Saturday, October 11, 2008

Rethinking/Restocking My New Life and Yummy Chili

When I first was diagnosed with food allergies, I went home, I went to the kitchen, opened the door and critically surveyed our fridge. I quickly realized there was little there I could eat. Bread – gone; cheese – gone; milk – gone; sugar - gone.

I had no idea that my allergens are ingredients for many products that you wouldn’t think contained them. Canned tomato soup has gluten, rice mixes have dairy; I really needed to empty my pantry and start all over.

My first visit to the grocery store was equally shocking, I thought I could easily find and substitute other brands of products that I loved but realized that most of the center aisles of grocery stores had just become off-limits to me.

And so the journey began, reading each and every label to make sure there were no ingredients that contained allergens. The bad news, and to make matters worse, you couldn’t just do it once and know that food was safe, you had to do it EVERY TIME to make sure the manufacturer hadn’t changed the way the way the product was produced. The good news is once you have gone thru this process a few times you know how to navigate around the grocery store to find just what you need.

It is kind of fun to scan the shelves for new products because the market for these types of products is growing very rapidly, and the selection of products keeps increasing. Don’t fall into the trap of getting the same thing each time, I just found the best banana bread my husband and I could eat and hardly know the difference.

Now for the chili!

My great grandmother made this for us when the weather turned cool. The recipe calls for canned beans, I prefer to start with dried beans, but either way the recipe has got me nothing but raves, so enjoy!

Gram’s Famous Chili

Enough to feed an army! Party food you can share.

2½ pounds ground chuck
1 pound ground lean pork
4 cups tomatoes
4 cups pinto beans, canned
4 green peppers, diced
8 medium onions, chopped
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/3 cup chili powder
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1½ teaspoons ground black pepper
1½ teaspoons ground cumin

Put tomatoes and pinto beans in large stock pot and put aside.
In sauté pan on medium-high heat, add extra-virgin olive oil and sauté green peppers, onions, garlic and Italian flat leaf parsley (this may require you to break up into several pans, adding too much to one pan will steam the vegetables instead of sautéing). Add to stock pot.
In another sauté pan on medium-high heat, sauté ground chuck and pork (you may have to use multiple pans).
Add chili powder, Kosher salt, ground black pepper and ground cumin to meat and stir thoroughly.
Add meat to stock pot, stir well and simmer 1½ hours.

1 comment:

ClaireWilliams said...

Ok I did something wrond b/c when I made your chili-it didnt look like that.