Friday, January 6, 2012

Whatever You Have Chili

Last week, when the babe and I were so sick, T stayed home one night from work to help out and possibly take us to the ER (we wound up going a few days later instead). His managers decided that they no longer needed his services, and because he was not yet rolled over to permanent from the staffing agency, we're between a rock and a hard place. Yay!

Anyway, I've been trying to stretch the food we already have in the house as long as I can, and buying only a few things like the meats to fill out a meal if necessary. Last night I used some chicken tenders, broccoli from the fridge, and a Pad Thai kit. Pretty good...but what about tonight? CHILI!

I already knew that I DID have dark red kidney beans, great northern beans, taco seasoning mix, and sour cream. I did NOT have meat, tomatoes, or Fritos. After a quick survey of our pantry and a run to the butcher (it's like a quarter mile, instead of the 4 miles to the grocery store), I came up with this recipe. Enjoy, and feel free to try it with variations you might have in your own pantry!

Chili Whatever
1 large can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed lightly
1 small can great northern beans, drained and rinsed lightly
1 pack taco seasoning
1 can tomato soup
30ish oz. V8 vegetable juice
Cheddar Cheese, shredded
Sour Cream

1. In a skillet, brown your ground meat with whatever seasonings you like to use. If you have fresh garlic and onion, USE IT. I used garlic powder, onion powder, seasoned salt, pepper, smoked paprika, cumin, and chipotle powder. Also brown the andouille sausage (I did this after, without adding spices since andouille can be a little spicy on it's own).
2. Combine meats, V8, tomato soup, taco seasoning and beans in the crock pot. Stir, and set to high (3+ hours) or low (6+ hours). You want the beans to be a little softer than when you first opened the cans, and to give the flavors time to meld. Stir occasionally.
3. Serve over Fritos, topped with cheese and sour cream.

It's always interesting to me to see what I can come up with using just food we already have here. It's neat to figure out what will/can work together. So far it's been successful.

What can you make with the food already stocked in your pantry?

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