Freezer Fix

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With the holidays in full swing, this is the perfect time to save some cash to go toward those holiday preparations by eating out of the freezer and reinventing leftovers. I for one got the most bang for my buck out of my thanksgiving turkey breast with turkey, smoked Gouda, creole mustard and fresh cranberry sauce sandwiches. I also plucked the turkey breast clean for turkey and sausage gumbo that will be perfect for Christmas and a few servings for this week.

In addition to the gumbo, this week will be a mix of some of my favorites including curry, turnip, sausage and sweet potato soup, chili and succotash.

What’s in your freezer?

A Bit Of Chili

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I decided it was time for some chili and grilled cheese to ward of the crummy, rainy weather. I love dishes like these that you can top anyway you’d like and it’s fun for everyone to make it their own. This is one of the best meals to eat leftovers of because the flavor just gets better with time. This is great to make on the weekend if you will using the dried beans, but it is also an easy go to during the week as a crockpot dish. To all of my friends and colleagues warding off the sniffles and coughs, a little spice is sure to clear that right up! See below for the recipe and feel free to share your thoughts!

Note: This is certainly a dish that can be slow cooked in the crock pot. Just substitute a 15 ounce canned beans in water with no salt added for the Camilla beans. In the morning, cook the meat with the onion, garlic and celery, then add it and all of the ingredients to the crock pot and put the heat on low for 4 hours.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 tbsp. fresh minced garlic
  • 1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes (no salt added)
  • 1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomato (no salt added)
  • 1 12 ounce can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • ½ lb. cooked Camilla red beans
  • 1 lb. of lean ground beef (93% fat free)
  • 1 lb. of ground chuck (85/15)
  • 2 tbsp. onion powder
  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. sea salt
  • 1 tbsp. coarse black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper ( or less for less spice)
  • 4 cups of water

Directions:

  1. Cook dried Camilla beans in the chili pot in 2 to 3 cups of water for an hour over medium heat. Stir and slightly mash beans against the pot every 20-25 minutes.
  2. Remove beans from pot and place in a bowl. Chop celery, garlic and onion and add to pot with a ½ cup of water.
  3. Add ground beef to the pot and cook until browned.
  4. Open all cans and add the diced tomatoes and crushed tomatoes to the pot.
  5. Put on a disposable glove and chop all of the chipotle peppers on a plate into small pieces before adding to the pot. Fill the can with water to get all of the adobo sauce and add to the pot.
  6. Add all of seasoning, the beans and a cup of water to the pot. Reduce heat to medium low and stir after 15-20 minutes.
  7. Taste and adjust seasonings. Keep in mind that the longer the chili sits, the more flavorful it becomes. (Hooray for leftovers!)
  8. Serve with your favorite toppings. I like to add a little cheese, salsa, sour cream and green onion .