In the winter, I make a big pot of chili just about every month. (If you follow my blog or are a regular reader – THANK YOU!!!! – you know this.) Leftovers fill the freezer for lunches or suppers before choir on Wednesday nights. I’m happy to make chili for supper for friends with no apologies. I make vegetarian chili, turkey-lentil chili, Texas chili (no beans), Silver Palate chili, and Ina Garten chili. Last year I once or twice made Tuxedo Chili, a Food52 winner–simple, healthful, and quick (ground chicken/two colors of canned beans), but filling and yummy. Mostly it’s just Alyce chili–a bit or a lot different each time.
|Alyce’s Turkey-Lentil Crock pot Chili|
When soy beans came up this week as the power food for our blogging group, I didn’t immediately think chili. No. I kept picturing the salted and spiced soy beans I ate during rough menopause moments. (TMI) Or the veggie burgers I order if we go to the bar for supper. (The menu says, “You shouldn’t, but if you HAVE to.”) Once, a friend made spaghetti sauce with soy crumbles and insisted it tasted just the same as beef. (Not like beef, but it was ok.) Occasionally we’ll eat roasted edamame for a snack or starter. (A small portion is better for your digestion system–a word to the wise.) I thought of the soy milk I drank on a phase of vegan til 6 (like Mark Bittman.) I visited a thick tomato cream soup with soy milk. Nixxed that, too. I adore tofu stir fry or fried rice. Nah; I’ve done that. And, oddly enough, I grew up across the street from a huge field where soybeans were planted alternately with sod. (Soy bean crops are often used in this way to create healthier soil.) In other words, soybeans were an instant outdoor snack when I was a kid. Not anything like the tomatoes we snuck, salt shaker in hand. My memory is that we snarfed them up right out of the dried pods later in the summer and into fall. All of these thoughts futzed around, seemed lame, and led nowhere. Truth to tell, once in a while it appears there’s not much new under the sun food wise (not really true and new approaches are always appearing) and what’s a blogger to do when it’s so cold?
|This is my side yard and those tall, bent “trees” are my 100-year old lilacs.|
So——- I simply did what I wanted to do anyway, which was to make quick chili for dinner and have leftovers for a couple of days. Except I just added a little bit of great edamame, which are fresh green soybeans. Surely you could skip the chicken, add a couple of cups of zucchini and/or yellow squash and make a totally vegetarian chili that was full of protein if you’d like. Chili is, to say the least, forgiving. Try this:
three-bean chicken chili (with edamame)
- 2 1/2 – 3 pounds boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces, and salted/peppered*
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 3 each red and yellow bell peppers, 1/2-inch dice
- 2 large yellow onions, 1/2-inch dice
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 28-ounce cans chopped tomatoes
- 1 6-ounce can (about 5 tablespoons) tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped or 2 tablespoons dried
- 1 cup each red wine and water
- 1 tablespoon each: Dijon-style mustard and lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 15-ounce can each black and pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup shelled edamame (fresh green soybeans)**
- In a 10-12 quart stockpot, brown chicken in the oil in batches, removing to a large bowl. Set aside.
- Add peppers and onions to pot; cook, stirring 5-10 minutes until softened. Add garlic; cook one minute.
- Pour in tomatoes and stir in tomato paste; add spices. Pour in water, wine and stir in the mustard and lemon juice.
- Season with the salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add reserved chicken, beans, and edamame. Simmer 15 more minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Serve hot with any or all: tortilla chips, chopped onions, chopped avocado, plain yogurt, grated cheese and/or cornbread.
*If you cut your chicken when it’s still partially frozen, it’s much easier. Chicken thighs are luscious, often on sale, and are generally much cheaper than breasts. I think they make better soup or chili.
**Use thawed, frozen edamame if you can’t find fresh.
About Edamame–A Full Protein!
A 1/2-cup serving of shelled edamame contains only 100 calories, with 3 g of unsaturated fat and 8 g of protein. It also provides 4 g of fiber and is a good source of calcium, copper, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, thiamin, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K. Edamame doesn’t contain any cholesterol and has very little sodium.