Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Nanny's Chili

{Now that we're on a plant-strong, vegan diet, I replace the ground turkey with TVP granules}

Growing up, we always ate very healthy. So much so that I had to make up for lost time at my friend's houses when we'd have sleepovers. Chips and dip at midnight? Yes please! Reese's Puff Cereal for breakfast? Of course! Not that my parents forbid us from eating junk, they just tended not to buy it. Jack or Moses will be lamenting this same thing later in life because naturally, I'm a healthy or go home kind of parent myself. Come one come all for organic, all natural snacks. But woe betide you if you offer my child something with high fructose corn syrup or partially hydrogenated oils in it. However, I won't make them eat brussel sprouts like my mother did. No matter how many times she'd say, "They taste good!" it never resulted in my taste buds changing their minds. I still don't get why we were made to eat them. Ok sure, they're packed with vitamins or something. But so is a gummy vitamin that tastes like candy, so give me that instead and we'll call it even.

Brussel sprouts aside, I loved and still love my mom's cooking. One of my favorite dishes is her chili recipe which is healthy but hearty. I'm pretty sure it's won awards (at the chili cook-off at my parent's church). I'm probably the only one in the family that makes it now, since everyone else is making a veggie chili recipe I introduced them to when I was vegetarian. The last time I used that recipe was when we were first married and I made a giant batch. We ate it for dinner one night and then I gave it to Tim in his lunches for the rest of the week. Seriously. Poor guy. He can't take a bite of that chili now without gagging. I think its the sweet potato.

Anyways, back to the real chili. So it's my mom's recipe but I'm calling it Nanny's Chili because it sounds better than "Mom's Chili" which sounds gross, no? In our family, we call the grandmothers "Nanny" - I think it must be a Canadian thing. So naturally, my mom is Nanny to the grandkids. Unless you're Jack in which case you're "Neena" formally known as "Nee."

1 lb lean ground beef or turkey (for vegan, use TVP)
1 red pepper
1-2 onions
2 garlic cloves
3 TBSP olive oil (for plant strong, just use water or broth)
28 oz can diced tomatoes
15 oz can tomato sauce
15 oz can kidney beans
2 TBSP chili powder + 1/2 TSP black pepper (if you like your chili on the spicier side, double this)
2 TBSP paprika
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp salt (or to taste)

Dice red pepper, onions and garlic cloves

Brown the meat. 

Saute the onions, pepper and garlic in olive oil until tender and brown.
Add to meat.

Add tomato sauce and diced tomatoes.

Rinse the beans.

Mash about half of them.

Tend to your child who has been crying the whole time.

Once child is calm, add your spices and stir.

Let simmer on low for 1-2 hours.

Serve with crusty bread. 


  1. Lauren...this was awesome and YES I will make it as we LOVE chili in this house! the visuals were great too :))) miss and love you friend!

  2. Hi Lauren!
    It's wonderful to find this blog out there. Michelle & I really miss you & Tim. We've hardly been able to meet Jack & Moses, too. And we're moving to Buffalo at the end of the month to top it off. But thanks for sharing this wonderful window into your life.

  3. Making this recipe tonight for Lydia's 3rd birthday party tomorrow. I'm making it in my slow cooker so I'll have to see how long it takes to cook. I'm making it will sweet potato instead of red pepper. I might add some mushrooms. Oh, and I added black beans and chick peas instead of tvp, to add some meatiness.

  4. Oh, and I love, love, love how you adding in Moses crying. It makes me feel better...like I'm not the only one that lets my baby cry in order to complete a job:).


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