It’s getting to be that time of year again.
That time when trees start to lose their leaves.
That time when the weather starts to get dull and grey.
That time when scarves are no longer worn for the purpose of looking cute, but because they’re necessary to stay warm.
That time when all I crave are comforting foods to warm me up after a cold day on campus.
To me, the ultimate comfort food is chili. It reminds me of winter family dinners back when my sister and I both still lived at home. Dad would simmer our chili over the stove for hours letting the flavours blend and my mom would make the most out-of-this-world tea biscuits, half of them with grated cheese cooked into them. And then as we sat down to eat, dad would ask mom to pass him a tea biscuit and she would pick one up at chuck it at his head. True story.
I may not get to have those family dinners now that I’m away at school, but cooking myself a big pot of chili always helps to evoke the feeling of comfort from being at home.
Serves 6-8 | Vegetarian and gluten free
1.5 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
12 white button mushrooms, chopped
1 tbsp cumin
1.5 tbsp chili powder
1 28-oz can of diced tomatoes
1 750-mL jar of tomato sauce
1 19-oz can of kidney beans
1 19-oz can of white kidney beans or pinto beans
Salt and pepper
Chop your veggies then heat 1-2 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and add your onions. Let them saute until translucent, but watch to make sure they don’t brown. Then add in your green peppers and saute until soft. Add the mushrooms last.
Once the mushrooms are soft, add your cumin and chili powder and stir well. Cook for another 1-2 minutes then add the canned diced tomatoes and tomato sauce.
I’m going to have to disappoint you here: the reason this chili is so good is because I used my family’s home canned tomato sauce that my parents make every year. It’s amazing! But I’m sure you’ll be able to make your chili almost as good by using a commercial brand.
Our tomato sauce is pretty watery, so I let this chili simmer down for about an hour over medium-low heat. Then I added the two cans of beans and let it cook for another 15 minutes or so.
Serve with toppings of your choice. Some ideas: cheddar cheese, cilantro, Greek yogurt, avocado, tortilla chips, and baked tortilla strips.
I’ve been enjoying a bowl (or two!) of this chili every day for the past few days. And luckily I still have some pumpkin cornbread from the freezer to have alongside it. It’s the perfect comfort food meal!
What’s your favourite comfort food?
What meals remind you of home?