I love working with food! That being said, I rarely follow recipes. While I do use them as guidelines for basic cooking, I prefer a more creative approach in the kitchen.
Once a week, right before my major grocery haul, I make some variation of soup, chili, stir-fry, or pasta to use up what’s left of the previous week’s produce. I love cooking this way. It’s fun and creative, and helps me cut down on food waste.
Today’s Ingredients Were:
2 cans kidney beans – drained and rinsed
1 small can tomato paste
1 summer squash
4 sweet potatoes
2 white onions
1 sweet Italian green pepper
3 cups chopped collard greens
14 cloves garlic (yes, 14… they had to be used so it’s a good thing I love garlic!)
Seasonings: Basil, Dill Weed, Oregano, Pepper
I started by finely dicing the summer squash and zucchini.
Next, I chopped the sweet potato, onion, and pepper. I made these pieces a little larger to provide texture to the chili. The smaller pieces create a ‘meaty’ base while the larger pieces give the chili that classic chunky quality.
I put these ingredients into my slow cooker, then folded in the kidney beans, minced garlic, and chopped collard greens.
Lastly, I mixed a small can of tomato paste with a cup of boiling water. This helps the tomato paste break down before putting it in the slow cooker, making it easier to melt into a thick broth for the veggies and beans.
I seasoned to taste using basil, oregano, dill weed, and pepper, and set the slow cooker on high for two hours, stirring occasionally and adding small amounts of water as needed to create the desired consistency.
After two hours, I turned the slow cooker to low and let it simmer for several more hours until the veggies were cooked through, stirring occasionally and adding more water when needed.
I love making chili because the leftovers are so versatile. They’re great over potatoes, with pasta, on bread, in burritos, or simply on their own.
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