Thursday, November 12, 2015

Everything Left in the Garden Chili #recipe @LucyBurdette #giveaway

LUCY BURDETTE: First of all, as a pre-holiday giveaway, I have a copy of the brand new Level Best anthology to give away. It's called RED DAWN and it includes my Key West short story, LAST MANGO IN PARADISE. Leave a comment with your email to be entered in the drawing. Contest ends at midnight on 11/14!

 Now to the recipe... Here's the thing. In the past, if I wanted a quick pot of chili, I used ground beef, onion, beans, peppers, a jar of Pace picante sauce, and part of an envelope of chili seasoning. It was fast and delicious, and loaded with sodium. (I'm guessing 3000 mg in the seasonings alone!)

Rather then skip the chili all together, this time I made a different kind. Not quite so easy but if you make the sauce ahead of time, and pop it in the freezer, you can add the beef and beans and seasoning later. 

I have been reading a cookbook and blog by Jessica Goldman Foung.  Because of a kidney problem she can eat almost no sodium, but she loves to cook and offers many good suggestions. 

My sauce is tweaked considerably from her version, but I did love the instructions about grinding the vegetables in a food processor. No peeling tomatoes! No chopping!

Basic everything left in the garden sauce

5 to 6 fresh tomatoes, or one large can diced, no-salt tomatoes
Three carrots, peeled
One red onion
Three cloves garlic
Quarter cup fresh Italian parsley
Quarter cup basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, if desired
2 to 3 green peppers
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
16 ounce can tomato paste

Peel the carrots and grind them in the food processor. Cut the tomatoes into halves or quarters and add them to the carrots. Scrape these vegetables into a large pot and bring them to a simmer. 

Next mince the onion with the garlic in the processor, and add the chopped green peppers. (I did these by hand in order to avoid them turning to mush.) Sauté this group of vegetables in a couple tablespoons of nice olive oil. When they are soft, add them to the pot, along with the chopped parsley and basil, the oregano, pepper flakes, and the red wine vinegar. Simmer everything together for half an hour and then add the tomato paste and taste for flavor. 

I ended up adding a couple of teaspoons of sugar and a quarter teaspoon of kosher salt.

This makes a lovely vegetarian spaghetti sauce on its own over pasta, with the addition of some grated Parmesan cheese if desired.


To make the chili, brown half a pound of ground beef and drain the grease. And 1 to 2 tablespoons of chili powder and 1 teaspoon of cumin. Sauté the spices with the drained beef. Rinse two small cans of beans thoroughly (I used one black beans and one light red kidney.) And the beef mixture and the beans to the tomato sauce. Simmer for another half hour.  Serve with grated cheese and onions and sour cream, if desired.

(The sodium count in this version is tomato paste, 75 mg, 1/4 teaspoon salt Kosher, 450 mg, two cans beans, 910 milligrams, and probably less, because I rinsed them well. Those are the amounts in the entire pot--not counting the incidental and small amounts in the fresh vegetables

Ugly chili picture--we started eating too fast!

KILLER TAKEOUT is coming next April, but available for pre-order today!

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  1. I am looking forward to checking out RED DAWN. Thank you for the chili recipe and the giveaway.

  2. Here is a dumb question. We do lots of cooking and canning and would like to attempt our own butter and cheese. We have never used a food processor but am considering getting husband one for Christmas (I am such a romantic). What is a good kind to get that is sort of heavy duty but not crazily expensive? And are they nice to have?

    The sauce sounds really yummy! I am up to book 3 in the Key West series!!! So much to read; so little time!

    1. Jody, here's a link to reviews of food processors--you'll be able to figure out what you need it to do, and how much you can spend. I love having one!

    2. Thank you. That is very kind of you!

  3. This really sounds tasty and a great way to sneak carrots into someone diet :)


  4. I always make my own spice mixes. I never liked all of the strange things in those spice packets. Who needs anti-caking agents in their food?
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

  5. I love your addition of carrots to the chili and the tip for using a food processor. Thanks for the chance to win!

  6. Great way to use up left over vegetables.

  7. Thanks for the recipe and a chance to win Red Dawn.

  8. I like the idea of carrots added to the chili---will have to try that next time. Thanks for the giveaway

  9. I add a bit of cocoa powder to chili. It adds a depth without tasting like chocolate. Think of it as a Mexican mole.

    This sounds so fresh and good.
    Now, if south Florida would just cool off.
    I can always lower the thermostat!

  10. Chili recipe looks very yummy.
    Lady (dot) Janel at hotmail (dot) com

  11. It looks and sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  12. Thanks for all the sodium things you have shared. I try to watch what I use but it isn't easy. We have one gluten free person in the house so are always looking at labels. Thanks for the advice about a food processor. I am looking into it some more. As always, thanks for the chance to win.

  13. The chili sounds yummy! I would love to read Red Dawn...thanks for the chance to win.

  14. Both the chili and the book sound great.

  15. Thanks for your effort to help us all eat healthier. Good reminder about the sneaky sodium. Fresh is best. bobbipad at gmail dot com

  16. The recipe sounds so good!

  17. The vegetables really add substance to a sauce. I used to make one like this and freeze it. Have to start doing that again. All that extra sodium creeps up on you. Thanks for the giveaway, and of course can't wait for Killer Takeout!

  18. I love mom made a great one. Adding vegetables is a great idea; I included roasted corn in my recipe. Lucy Burdette is a fav author, and look forward to expanding my personal library.

  19. Awesome recipe Lucy, we love chili!


  20. Thanks for the post. I'm going to pass on the blog info to a friend who also has kidney issues.

  21. Thank you for the chance to win Red Dawn! Today is a good day for chili - it's rainy and raw outside.

  22. I just love your key West series I started to read them this year and I'm almost done with the series. Hope I win I'd love to read that short story!

  23. Thanks for the post and the offer of the book. I do something very similar, but no red wine vinegar. Will have to try that. Make my own taco and chili spices already. I use a bit more cumin, since I love that smoky flavor.

  24. I love, love, love anthologies so am really looking forward to Red Dawn. Will be trying the chili recipe tomorrow. Supposed to turn cold (well, cold for Florida) tomorrow.

  25. I can't believe you had anything left in the garden! Gardens around here have been dead for a month! This looks wonderful. I'm a big fan of beans. I was wondering if there aren't some beans canned without salt. So how did it taste? Did you feel like you wanted to add salt?