Coming up….National Chili Day (February 26)

By Sister Christina Neumann

A visitor to our Home recently commented to our residents about having to “put up with institutional” cooking, but I really don’t think that applies at St. Anne’s.  Among other things, we have some of the best chili around.  As we approach “National Chili Day,” I thought I’d give a little information about this delicious meal and share a recipe.

P1010003People have been enjoying chili for a long time; The first recorded recipe for chili con carne was in 1519 (nationalchiliday.com quoted Wikipedia for this info.).  Did you know that “a green chili pod has as much vitamin C as six oranges?”   And, what is there, better than chili, for opening up plugged sinuses?

According to an article on the health benefits of chili, “the main component in chillies is a chemical called Capsaicin, which…lowers blood sugar levels, improves heart health, boosts circulation and protects against strokes…”  Chilies also  “can help burn fat.”  Chili powder itself has some interesting health benefits listed here. It a good source of vitamin A and C as well as some important minerals, according to livestrong.com.

I’ve been enjoying chili for years.  We used to make it back home.  The recipe used here at St. Anne’s would probably make you a much bigger batch than you’d care for (we serve a lot of people), so I’m sharing with you the “Neumann Chili Recipe.”  I had to contact my mom for details, since I remember just throwing it together without any real recipe.

Hamburger Chili
2  pounds hamburger
1  large diced onion
1  tablespoon salt (or to taste)
    pepper
3  Tablespoons chili powder
1  can tomato sauce or soup
2  14 oz. diced tomatoes (canned)*
3  15 oz. cans kidney** beans drained
Brown hamburger with onion.  Add spices and the rest of ingredients.  Let cook for at least half an hour. (Simmering on low for a while longer enhances the flavor.)
Great served with grated cheddar, onions, sour cream, and corn chips.
Notes:
*Instead of the tomato soup and diced tomatoes, I remember using frozen, home-grown tomatoes.  It is fun to pull bags of tomatoes out of the freezer (that you froze the last Fall) to use in this delicious chili.
**We actually used a few different kinds of beans, which enhanced the recipe.
I have found that adding cumin and garlic powder really adds nice flavor as well.