And if that wasn’t a colossal of a title, I am not sure how to impress you …
Yes. Meatless Mondays.
Not a huge deal for me – I spend a lot of days meatless at meals, since I can’t abide the beef/pork and chicken and fish gets boring eventually. But to the Love of my Life, Meatless Monday is not only an annoying alliteration that he dislikes – it also means, well, that there will be no meat. And that sucks … for him, anyway.
However, we do it. Why? Well, because I cook and I am the boss of the food in these parts. And also because slowly (very slowly) I have managed to turn him onto some veggie-friendly meals that actually make him look forward to meatless Mondays.
There are plenty of reasons a Meatless Monday is a good idea: sustainability-wise, we can’t really justify the farming (costs and practices) of farm animals for much longer without a reckoning; the price of meat is such that having a meatless night is actually good, economically speaking, for your finances; meatless means getting to try things that are not ordinary in a lot of cases so – yay! experiments!; and, let’s face it – a lot of us can sometimes make poor dietary choices and having a meatless Monday can point you in the direction of healthier eating, if you take it as such.
For us, I just like a day where I don’t have to prepare meat, and I think a day to focus on other proteins is a smart move.
Also – chilli. Need I say more?
So, with this chilli, you start with two cans of diced tomatoes, a little can of tomato paste, a couple Bay leaves, a white onion, two cloves of garlic, cumin and chilli powder, some jalapeno (this is a buyer beware thing – adjust your preference early on), salt, pepper, a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce and three cans of different types of beans. Also – poor yourself a glass of pinot to get in the mood. You’ll also want to pull out your slowcooker and a wooden spoon to mix it all together.
As you can probably guess – everything but the beans goes in the crockpot. Dice up that onion, peel and mince that garlic and de-can everything else, then drop it into the pot. Give it a little stir with a wooden spoon, put the top back on, and have it set for 4 hours on high. Then, go enjoy that pinot – maybe read a book? Or do what I did and fight the neverending fight with the internet router while threatening it with the very real possibility of being thrown out the window unless it behaves properly.
4 hours later …
Brilliant – the house smells like tomatoes, onion and garlic – like a warm pizzaeria!
Now you open the cans of beans and drain them, then pour them in, one after the other. Give it another stir with that wooden spoon of yours, and pop that lid back on. Leave it to warm itself for another 30 minutes or so.
At this point, you can pour yourself another glass of wine and shred some cheddar to go along with the chilli. I also popped a quick honey-cornbread into the oven for a bake. And danced around to some TLC, just ‘cuz. No Scrubs. guys. None.
30 minutes later …
Get out the dishes and spoons! Time for some chilli!
Seriously, it’s a hearty chilli with plenty of good consistencies and textures that can have browned ground meat added to it at the beginning, if you must, but is perfectly lovely as a 3-bean delight. We usually have some light sour cream and cheddar to top it (as well as extra jalapenos), though last night, we opted out of the sour cream and just went full on cheddar.
So, here’s the breakdown:
Hearty 3-Bean Chilli
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
small handful of jalapenos, or whatever you can take
1 white onion, chopped
2 clove garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
5 dashes or so of Worcestershire sauce
Chili powder, to taste
Cumin, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 cans of beans ( we had pinto, black and kidney), drained
1. Everything but the beans into the crock pot. Give it a stir!
2. Set to cook for 4 hours on High.
3. After finished, give it another stir and add beans. Stir again and leave for 30 min.
4. Serve with sour cream, cheddar and honey-cornbread. Enjoy!
What about it? Care to join the Meatless Monday movement?