I make different versions of chili depending on our moods, what I have on hand, or what I can get a good deal on at the store. I try not to spend more than two dollars a pound for any kind of meat. It is getting increasingly more difficult, but I try to buy extra when there is a good deal. The ground beef was expensive this week and I was out, so I bought a two pound pack and a pound of lentils that were on sale for less than two dollars a pound. I had a fifty-five cents off coupon that got raised to one dollar off for two cans of Brooks chili beans, so I bought two large cans that were on sale.
I cooked the lentils and browned the ground beef. Then, added enough lentils to the browned ground beef to double the volume. After mixing the beef and lentils, I put half away in the refrigerator to use for tacos later this week. I still have some lentils cooling. I think I'll freeze those with the water they are in to use for soup.
So, here is the recipe I threw together for tonight's chili:
1 lb. ground beef browned and drained
cooked lentils (enough to double the volume of the beef)
1-30.5 oz. can mild chili beans
1-30.5 oz. can hot chili beans
1-14.5 oz. can peeled diced tomatoes with jalapeno peppers
1-14.5 oz. can peeled diced chili ready tomatoes
I let this simmer while I baked some potatoes. I baked extra potatoes for Jon's work lunches and for use later this week.
To prepare the potatoes I slice them in half, make some slits in the meat of the potatoes, butter them with Country Crock calcium plus vitamin D, and salt and pepper them. The chili goes on top of the potato and then we add a sprinkle of cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream.