My mom and I recently spent an evening together making chili.  It was really just an excuse to see each other and catch up. It’s such a blessing to have your mom just 20 minutes away … especially when fall weather comes and you start to crave hearty soups and lots of healthy leftovers.

One of my favorite meals today — because it was a staple around the house growing up —is my mom’s chili. She puts in tons of veggies, which, to me, is what truly makes chili. All those recipes with meat, chili sauce and beans just don’t cut it. My mom adds rice, also.

So, with the risk of revealing some long-kept family secret … here’s her chili recipe. By the way, she wasn’t opposed to me blogging about chili, so I don’t think there’s any issue with me sharing this.

This one can be made on the stove or in a crock pot.

My mom makes an appearance on the blog ... while mixing her stove top chili.

Mom’s Chili with Rice
1 pound lean ground beef

1 green pepper, chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped

8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 package chili seasoning mix
3 cups water
1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans, undrained
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
1 can (8 oz.) tomato paste
1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes
16 oz. package frozen corn
2 cups Minute Rice, uncooked
Cook and stir meat in large skillet on medium-high heat until meat is browned. Drain off excess fat. In large stock pot combine remaining ingredients, including beef; bring to a boil, reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more water if chili is too thick. Serve with shredded cheese and sour cream.

We also made this amazing white chicken chili, which is so yummy. I forgot to take pictures of this one, and I thought I had taken one of a single serving, but I can’t find it. I’ll add one when I get around to taking that. Oh, and the recipe came from a slow-cooker recipe book that my mom pulls out frequently.

White Chili
15-oz. can garbanzo beans, undrained

15-oz. can small Northern beans, undrained
15-oz. can pinto beans, undrained
2 lb. bag frozen corn
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 tsp. minced garlic
3 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. dried oregano
32 oz. can low-fat/low-sodium chicken broth
Combine all ingredients in crock pot. Cover and cook on low 8 – 10 hours, or high 4 – 5 hours. Serve with warmed tortilla chips topped with melted cheddar cheese.

And, what would chili be without cornbread? I morphed this recipe from one I found here from The Vegan Chikpea, who also modified it from a recipe she found. I have several suggestions, and the two times I made it, it turned out yummy. Of course, it was smothered in chili, so how could it not be good?

These are actually mini corn muffins ... should have been more careful about making sure their size was evident.

Triple corn cornbread
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
7 Tbsp applesauce, unsweetened
1 Tbsp butter (If you don’t have that much applesauce, just add butter to equal the 8 Tbsp total of applesauce and butter.)
1 tsp sugar
pinch of salt
2 Tbsp flour (could also use whole wheat flour)
1/2 cup cornmeal
Set oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan, melt butter. Add applesauce and stir until well combined. Remove from heat.
Put 1 cup of corn in food processor and chop until it is course. Add applesauce and butter mixture, salt and sugar. Process until well combined. Mix should be fairly chunky.
Dump mixture into a mixing bowl. Add the cornmeal and flour. Mix well.
Separate dough into six pieces and shape into balls. The mixture will be wet. Place balls onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper, lightly coated with cooking spray. Flatted the balls using the end of a cup — it helps if the cup is wet. (Another option is to put the mixture into muffin tins. This worked well for me. The second time I made them I did mini muffins, and I cooked them for a little less time — 7 to 8 minutes.)
Bake for 10 minutes. Flip and cook for 3 more minutes.  

Lots of wonderful chili has been consumed at my house recently. The husband’s favorite is the white chicken … it has such a good chili flavor. I can’t wait for more stews and cold-weather food.