I love Chili! All kinds of chilli, whether it’s vegan, non- vegan, slow cooked or fast food. For Olivia Thunderstorm Party, I tried to make several comfort food items. I made Chicken Noodle Soup and I made Chili.

Chilli to me is a full sensational experience in a bowl: the spices of cumin, garlic and Chilli seasoning warm you; the aromatics from beginning to end stages slowly build up your craving for it. The raw onions, garlic and peppers wake you up the minute you start cutting them up. Then when you hear it sizzling, and bubbling, you await the moment it is done cooking and ready for tasting. Then when you taste it, you feel comforted and happy, yet excited from the kick from the jalapeños!

The use of rainbow baby tomatoes were a happy “accident”, as were the use of pigeon peas and kidney beans. These were all I had at the moment, yet I wouldn’t make Chilli any other way after this batch. This Chilli is everything! It’s the type of Chilli that will be delicious, even if it were made vegan, as long as you use all the other same ingredients mentioned (minus the meat if you’re doing vegan). It’s satisfying like fast food Chilli, but I would assume healthier since you control the salt. Most of what I make is less salty and just made perfect by adding your own preference of salt and pepper to taste. There were a decent about of peppers and onions in there too.

All these happy little accidents is what make this Chilli so perfect! I prefer these to regular size tomatoes and just all red tomatoes because I think it imparts a flavor that is sweet and savory, but also Unami. Pick them up at Costco or your local farmers market and taste one on its own…Hopefully, you’ll see what I mean. The kids all love them just plain for snacking. They eat them like grapes!

The kidney and pigeon peas both have different flavors profiles and textures. When they’re combined it’s like a power flavor pair of beans. The kidney while a former bite and the pigeon peas that cook down more and makes the Chilli creamier.

Serve it over rice at the end or mix with cooked pasta. I love the vast selection of toppings that can make it fun for a party or for kids to have a say in the toppings they want for their bowl!

Here’s the Picture Walk

Ingredients

2-3 tsp cumin

1/2 or 1 onion diced

5-7garlic cloves minced

About a cup of baby tomatoes (rainbow cherry tomatoes are the best here)

1 jalapeño (leave it whole or have it de-seeded and minced- leave seeds if you like it super spicy )

1 red pepper diced

1 frying pepper diced

2-3tbsp Chilli seasoning

1/2tsp garlic powder (omit if you don’t have)

1-2 canned tomato sauce (Muir Organic is my favorite)

1 lb ground beef

1 can kidney beans (I always have this in bulk- dump in the juice from the can too)

1 can pigeon peas (another favorite bulk item-also dump the juice from this can in)

2-4 tbsp tomato paste (I used Cento tube)


Steps

1- Cook for 3-5 minutes all aromatics: onion, garlic , jalapeño, red pepper

2- Add in sliced baby tomatoes and mix.

3- Add ground beef, kidney and pigeon peas.

4- Add all the slices: cumin, salt and pepper to taste, chili and garlic powder.

5- Cook for about 5-7 minutes.

6- Add tomato sauce.

7- Bring all to a boil and simmer on medium/medium low between 45 minutes to hour.

*Note- To me, it doesn’t really matter which order the ingredients go in here- I haven’t cooked it in a crock pot yet, but I’m sure it’ll taste great too.

**Note-Add a few splashes of tobacco sauce to taste if you like it spicy.

***Note- Add optional toppings of sour cream, cheddar cheese, finely minced raw onions, cilantro (my friend had corn in her house with it).

What’s your favorite way to make Chilli? Do you have a secret ingredient that makes your Chilli the absolute best? Share below!


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