Monday, September 19, 2011

Chili and a Toddler

After having a very hot summer the cooler weather of the impending passage of seasons is finally upon us. This cooler weather has made me anxious to cook hearty soups, specifically chili, however my very picky 2 year old will not eat beans. She loves bean dip but if there is even the slightest resemblance of a bean she will pick out the bean and hand it to me while saying "here mommy" in her sweet little girl voice. Because I am no longer willing to run to the kitchen 3+ times per meal, to accommodate her palate, I only cook meals I know she will eat and if she decides she will not eat them she is offered yogurt or applesauce (she is only two). This has prevented me from serving chili to my family for a little over a year but not anymore. A few nights ago I stumbled upon a brilliant solution. I'm sure there are many, many mothers who have thought of this long before I have, but my epiphany only occurred last night. I simply mashed up the chili beans. You will find that mashed beans will significantly thicken your chili. Below you will find my quick chili recipe, add variations to suit your family. I served this with cornbread muffins and cheddar cheese.

Quick Chili with Mashed Chili Beans
1 package Store-bought Chili Seasoning or Homemade equivalent
1 pound Browned Ground Beef (I pre-brown and freeze mine 1 pound per freezer bag)
1 can Chili Beans, mashed (I mashed mine in my KitchenAid Mixer)
1 can Diced Tomatoes (14.5 oz)
2 cans Tomato Sauce (8 oz cans or equivalent)
approximately 1/4 cup water (more or less to desired consistency)

Cook covered on medium heat for 30-60 minutes on the stove top, stirring somewhat frequently.

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