July 30, 2012

Summer Chili




Ingredients:
1 lb beef top round, cubed
2 medium zucchini, diced
1 onion, diced
30 oz canned diced tomatoes, drained
15 oz kidney beans, drained
3 jalapenos, diced
1 habanero, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup diced okra
1/2-1 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Spray a skillet with nonstick spray. Quickly saute the meat and raw vegetables until the meat is just barely cooked on all sides. Add to a 4 quart slow cooker. Stir. Add in the spices, tomatoes and beans. Stir to evenly combine. Cook on low 7-8 hrs and then high until ready to serve (up to 2 hours). Stir prior to serving.


My thoughts:
I love using the slow cooker in the summertime so I don't heat up the house with my cooking. One can't spend all their meals eating salad. This chili is a great way to use the best of the summer produce in a heartier way.

I used some seasonal, local ingredients (the zucchini, okra and peppers) in this one but still used canned tomatoes because 1. they work great in the slow cooker and 2. when fresh tomatoes taste this great, I'm eating them raw.

Note: if you leave out the meat and the Worcestershire sauce, this would make a lovely vegan chili. I just added the meat for a little extra protein and the Worcestershire sauce for a punch of umami.

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