Lotsa chili with cornbread because “Leftovers” is my middle nameApril 24, 2011
Nighttimes are a bit of a race lately. My husband gets home, we try to eat dinner and catch up, spend some quality time with Danny in between feedings and put him to bed all in like…90 minutes.
The best solution so far is for me to cook during the day and put the finishing touch on at 6pm. But time dinner that precisely? Who do I look like, June Cleaver?
Well, there’s only one hope and it’s my slow cooker. I gotta learn how to use this thing for more than just making stock. Thing is, I don’t like most slow cooker recipes I’ve seen and I don’t really know how to convert a regular recipe into a slow cooked recipe.
What do they say about the mother of invention?
This week I had two frozen packages of grass fed beef, which reminded me of our egg discussion. Yup, one was from a local, sustainable farm buying club. One was from Trader Joe’s. Can you tell which was which? They’re definitely not the same.
The TJ’s stuff is on the right. Doesn’t it just look…I don’t know, mealy or something compared to the farm stuff? I’ve always wondered about Trader Joe’s grass fed meat. They obviously get a good deal somehow, that’s how they work. I gotta figure out what this deal is, and where does this meat come from, and exactly how grass-fed is it? Did the cows get 1 blade of grass or something? Is this term regulated? To be honest, I don’t know.
But I do know what my eyes are telling me and that’s that I should stick with the farm buying club.
Anyway, the most forgiving recipe I can imagine is chili. Perfect for my slow cooking adventure. Plus you can add a ton of nutritious veggies to chili and no one knows the difference.
I split the work over two days, prepping on the weekend and throwing it together on a weekday morning. By dinnertime, well, let’s just say I had time to make cornbread which, as a mother of an 8-week old, makes me a downright rockstar.
Slow Cookin’ Chili
2 Tbl. olive oil
2 lbs. grass fed ground beef
4 cloves garlic
2 cups black eyed peas (either cooked or sprouted)
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 cup frozen corn
1 large sweet potato, diced into 1/2″ pieces
2 cups chopped dark, leafy greens (I used mustard greens)
15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1 bottle dark beer
2 Tbl. red chili powder
2 Tbl. cumin
2 Tbl. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 jalepeno pepper, chopped
Heat oil in large skillet, then add onions. Cook until they start to brown, then add garlic and cook until golden. Finally, add beef and crumble with wooden spoon as it browns. At this point you can add everything to your slow cooker, or refrigerate and do the rest later.
At some point, combine cooked meat, onions and garlic with the rest of the ingredients. Cook for 8-10 hours.
I sprouted the black eyed peas for this recipe. (I’ve talked about sprouting before, don’t pretend like I haven’t told you how easy it is!) By germinating the seed the bean changes to become more nutrient dense and less gassy. This is good.
Anyway, onto the cornbread which was so easy and really took the meal from “Nice, honey” to “Whoa, you rock, mama!”
Whole Grain Cornbread
2 sticks of butter
1/3 cup Sucanat
2 cups buttermilk (or I used 2 cups of milk and a splash of apple cider vinegar)
1 tsp. baking soda
2 cups organic cornmeal
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. salt
If not using buttermilk, start by combining milk with apple cider vinegar in a bowl. Set aside for about 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 13×9 pan.
Melt butter in large mixing bowl and stir in Sucanat. Allow to cool a bit, then add eggs and blend well. Combine buttermilk (or milk that’s been sitting out) with baking soda and stir into mixture. Stir in cornmeal, flour, and salt until well blended. Pour batter into pan.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
This makes a ton of food. Just call me Michelle “Leftovers” Pfennighaus.