Saturday, October 29, 2011

Superhero Chili

Well, cold and flu season is officially upon us, and The Girl is the first of us to fall victim.  Late this past week, she started sounding froggy.  Then came the sniffles.  Soon after that, The Cough.  Which deserves capital letters, because The Girl has CVA–Cough Variant Asthma–the least dangerous and most annoying kind.  Basically, this means that once a garden-variety respiratory virus makes her start coughing, she literally doesn’t stop until asthma meds intervene on her behalf.

Meanwhile, the rest of us are trying to stay well.  My contribution to this project–other than the purchase of industrial-size containers of hand sanitizer, I mean–is the creation of Superhero Chili.

This recipe includes three varieties of bell peppers, the superheroes of the veggie world.  According to the CDC, a half-cup of diced red pepper contains 240% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin C; a half-cup of diced yellow or orange pepper contains 230%.  Green pepper, a more typical choice for chili, has 60% of the recommended daily value–respectable, but not as impressive as its colorful cousins.  Green, yellow, orange and red peppers are the same vegetable picked at different stages of ripeness, and allowing the peppers to mature increases their vitamin stores.

Add to these veggies a good dose of chili powder, cumin, and diced green chilies, with the intention of allowing the spices to open those stuffy nasal passages. The steam from the chili should help in this enterprise as well.

Although I used lean stew beef, you could easily substitute ground beef, if that’s what you have on hand.  Kidney beans add protein to strengthen your body for effective resistance to contagion.  Finally, tomatoes–another excellent source of Vitamin C–round out the germ-fighting team.

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Superhero Chili

Ingredients:

1 lb. stew beef or ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans diced tomatoes with green chilies
2 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 small yellow bell pepper, diced
1 small orange bell pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 T. chili powder
1 T. cumin

Directions:

In a large skillet, brown the beef with the minced garlic for two or three minutes. Transfer the browned beef to your slow-cooker.

Add the diced tomatoes and kidney beans, the diced peppers, and the onion to the slow cooker. Stir in the chili powder and cumin. Turn the slow-cooker to High and cover it with the lid.

Allow the chili to cook for 4 hours. Remove the lid for the last 30 minutes, to allow some of the liquid to evaporate. Serve topped with grated cheese, sour cream, guacamole, or crushed tortilla chips.

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