I rarely use a recipe when cooking. Growing up my mom didn’t either. I find that pretty amazing. She grew up in a home where meals were scarce. Her mom did not teach her how to cook. When I become an adult, I realized my mom probably learned the basics of cooking from my dad or on her own. But the most amazing thing I realized was my mom could naturally figure out what types of foods went together in a meal. She could take what she had in the cupboards, no matter how bare they were and make a delicious meal. One of our favorite meals growing up was something my mom called, “missionary surprise.” We had no idea it was a meal she would make up from whatever was in the cupboards because that was all we had.
One of the staple meals we ate growing up, and I feed my family often is chili. I am going to share one way of making chili, but I want to encourage you to do is make it your own meal. Maybe you don’t have the same beans or tomato sauce. Maybe you have similar ingredients. Use what you have. Lastly, use seasonings, spices. Even when the budget is tight, I always have chili powder, onion powder, and garlic powder in my spice rack. Salt and black pepper are also staples in my kitchen. I am privileged to have lots of other spices in my rack these days, but it isn’t necessary. If you know how to season your food simply, you can make any meal a family favorite.
4-6 cans chili beans
2-4 cans kidney beans
2-4 cans red or pinto beans
2 large cans of tomato sauce
1-2 pounds of ground beef
Start with a large stove top pot. Brown your ground beef. As it browns add salt, chili powder, onion (or onion powder), garlic, and any other spices you think sound good. (I like to add turmeric to just about every meal.)
Add both jars of tomato sauce then stir. Add all the chili beans. Add the rest of the beans (drain them first).
Bring to a boil. Then turn down to simmer. Add seasoning to taste. Simmer for at least 20 minutes to bring out the flavor.
Now, this is a very simple and basic meal. It is very affordable. I add or take away peppers, onions, spices as I have them available. Sometimes I have fresh ingredients, and sometimes I only have store bought canned ingredients. But the trick to making any meal great is to be grateful for every meal that Yehovah provides.
This meal will feed a family of fifteen and have enough leftovers for a few the next day. I serve it with saltines and/or bread and butter. Sometimes we have cheese and/or sour cream too. But it can be eaten alone.