Loaded Chili.

Garnishes. Goodies. Fixins’. At least half the reason I love chili is the toppings you get to put on it. Oh, my, the toppings. This recipe is about making an amazing chili that will eventually become an Ode to Toppings, and I want you to use them all: avocado, cheese, cilantro, tomato—whatever your heart desires. And you know what? You are a great cook and a wonderful person, and you deserve a beautiful meal. So thank yourself for making this by plating it up like a work of art and garnishing the heck out of it. Heidi at 101 Cookbooks is the master at this. Here are some of her most gorgeously garnished soups: Split Pea, Broccoli Cheddar, Yellow Split Pea, and Posole in broth. Let life imitate art and load up this chili!



for the chili:
olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb ground meat (I used pork)
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
2 cups stock (I used beef stock)
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 16oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 16 oz can corn, drained and rinsed

all the fixins’:
avocado, sliced
fresh cilantro, chopped
cheese, shredded
fresh tomato, chopped
onion or green onion, thinly sliced or minced
squeeze of lime

Just the Recipe link: Loaded Chili


Heat oil in a pan and add onion and red pepper. Cook about 8 minutes, until softened.


Add the garlic and the cayenne pepper, oregano, coriander, cumin, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Stir and cook 1-2 minutes, until fragrant and yummy-smelling.


Add the ground pork and use your spoon to break it up. Cook until browned, stirring occasionally.


Once the meat is browned, pour in the canned tomatoes and the stock. Toss in a bay leaf for good measure. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes.


After 45 minutes have gone by, add the cilantro, corn, and beans, and simmer for another 15 minutes.


Taste for seasoning and your chili is good to go! Now dress it up. And make it look beautiful, for heaven’s sake! You’re worth it.



Spicy “White” Chili.

I always keep 2 cans of chickpeas in the house, so that I can make hummus whenever I want. Last week, I bought 2 cans of chickpeas at the grocery store, and last night, I tried to make hummus with them. I opened the first can and started to pour out the liquid, and one of the “chickpeas” fell into the sink, looking very little like a chickpea. That’s when I read the label. I had purchased 2 cans of “great northern beans,” whatever those are, by accident. So I did what all normal Millennials do: I googled them. Apparently, great northern beans are a mild type of white bean, so in the interest of “waste not, want not,” I decided to cut my hummus-losses and make this “white” chili (it ceases to be white as soon as the paprika goes in), to bring to work for lunch this week. What a lucky mistake I made that day at the grocery store–and what an awesome chili!


2 tbsp butter, divided
1/2 white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 cup flour (I used all-purpose, but use potato flour for gluten-free chili)
2 1/2 cups cups stock, divided (I used homemade chicken stock)
1/4 jalapeño, minced
3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp hot paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 can great northern beans, drained
bay leaf
sour cream and parsley for garnish
*Parmesan rind, optional


In a skillet over medium heat, melt half the butter and cook the onions and garlic until soft.

In a Dutch oven or other large pot, melt the rest of the butter over medium low heat and whisk in flour. Whisking constantly, cook roux for 2-3 minutes, until it turns slightly darker in color.

Stir in the onions and garlic, and gradually stir in 1 1/2 cups of stock, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes until thickened.

When the stock has thickened, stir in the spices.

Then add the jalapeño.

Then stir in the beans and throw in your bay leaf. *If you’re feeling fancy (and happen to have a Parmesan rind on hand), toss it into the chili now. Simmer for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, remove bay leaf and Parmesan rind, garnish with sour cream and chopped parsley, and serve. This recipe doubles (or triples) very well, so make as much as you want!