Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wilma's World Famous Chili Recipe

There are surprisingly few recipes that I make more than once because I generally don't like to use recipes. I read recipes for inspiration but in the end, I'll experiment with what I have on hand. I find most recipes use too many ingredients and require tools that I probably don't have. Cooking is much simpler than most cookbooks would have you believe, and you don't have to resort to prepackaged food a la Sandra Lee.

This chili has a special place in my heart and is one of the very few recipes of mine that I would even call a recipe. It has its origins in Portland, OR or as I like to call it "heaven on earth," when Betty and I needed to bring something to a potluck. I brought a big pot of chili and Betty mixed up some Betty's mouthwatering mojitos. Maybe it was the atmosphere that made everything taste so good, and everytime I make this chili it reminds me of Portland. I made it for my neighborhood block party last summer, and while there were several chilis in attendance mine was clearly the best!

1 large can plain crushed tomatoes
1 large can kidney beans
1 medium yellow onion
1 package soy ground beef
1 packet chili or taco seasoning (or chili powder with a little cumin and garlic powder)
Garlic gloves, to taste
1 package button mushrooms
Vegetable Oil
Optional: frozen corn, sour cream, cheddar cheese, salsa, guacamole, hot sauce, tortilla chips...
Start with a large saucepan - it's a one pot meal so use one big enough to hold a lot of chili. Slice the onions and mushrooms and sautee in some vegetable oil over medium low heat until softened and the onions start to brown.

As soon as they begin to brown add the ground beef, chopped garlic, seasoning packet, and plenty of salt and pepper. Break up the ground beef and cook for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

Stir in the beans (drained) and tomatoes. You can also add in some frozen corn at this point. Let simmer and stir as needed. Enjoy!


  1. I'm a former veggie and it looks good. I was looking for dinner ideas and will be back if it's ok.

  2. Thanks two cents! I really hope you like it. I've served it to many meat eaters who couldn't tell the difference, but you can of course make it with real ground beef or even chicken.