Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dark Days of Winter Week 9: Chili

{Dark Days One Pot Meal Challenge}

This week we had a challenge within a challenge--to make a one-pot meal with local ingredients.  I love soups or any meal that can be made in a slow cooker, and we've hit the part of winter where all I want is a hot bowl of soup anyway, so the timing was right for this.


Chili :
( servings)
- 1 pound ground beef (grass fed from Lamb's Quarter farm, a local, family run farm)
- 1 can black beans (an exception I listed in my original post; I wanted to reserve the right to use beans and legumes in my Challenge meals. Plus without beans this would just be meat soup)
- 1 large tomato (organic, local, and hydroponically grown)
- 1 cup bell peppers (harvested from my garden and frozen last summer)
- 1 large onion ( farmers' market)
- 2 cloves garlic (farmers' market)
- 2 cups of water
- 2 teaspoons of flour (exception to the local rules, and used to thicken the soup because we excluded cans of tomato sauce for the Challenge)
- Spices and seasonings to taste (cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper--all exceptions under the Challenge rules)

A hot, spicy bowl of chili is a good antidote to a cold winter night. Husband made this batch for the Dark Days One Pot Challenge, and he is the chili master. I'm not just saying that because I have to. ;)  (Seriously, he makes really good chili).  Because this was our local meal of the week, we left out the sour cream and cornbread that would normally accompany a bowl of chili, but it was good nonetheless. Actually sometimes I put a little guacamole on top of my chili to curb the heat. I can't handle spicy food.
Although I mentioned missing the guacamole, sour cream, and cornbread, I really don't mind not having them. This Challenge has certainly made me appreciate the foods that I often have to leave out when making my meals. It has also made me appreciate the fact that I have access to many ranchers and farms who produce grass-fed beef or pasture-raised chicken. The DC area has many farmers' markets and CSAs, and I've been finding many more local food resources than I thought, especially winter vegetables. I feel very fortunate, especially because my little kitchen garden doesn't produce enough veggies to get me through the winter.

 I also noted above that we left out cans of tomato sauce. I've never canned or preserved anything before, so I didn't have homemade home-grown sauce on hand. I wonder if I could learn to can? This may be a project for the coming summer.

6 comments:

  1. Looks good! I love chili! I put home-canned hot sauce in mine. You should learn to can. I tried it for the first time last year, and I've LOVED having all that 'fresh' stuff to eat this winter!

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  2. looks pretty good. We too have the slow cooker on the bubble right now.

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  3. Another slow cooker fan. Aren't they great?

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  4. I totally encourage you to bust out the canning equipment. Maybe there should be a Light Days of Summer Challenge where we all can and preserve what we can find locally and then eat it during the next Dark Days! If you can make a chili that looks this good, I promise you that canning will be easy-peasy!

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