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That Perfect Bowl of Chili

Let’s hear it for the polar vortex! Okay…how about let’s hear it for spring, bikinis, and pool parties. If you’re like me, you’re not a fan of the cold. It’s not that I don’t mind cooler weather, because honestly I like fall fashion more than spring, but there’s a difference between cold and COLD. And today was COOOLLLLLDDDDD.

If you’re like me or any other individual for that matter, you appreciate a hot soup or stew in the winter. Clearly I’ve been making a lot of soups/stews, which is customary for this time of year. And one of my favorite foods is without a doubt a good chili. Chili is great for football season, cold/flu season, its-cold-and-I’ve-had-a-bad-day-and-need-comfort  food season, and basically any other season.

I’ve been on the search for a while for an authentic chili that tastes rich and hearty, but is healthy and doesn’t use artificial ingredients or those fake ass flavoring packets (I really, really hate those). I’ve also noticed that chili is one of the few foods where you can really see how regionalism plays a role in American cuisine. Some like beans, some can’t stand them. Some serve it over spaghetti. Some serve it with rice, cheese, sour cream, raw onion, the list goes on. After a ton of experimenting and many a Sundays spent cooking chili and watching my beloved Deadskins, I think I finally mastered a great recipe. This recipe isn’t super fancy, and it sure doesn’t call for any special ingredients/spices that are often in my recipes. This is simply good cooking that anyone can accomplish.

chili edited

My Take on a Classic Bowl of Chili

Serves 4-6

1/2 pound each of ground turkey and ground beef (use any ground meat you like)

1 can diced tomatoes

1/2 small can tomato paste

1 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained drained

1 small onion, diced

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp paprika

1 Tsp garlic powder

1 Tsp cumin

2 Tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 jalapeno, diced (add more of less depending on how spicy you like it!)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Water as needed (use more of less depending on the consistency you like)


1.  Fry onion with oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. After 10 minutes, add garlic powder, paprika, cumin, cayenne, and jalapeno. Saute for about ten minutes until onion softens. Add 2 Tbsp of water if the onion starts to stick to the pan.

2. Add meat and brown, stirring vigorously to avoid lumps or unpleasant chunks of meat. Skim any fat off of the top of the meat once it’s cooked.

3. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and enough water to the consistency you like ( I usually use 1-2 cups). Add your beans. Bring to a boil.

4. Let the chili boil for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer quickly for about an hour. Enjoy with your favorite toppings.


Remember, it’s your chili! Think it’s too spicy? Don’t add the jalapeno! Think it’s missing something like acid or heat. Adjust your chili accordingly. Everyone seems to like chili their own way–hence all the recipes! So feel free to take this recipe and make it your own.





3 Comment

    1. Thank you! Yes, I agree adding cumin gives a really nice smokey flavor that’s missing in a lot of recipes. Hope you like it!

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