Unbelievable Chili

Today is the first day of fall. With the weather actually cooling down, I feel like I can use my oven and start making soups again! Chili has long been a family favorite, and one more dish I thought was gone forever once I found I couldn’t eat nightshades. For what is chili without tomatoes and peppers? Well, it’s pretty good, actually. Much to the surprise of my tasters (including me), this chili looks and tastes like, well, chili.

unbelievable_chiliUnbelievable Chili

1 lbs ground beef (450 g)
1 large onion, diced (140 g)
6 cloves garlic, minced (18 g)
2 T dried oregano leaves
1 T cumin
2 t ground coriander
2 t dried thyme leaves
1 t salt
½ t ground black pepper
pinch of ground cloves
1¾ c pureed pumpkin (425 g)
4 c Tomato-Free Tomato Sauce (click here for recipe)
2 c water

  1. Brown ground beef with onion and garlic
  2. Add spices and cook until onion is soft and translucent
  3. Stir in pumpkin, tomato-free sauce, and water
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until thickened

Yield 2 qts chili

NOTE:

  • This is a rather mild chili recipe. For a hotter blend, try adding small amounts of one or more other spicy ingredients (such as wasabi, horseradish, or ground mustard) to taste.
  • Several people have asked what looks like tomatoes in the bowl–it’s onions, colored red by the beets and cranberries in the tomato-free sauce!

What do you like to start cooking up in fall?

Basic Coleslaw

Coleslaw is one of the ubiquitous sides dishes of summer. I can hardly imagine a holiday barbecue without it. Once I’d figured out how to make my own mayonnaise, this was one of the first dishes I needed to make! This version is more savory and less sweet than most, but the crowd here seems to think it’s just about perfect.

basic_coleslawBasic Coleslaw

1½ c mayonnaise (click here for my recipe)
6 T white wine vinegar (see notes)
1½ t salt
¾ t ground white pepper (see notes)
1 head cabbage, shredded (2.75 lbs/1.25 kg)
1 c grated carrots (110 g)

  1. Stir together mayonnaise, vinegar, salt and pepper until smooth
  2. Add cabbage and carrots, stirring until well coated
  3. For best results, cover and refrigerate overnight; stir before serving

Yield about 4 lbs (see notes)

NOTES

  • Other types of vinegar may be used as well. I prefer white wine because it is grain free and doesn’t have the fruitiness of apple cider vinegar.
  • Using white pepper is totally for aesthetic reasons. Ground black pepper works just fine, but leaves little black specks.
  • To make a smaller amount, or if pressed for time, substitute one 14-16 oz package of coleslaw mix for the cabbage and add ½ c mayonnaise, 2 T vinegar, ½ t salt, and ¼ t pepper.

What is your favorite summer food?

Guacamole

I first discovered fresh guacamole when I was in college. It quickly became my go-to party dish. When I found out that I can’t tolerate nightshades, I thought perhaps my excellent guacamole days were over. I mean, I know you CAN make guacamole with just avocados and salt, but it’s really not the same. After some testing and tweaking, I finally have the proportions for my new recipe just right; I don’t even miss the tomatoes and peppers! I hope you like it as much as we do.

Guacamoleguacamole

Meat from 4 avocados, mashed (400 g)
1/3 c finely diced onion (60 g)
1 bunch cilantro (60 g)
2 cloves garlic, minced (6 g)
1 t lime juice
½ t salt

  1. Stir together all ingredients until well blended.
  2. Serve immediately or press cover directly on the surface of the dip to minimize browning.

Yield 2 cups

What do you like to dip in guacamole?