Chili is one of those comfort foods for some folks on chilly fall/winter evenings. It is simple to prepare and ingredients can vary greatly depending on your own likes/dislikes and what you have on hand! It is a great source of protein and fiber. I always keep a few packets of chili seasoning on hand. I also always have canned beans of some sort and canned crushed and diced tomatoes in the cupboard. All you need with those things is some ground meat. This could be ground beef, ground turkey, ground chicken or even ground venison (deer) or pork. It is all up to you and what you like or have on hand! I've even mixed beef and turkey or beef and venison depending on what was thawed and ready for use. The following is a simple, dump it together and simmer sort of recipe. The only real consideration is that if you are on a low sodium diet, this may be a bit high in sodium for you depending on the portion you eat.
ground meat (your choice--beef, turkey, chicken, pork, venison), 2 pounds
canned beans (your choice--kidney, pinto, chili, black, etc), 4 cans of about 15 ozs each
canned diced tomatoes, 2 cans of about 15 ozs each (could also use Rotel type chilies/tomatoes mix)
canned crushed tomatoes, 2 cans of about 15 ozs each
2 packets chili seasoning (2 mild OR 2 hot OR one of each--to your taste)
1/2 cup chopped onion, fresh or frozen (optional)
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper, fresh or frozen (optional)
Put ground meat in skillet. Add onions and peppers if you wish. Cook till meat is cooked completely, chopping into bits as you go. Drain away any grease/fat. (You may rinse if you normally do, but it is not required.) Put meat into soup pot. Open and pour in (do NOT drain or rinse) all canned items (tomatoes and beans). Add chili seasoning packets. Add just enough water to bring liquid level above other ingredients. Stir to mix well and bring to boil. Then, reduce heat and simmer for about an hour to allow flavors to meld. You can also put these ingredients into a slow cooker (crockpot) and allow to cook for several hours.
Note: For those who like their chili HOT and spicy--stir in some hot sauce and/or some red chili peppers!
Serving Suggestions--Chili always goes well with corn bread. Some like chili served over rice. Another suggestion is to sprinkle some shredded cheddar cheese into the top of a hot bowl of chili! A good side is a nice green salad.
Leftovers--Store what you can eat in a couple of days in the fridge. Any excess can be packaged in smaller portions and frozen for later use. I normally pour single servings into small baggies and then put all the small baggies into a larger freezer bag for protection from freezer burn. When I want chili, I can take out one small baggie, peel away the ziploc, and place the frozen chili in a bowl to microwave till hot.