full bodied chili, with a bit of spice. Not so much that my mouth is on fire, but just enough to be tasty and warm. I'm really picky about my chili, so I have to toot my own horn and say that my chili is THE best. Yep. It is. Especially with my Cornbread Muffins. They balance each other so perfectly.

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Serves about 6

1 lb ground beef
1/2 diced onion
2 stalks of celery, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can of mushrooms or 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
2 cans red kidney beans
1 can black beans (or whatever kind of beans you like)
1 can tomato paste
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp VE Poco Picante Salsa Spice (Medium) or crushed red chilies or diced jalapeno pepper
1/2 cup frozen corn
Salt and Pepper

In a big pot, turn the heat to medium-high, and throw in your ground beef. While the beef is browning, start chopping up your celery, onion, and garlic.

Let the beef cook for a couple of minutes, and then add the chopped veggies. Add a can of sliced mushrooms or slice fresh mushrooms and add to the beef and veggie mixture. Continue until the beef is brown, and the veggies are soft. Season well with salt and pepper.


I'm all about bean-y chili. There's nothing worse than a chili where you can literally count how many beans are in there on one hand. I use THREE cans of beans. You can mix and match 'em too: sometimes I add a can of beans in tomato sauce or pork and beans, pinto beans, or even chick peas. Today I used 2 cans of red kidney beans, and black beans.


Add the can of diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Also add the cumin and chili powder. And here's my secret ingredient:
It's by a company called Victorian Selections and it is actually a Poco Picante Salsa Mix. It's got a great combination of dried peppers, onions, spices and sugar. Mmm...it gives the chili great flavor and a nice kick.

Once you stir this in, turn your heat down to low. Let this big ol' pot of goodness sit and simmer for at least an hour. It sounds like a long time, but making it is minimal effort and you can also make it ahead of time. It's one of those dishes where you can make it, store it, and heat it up later and it tastes just as good or better than when you first made it.

Okay...so the last ten minutes of cooking I stir in some frozen corn. Corn takes this chili from good to stellar. It really does. I love getting little bits of corn in each bite; you get these little bursts of sweetness in your mouth. Perfect.

*Adapted to the Slow Cooker:
I just made this for the first time in my slow cooker and it was super easy. Just brown all the meat and veggies in a frying pan, then add to the slow cooker. Add all the beans, tomatoes, tomato paste and spices and turn on high for 4-5 hours or low 6-8 hours. I did this prep work the night before and stored the crock in the fridge overnight. In the morning I just put the crock on the counter while I got ready so it could come up to room temperature and then I turned it on to cook. When you get home, or a few minutes before eating, stir in the frozen corn.


Click here for printable version of Kin's Kickass Chili

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THE RESULTS?
I love my chili, I really do. It's the perfect balance for me. And you seriously CANNOT make this chili without also making my Cornbread Muffins. I mean you could, but they are such a perfect match that you'd be missing out on a flavor party in your mouth. The rich spicy chili is balanced perfectly with these sweet buttery muffins. Have I convinced you yet?

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6 Responses
  1. Mrs. Querido Says:

    Oh yeah, homemade goodness is cornbread and chili! I love making chili in the crockpot...it is sooo easy and sooo yummy! And, like you, I prefer to put corn in mine...you're so right it does make the meal!


  2. I know it just isn't the same without corn. I like the bursts of sweetness that I get in my mouth against the richness of all the other ingredients.


  3. Kelly Says:

    LOVE that you use Epicure!! I have been a lurker on your blog for a little while and love the recipes & ideas! I have found that Epicure products give a lot of my food awesome flavour without all the salt & MSG that other spice blends can add. Thanks for everything, keep it coming!


  4. Glad to hear you have de-lurked :)

    I too love Epicure. I haven't bought any of the spices myself, but I always seem to receive them as gifts from my Dad. The great thing about them is how versatile they are....not only have I used Poco Picante Salsa spice for my chili but I sometimes like to add a pinch of it to my guacamole and refried beans. I just polished off my Poco Picante Salsa spice and my husband was like "You better order some more of that!!"


  5. Kelly Says:

    If you like Poco Picante for Gauc & beans you may also like their Gaucamole dip mix and Pueblo bean dip mix. I have tried them all and LOVE them. The Pueblo bean is great in soups (taco soup) and chili's. I did try their Tzaziki dip mix when I made your greek gyros but did not like the tzaziki at all. I think it was the first thing of theirs I've tried & didn't like. Their stuff is awesome.


  6. Awesome thanks for the suggestions. The Pueblo Bean dip sounds really good...and I'll keep in mind to steer clear of the Tzaziki ;)