Thursday, January 8, 2009

i am impressed with myself, a little.

Yesterday I was planning to make my ultimate lazy-person meal for dinner. Microwave a can of kernel corn, top with a squeeze of lime juice and a 1/2 tsp of chilli powder -- seriously, this meal has saved my ass on many occassions. Just three points, healthy, filling, and FAST. Anyway, I decided that I was going to WALK ON THE WILD SIDE this time and add 1/2 c. black beans to it, so I picked up a can of those as well.

I trudged home through the rain and snow, and by the time I got home I was soaked. Also known as cranky. I put on my jogging pants and slippers, and headed into the kitchen to make dinner. Also known as microwaved corn. Suddenly, though, I had a thought: CHILLI. I still had a can of tomatoes in the cupboard, and, lo and behold, a bit of hamburger in the freezer. Ten minutes later I had a pot of chilli bubbling up on the stove, and 30 minutes after that I was watching old episodes of Friends and eating a huge bowl of spicy, warm chilli.

You know those days, when you want something but you don't know what it is? How great is it when you accidently stumble on exactly the right thing? I'm so happy with myself for making that extra little bit of effort last night.

The best thing is, the chilli is only 15 points for the ENTIRE POT. I should have snapped a picture, but my camera battery was dead. Anyway, here's what I do!

Andrea's Super Fast Cheap Chilli!

- 1/4 lb hamburger (4pts)
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 can whole tomatoes (you can buy chilli flavoured, but not necessary)
- 1 can kernel corn (3pts)
- 1 small can (375-400ml) black beans: 6pts
- *1 Lindt truffle (2pts)
- 2 tbsp of chilli powder (or to taste)
- 1/2 tsp Frank's Red Hot Sauce (or to taste)

Spray pot with cooking spray, saute onion for about 1 minute, add ground beef, saute until cooked through (no pink.) Dump in tomatoes, corn, and beans, stir well, simmer for about 15 minutes, at about medium heat. Add chilli powder, hot sauce, and chocolate, stir well, simmer for another ten minutes or so. Remove from heat, let stand for 15 minutes (if you can wait), or do what I do and serve your bowl and put it in the fridge for 5 minutes or so. The flavours are nicer when they aren't straight-from-the-stove hot.

(None of these times are exact: the longer you simmer it, the thicker it'll get, which is good, but this is how I do it when I'm short on time.)

*About the chocolate: this is totally my 'secret' ingredient for chilli. You can use baker's chocolate if you have it around, or chocolate chips, or cocoa powder, but I happened to have leftover Lindt Truffles from Christmas so that's what I used. I've also been known to throw the ears of chocolate Easter Bunnies in there. :) If you have NO chocolate around, brown sugar will do in a pinch.