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Every year on Halloween night, I make a big “cauldron” of chili, pour myself a drink and get ready.  Both Elizabeth and I live on streets in Nashville known for Halloween.  They come by the bus load (literally).  So, we prepare.  We spend insane amounts of money on candy, decorate the yard, and the entire family dresses up.

My cuties a couple years ago.

There is never anytime to cook dinner, and no pizza delivery car could ever make it to our house on Halloween night.  Chili is the answer and I think that is true in kitchens across America on Halloween night.  So, I’ve included some great and easy chili recipes today to get everyone excited for the upcoming fun and spooktacular weekend!

Graves Chili:

OK – I do have the perfect last name for Halloween, don’t I?

For my chili, I have to deal with the fact that my kids are not big on tomatoes and my husband cannot stand bell peppers.  They all love beans and rice, so both are included in this easy recipe.

  • 1 pound of 93%, hormone-free, ground beef.
  • 1 package fully cooked turkey sausage crumbles by Jimmy Dean.
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 large can Bush’s Chili Beans, do not drain
  • 1 can great northern beans, drained
  • 1 can mixed pinto and northern beans, drained.
  • 1 package frozen brown rice – no need to cook in microwave before adding.
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 can diced green chilies
  • 1 T Chili Powder
  • 1 cube Vegetable Bouillon by Knorr
  • 1 cup water
  • I always add some salsa.  A jar of your favorite.  If your fave is not very garlicky, add some garlic to the chili!
  • Salt to taste.

Cook first three ingredients in a skillet.  With such a low-fat beef, there is no need to drain.  Combine the rest of the ingredients and cook for about 20 minutes on a low simmer.   Add extra water or spices as you feel necessary.  The extra rice adds bulk that is lower in calorie but really filling.

The next two recipes feature three local food blogs.  Give yourself a few minutes to spend on each site and I promise that you will become avid fans of each!

Pumpkin Turkey Chili, posted on the Love and Olive Oil blog, which was adapted from Erin’s Food Files:

photo from Love & Olive Oil

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium sweet potato, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 pound ground turkey
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (14.5 ounce) can red kidney beans
2 cups (1 14.5 ounce can) pumpkin puree
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 tablespoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cayenne pepper to taste (at least 3 good shakes)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup shredded Fontina or cheddar cheese (optional)

Black Bean and Chorizo Chili featured on Eat.Drink.Smile. Leave out the sausage if you want a tasty vegetarian chili:

1 (7 oz) can chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
Cooking spray
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped green pepper
3/4 cup chopped red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 oz chorizo sausage, diced
2 tsp chili powder
1 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained
2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup whole kernel corn
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

For prep, please see Beth’s blog here: http://www.eat-drink-smile.com/2009/12/chorizo-and-black-bean-chili.html

The next recipe is from another favorite food blog, although not Nashville based.  But, good eats is good eats no matter where it comes from!

To round out any of the above chili recipes, I found this great Pumpkin Cornbread recipe at The Recipe Girl:

photo from The Recipe Girl

Pumpkin Cornbread recipe can be found here.

Hungry?  I am!

 

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