Chili is always a good freezer meal, one you either have cooked and vacuum-sealed and put in the freezer ready to defrost and reheat or one that you’ve prepped all the ingredients and then stored in the fridge or freezer and then pop it in the Crock-Pot before you leave for work one morning.
I have this recipe book and have made this chili a number of times. It’s probably my favorite because it’s low-fat and high protein…and inexpensive!
Organic is great if you can find it, buy if you can’t you can try substitutions or a brand you have researched that has come away from using GMO or excess refining in getting the foods to you. Always read the ingredients; don’t trust the name on the label. Growing your own food, you’ll always know what is added.
But I’m not a vegan, so I started with ground turkey…after rinsing the beans and chopping my veggies. I used my homemade taco seasoning which was as simple as looking at the ingredients on my favorite taco seasoning packet and comparing it to several taco seasoning recipes I found with an internet search. I put all the spices in the recommended proportions in one of these small dispensing jars (exciting find!) that is made by the same company as the common mason jars not worrying about the spices sticking together or those other ingredients that are used to preserve or keep the spices from clumping since we use this seasoning surprisingly often. It would dissolve and break apart in most recipes anyway.
I like to get a brown on my veggies as well as the meat before adding liquid to enhance the flavor of the end result, but it doesn’t always say to cook the veggies ahead of time in a recipe. If I have to brown the meat, I might as well toss the veggies in there after I’ve drained the fat; the veggies can soak up some of the flavor from the meat. I do it unless the recipe doesn’t list it AND I’m in a pinch for time. Both factors have to be in the equation for me. Then, adding the liquids help deglaze the pan getting all of that yumminess into the sauce.
*I entered the final product into the Chili Cook-off at my church one year and didn’t even place, but then again, chili doesn’t traditionally have beans in it!
Try it and tell me how it goes!