As mentioned last week, I cooked up a pot of chili where I added a number of vegetables not known for residing in chili – at the risk of spending 3 hours tending a pot of food destined for the garbage pail.
It came out really good, so I decided to tempt fate twice and purposely try to overdo the veggies. Part of the purpose here is to try and get more vegetables in my diet – as of late, I’ve found myself going for the veggies less and less – a result more of my busy schedule and ‘eat-on-the-run’ lifestyle than a lack of affection for them.
Chili – if you happen to like the stuff – can be stored in the fridge for longer than many dishes, and freezes well. To make it a vector for vegetable-intake is an added bonus.
So last Friday on the way home, I decided to make a decidedly lopsided version of last week’s chili – using a ridiculous amount of eggplant and zucchini – two veggies that just happened to find their way into last week’s recipe simply because they were lying around.
I searched the Web and found exactly ONE eggplant and zucchini chili recipe – now there’s two.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 yellow onions quartered
- 2 large eggplant, with skin on, diced
- 4 medium zucchini, diced
- 8 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground red pepper (forgot the chilies and due to the volume, I thought I could get away with it)
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1-2 teaspoons ‘Better Than Bullion’
- 1 (28 ounce) can pureed tomatoes
In a large pot, drizzle olive oil over the sides and bottom. I browned the beef in the pot with a little salt while I cut up the veggies. It didn’t ‘brown’, exactly, but it was cooked.
Next I put in the vegetables. I cooked this in a large soup pot, and it seemed the proportions were all wrong – the beef was about a one-inch layer at the bottom of the pot – with the rest of the 12-inch deep pot mostly filled with the vegetables.
I was concerned at this point that it was already ruined, but forged ahead anyway.
I put in the crushed tomatoes, then stressed a bit because it seemed to be too little liquid to cook down this pile of veggies. I searched the fridge and found an ancient jar of ‘Better than Bullion’ and used up maybe the last teaspoon with maybe 2/3rd cup of water.
I then threw in the spices and gave it a good stir, which was not easy.
I then left it on a high heat with the lid on, stirring occasionally, and the vegetables did come around and begin to soften, releasing their own water content and becoming more chili-like.
After maybe a half-hour, I turned the heat to low, and let it simmer for another hour.
I think this was even better than the first batch.
Now – there’s a limit as to how much of the same stuff anyone can eat before you reach the point where you never want to see it again. That’s got to come for me, but it hasn’t as yet. I ate it over the weekend, as well as for lunch all week – and talking about it now makes me crave a bowl for breakfast.