Garden Chili with Corn Muffins

A hearty bowl of chili is the perfect comfort food to keep us warm and cozy this fall.  This healthy recipe is packed with fresh garden vegetables, protein, and a surprising pinch of cinnamon to boost the flavors of fall. If you’re a vegetarian, you have plenty of options – the beef can seamlessly be substituted with mushrooms, quinoa, butternut squash, or even sweet potatoes.  The beauty of chili is the ability to experiment with your favorite ingredients and to make plenty of leftovers.  This one has developed into a fall staple in my house.

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Chili Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups yellow onions, chopped
2 tbsp garlic, minced
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 green bell peppers, seeded and diced
2 orange bell peppers, seeded and diced
2 poblano peppers, seeded and diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
2 pounds grass-fed ground beef
2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
1 cups chicken stock (homemade preferred)
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 (15-ounce)  cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups sweet corn
2 tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Garnish: fresh cilantro, chopped jalapeno, minced onion, white cheddar, sour cream, tortilla chips

Instructions

  • Saute the onions and garlic with the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat until translucent – about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Add the ground beef and season with 1 tbsp of salt and cook just until browned. Drain any excess fat.
  • Stir in the chili powder, coriander, cumin, paprika, and cinnamon and saute for 2 minutes.
  • Add the chopped red, green and orange bell peppers, poblano peppers, jalapeno and the additional tbsp of salt and 1 tsp of black pepper and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and simmer for 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in the three varieties of beans and corn. Simmer for an additional 20 minutes, with the lid of the pot partially covered.
  • Season any additional desired salt and pepper, to taste.

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Yield: 12 Servings (I recommend freezing individual portions for up to three months since this recipe makes a very large amount of chili).

Corn Muffin Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup medium cornmeal
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 pound unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 extra-large eggs

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line one 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the milk, melted butter, and eggs.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently stir until they are just blended. Lumpy batter is normal.
  • Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and bake for 30 minutes (until a toothpick comes out clean from the center).
  • Cool for 5 minutes and remove from pan. Enjoy!
  • For a different twist on these muffins, you can add to the batter diced jalapenos, cheddar, whole sweet corn, or anything else you desire.

Yield: 12 muffins

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