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Chili When it's Chilly

I don't know about you, but this current weather has me craving hot food, specifically chili! There's something about chili that just brings happiness on a cold winter day. Especially when it's been sitting in a slow cooker all day, and is ready for you as soon as you walk in the door.

There are so many reasons to love chili. First of all, it's delicious and filling. And it's easy to make, with inexpensive ingredients. Plus, it's very healthy for you: it's filled with protein, has a ton of fiber, has iron, and the ingredients are packed with vitamin C. And there are so many varieties, you could make a different chili recipe every night of the week.

Here are some of the more popular varieties of chili:

1. Chili con Carne: "chili with meat", it has chili peppers, meat (usually beef) and typically has tomatoes and beans, plus seasonings.

2. Chili Verde: "green chili", a stew of beef or pork (or both), flavored with hot green peppers.

3. White Chicken Chili: a variation of chili that uses chicken or pork and white beans (usually cannellini or great northern).

4. Rocky Mountain Chili: uses local game as its main meat.

5. Vegetarian Chili: uses a variety of beans (typically pinto, black and kidney), plus tomatoes, seasonings and a variety of veggies.

6. Cincinnati 5-way Chili: a mountain of spaghetti, beans, onions, and shredded cheddar with an oyster cracker garnish.

Chili also does great in the freezer. So when you make it, be sure to make a big batch, then freeze it in proper portions using freezer containers or freezer bags (making sure to get the air out). Then you can enjoy chili all winter long!

Here is one of my favorite chili recipes: it's loaded with beans and peppers, and really hits the spot on a cold winter night:


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