So how many of you East Coasters out there had a snow day today?!?
I wish I could say the same. I was up extraaaaa early to make sure Johnny and I had enough time to scrape all of the ice and snow off the car and get to work on time. The roads weren’t too shabby this morning, though. Especially compared to last night! Yikes! Our usual 40 minutes commute took an additional hour. It was insane. I’ve been living in Central PA for almost four years now and they just never seem prepared for snow.
Oh well, ya know what I do when it snows?
Make cozy foods.
Like chili! And oatmeal!!
I don’t know how you feel about chili, but I effing love it.
Beef Chili. Chicken Chili. Turkey Chili. Green Chili. White Chili. Bean Chili. On a train. In the rain. You name it, I love it. It’s definitely up there as one of my most favorite foods of all time. One of the many delicious reasons I love chili so much is all of the fun ways you can serve it!! You can top it with cheese, cilantro, red onions, green onions, tortilla chips, sour cream (if you’re into that sort of thing), with cornbread, over rice, over spaghetti (Cincinnati style), on a baked potato, on french fries – the options are endless!! I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that I just love any food that I can customize and play with! On any given day I can mix up whatever pot of chili I’m feeling like and I can top it with whatever I have on hand and it’s like a party! But ya know…with just me…and chili….which sounds kind of lame but I swear is actually really exciting!
Johnny enjoys chili…but not the same way I do. He thinks that I make too many “southwestern” inspired dishes. Boooooooo!! Chili powder, garlic, cumin, cayenne, chipotle. I go through these spices faster than anything else in my pantry. I can’t help myself. I’m so drawn to the smokey/spicy/sweet combination that so many southwestern dishes offer and chili is no exception and the best by far! I have tried many-a-different version of chili. This, of all my recipes, is my favorite. It’s not too complicated to make and the it’s the perfect combination of lean ground beef and beans with a hearty portion of peppers and onions, too. It’s even more appropriate for me these days (meaning “being pregnant” days) since it’s super important to make sure I’m getting enough iron and fiber – which this recipe is chock full of thanks to the beef and bean combo!! Johnny describes my chili as “weird – it’s spicy and sweet all at the same time!” Well, my love, that’s exactly what I was going for! Here is the recipe!!
My Favorite Chili Recipe Ever
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 can of tomato paste
- 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can of pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 chipotle in adobo, minced (plus 1 tablespoon of the adobo the chipotles come in)
- 3 heaping tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon oregano
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- Salt to taste
- Optional Garnishes: Cilantro, Scallions, Avocado, Lime, Cheese, Sour Cream, Red Onion, Tortilla Chips
Begin by heating 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large pot over high heat. Add the peppers and onion and let them cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. They will start to char in some places from the high heat and this is exactly what you want!! Add the beef and garlic and continue to cook until the beef is brown. (If your using a less lean beef, you may want to stop and drain off some of the fat).
When the beef is brown, lower the heat and add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste to the pot. Make sure you scrape the bottom of the pan with your spoon or spatula to get up all of the good stuff from the bottom! Fill the crushed tomato can halfway with water, swirl it around to get out any extra tomato hanging out on the sides of the can, and add it to the pot. Add all off the spices and stir well to combine. Add the beans, stir, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour (or as long as you can patiently wait before digging in!).
Serve with whatever topping you like!
This time around I had cheese, avocado, red onion, and some tortilla chips for scooping….and it was perfection.
Now did I mention something about oatmeal up there before? I seem to have gotten particularly excited about chili. Oh well! I love to enjoy a cozy bowl of oatmeal from time to time. Sometimes, though, I just don’t feel like standing over a pot in the morning to make myself a cozy bowl. The instant stuff just doesn’t do it for me anymore these days. I had some suuuuper ripe (like I had to use them up before the turned to mush) pears on hand this week and I whipped up a quick, healthy, and easy baked pear oatmeal for breakfast! If your New Year’s resolution is to watch you waistline this is a hearty recipe that will definitely tide you over until lunch (unless, maybe, you’re pregnant and find you’re eating everything in site…then you may want to have some clementines on hand to munch on the side…or maybe that’s just me…) Here is the recipe!
Baked Pear Oatmeal
- 2 1/4 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/4 cup reduced fat vanilla soy milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 4 ripe pears, peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the soy milk, eggs, extracts, brown sugar, and maple syrup. When the mixture is combined, add the pears and whisk gently to combine.
Add the soy milk mixture to the oat mixture and mix well until everything is combined.
Pour the mixture into a baking dish sprayed with a little nonstick spray. Bake at 375 for thirty minutes or until golden.
Serve immediately! (Or, let cool completely before slicing and placing the squares into individual baggies and freeze! Reheat in the microwave for 2 minutes or until warm through!)