Thursday, January 8, 2009


Chili is a great Winter dish--warming, seasonal, and hearty. I made a vast batch of chili and shared half of it with my parents recently and here's how to do it yourself. 1st off, you should know that I belong to a Food Co-Op, specifically Good Foods Co-Op. From Good Foods website:

A Co-op is a different way to do business. Co-ops bring people together to own and control their enterprises and to meet their mutual needs. Regardless of the goods and services provided, the management structure used, or other details, all co-ops aim to meet their members' mutual needs.

A co-op is a member-owned, member-controlled business that operates for the mutual benefit of all members and according to common principles established for cooperatives. Although definitions of co-ops vary, they all contain the following elements:

  • Co-ops are owned and controlled by their primary users (shoppers).
  • Co-ops operate democratically.
  • Co-ops are businesses, not clubs or associations.
  • Co-ops adhere to internationally recognized principles of co-ops.

Good Foods Co-op is part of a larger, international community of cooperators-750,000 co-ops worldwide with 725 million members. We are credit unions, electric and farm co-ops, cable TV co-ops and health care co-ops, food and childcare co-ops-all consumer-owned businesses that have built a base of consumer trust. Cooperation works!

As a member, I can get all kinds of interesting foods (particularly a bizillion types of beans) and ethnic foods, as well as local and organic foods. When you can make a chili out of more than just kidney or pinto beans, you are helping to preserve the biodiversity of the planet by keeping these interesting beans in demand and you are broadening your nutritional resources for your own cellular growth, repair, and maintenance (you are what you eat). Anyway, I took 1/3 of a cup of ananazi, adzuki, black turtle, flagolets, and 2/3 a cup of dark red kidney beans.

I rinsed them in a hand held colandar.

I added 3 cups of water per 1 cup of beans and added two knorr vegetable bouillion cubes. Then I let them heat on low in the crock pot for most of the day.

In a separate skillet, I browned some turkey sausage and ground turkey breast (oops, way more expansive then plain ground turkey, $2 more in fact. I don't think that the ground breast, despite being lower in fat, is worth the price hike, especially since turkey is already a low-fat meat). I also sauteed some onions in a little bit of extra virgin olive oil (organic from the co-op) and some red wine that's been on the counter a while (its sort of between wine and vinegar, but it adds body to onions). I added the meat, the onions, one can of diced tomatoes, some red pepper flake, some Italian herbs (oregano, marjoram, rosemary, basil, thyme, all dried), and some taco seasoning to the slowly cooking beans once the beans were soft and ready to eat (but not over-cooked). I let it simmer on low in the crock pot a bit longer to marry the flavors. I then turned off the crock pot and let it cool before putting the contents into plastic containers (half for my parents, half for me and I froze four servings for me). I'm not entirely sure how many servings this officially made according to sites like Calorie King, but I divided it up into about 18 servings on my own.

Here's the first dish, with a bit of fat free sour cream and skim milk. It was (is, I still have three servings in the freezer) delicious.

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