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Monday, September 16, 2013

Frugal Chili

What a week!  Usually the week of my birthday the post office will deposit a card or two in my mail box.  But this Birthday the post office lost my Power Bill and my City Bill (Gas, Water, Trash) I paid with money orders last month. So you can imagine what I got from the Power Co.  and the City just went ahead and turned off my water...Happy Birthday to me. 
I spent the morning filling out paperwork to get my money back from Western Union...I wont see if for a month and I won't get the money back for 30 days UGH!  Now I have to come up with two months worth of  utility bills.

So after my craziness I rolled up my sleeves and did what anyone else would do...made Chili.

Chili is very frugal, you can make it last several days if you do it right. And I keep beans and Quorn (vegi meat) in the freezer. (beans are cheap and I buy several bags of Quorn when its on sale)  First I will share my recipe.  Then I will share how you can change it up.  Granted at the end of the week everyone will be sick of chili, but there bellies will be filled and the water will get turned back on.

Vegetarian Chili
1 Large onion, diced very small
3 cloves of garlic
2 stalks of celery
1 green pepper
1 cup dried kidney beans (soak and pre cook save the juice from cooking them)
2 T Olive Oil
2 cups crushed tomatoes with juice
1/3 cup T.V.P (Textured Vegetable Protein) this is optional just makes it thicker
1 Bag Quarn Grounds (health food section freezer)
2 T Braggs Liquid Amino's
3 Bay Leaves
1 t basil
1 t cumin
1 t chili powder
1/2 t cloves
Hot sauce to taste

Saute the vegetables in the olive oil.  Add everything else to the pot and bring to a boil.  Turn stove to medium-low and let simmer the whole day.
This truly is the best vegetarian chili I have ever had and it fools the meat eaters.

OK to make Chili frugal do not just scoop out a big ladle of it.  It wont go too far this way. You have to put it on or in something.

The first night I steam a big pot of rice, it go's in the bowl first.  Then you top it with enough chili to flavor the rice.  Then I set out the following items I usually have in the fridge.

Sour Cream
Shredded Coconut (this is very tasty)
Diced Tomatoes
Chopped Onion

The following meals can be made with the remaining chili

Chili-mac Made with Amy's Organic Mac and Cheese (just make the mac and stir in some of the chili)
Chili topped baked potatoes with a sprinkle of cheese
Nachos (offer sides as above)
Chili & Rice Burritos (just warm flour tortillas add the rice, chili and sides)
Taco salad made with chili instead of ground meat
Chili & Pasta

Frugal tips:  Buy cheese in blocks and set it out with the shredder so everyone has to shred their own cheese (they wont use as much).  I usually have all this stuff on hand, I buy it when its on sale and you can freeze Cheese and coconut. 

I hope this helps stretch your dollars...and gets you through the rough times.

1 comment:

Sue said...

Oh, what rotten luck. Not the kind of a birthday ANYONE would want.
Well, hope it all clears up for you. I hope you at least got some cake????