Fall Means Chili

Well I don’t know about where you live, but here in Southern Ontario Fall has officially arrived.  Fall is my favourite season – bright colours on the trees; no danger of having to wear shorts; sleeping with the window open and snuggling under a warm comforter; flannel PJs (much to the horror of the people that I shared that on Instagram with); apple-scented everything; and most of all the food.  It’s time to break out the comfort food folks!  Warm soups, delicious pies, and one of my favourites – chili in the crock-pot.
My mom made chili every week when I was a kid, and it is one of the first recipes that I made sure to have in my arsenal when I moved in with Nerdguy.  She was happy to provide the recipe – likely in the hopes that the enormous quantity of beans might keep one of us sleeping on the couch.  I have made a few tweaks to the spices because we like it with a tiny bit more of a kick, added more peppers and onion, and I use beef instead of turkey, and I add corn, but otherwise this is her recipe.
NerdGrandma’s Chili
1lb ground beef, chicken or turkey
1/2 of an onion – diced
1 green pepper – diced
1 Tbsp of oil
Heat oil in a frying pan, and cook onions until transparent.  Add meat, and cook until browned, stirring continuously.  Add pepper and cook for a minute or two just to take some of the crunch out.  Drain mixture and add to a large crock pot.
Next add the following ingredients to the slow cooker:
1 small can tomato paste (5 1/2 oz)
1 large can diced tomatoes (28oz)
1 can red kidney beans (19oz) – drained and rinsed
1 can lentils (19oz) – drained and rinsed
2 cans chickpeas (19oz ea) – drained and rinsed
Frozen or canned corn – either a can of corn drained, or a cup or 2 of frozen corn
Stir everything together and add the following:
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
Ground pepper
A few drops of Tabasco (I do 5 or 6 shakes of the bottle, but used to use more before the kids started eating it)
5 tsp chili powder (I also used more than this before the kids and their “delicate” palates)
Stir everything together and then tuck 2 or 3 bay leaves into the mixture.  Remember where they are so you can fish them out before serving.
I cook it on low for 6 to 8 hours, but you could cook it on high for 3 or 4 hours.
I like to serve this with lots of shredded cheddar cheese and a couple of dollops of sour cream.  My mom always served chili with toast, but now we eat it with multigrain scoops, which make it fun for the kids to scoop up their dinner.

If you think my chili recipe sounds delicious, then you should check out the Canadian Lentils site for more delicious recipes.  They fed us lunch on day 2 of BlissDom, and it was so yummy – I could eat the soup we had every day, and I learned that I really enjoy sweet potatoes paired with lentils in the curried lentil dish.  Check out the website to find some pretty yummy sounding dishes.

What food do you enjoy eating in the Fall?  I just made a huge batch of applesauce tonight, and I am loving the smell of the season in the house.  Much better than the usual combination of feet and wet dog.  We don’t have a dog.

I was not sponsored to write this post, and I already loved lentils before BlissDom Canada, but I was fed a delicious lunch, and given a bag of Canadian Lentils to take home, that will be turned into soup any day now!

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