Baby, It’s Chili outside!

Baby, It’s Chili Outside

Three of my favorite Chili recipes – vegetarian, turkey and venison versions. Does it surprise you that two of them have booze? Add a nice glass of wine, a beer or a ginger beer cocktail and you’re really cookin’! A nice green salad makes a light dinner. Biscuits or rolls make a complete meal. All freeze well.

Ken Wilber’s Vegetarian Chili

2 – 3 cans dark red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 onions, chopped

2 green peppers, chopped

2 – 3 T olive oil

1 28 – oz. can whole tomatoes

3 – 4 cloves garlic

3 – 4 T chili powder

1 – 2 T cumin

2 – 3 T fresh parsley

2 – 3 T oregano

1 can beer

1 cup cashews

½ cup raisins (optional)


Heat oil in large pot; saute onions until clear, then add celery, green pepper, and garlic; cook for 5 minutes or so. Add tomatoes (with juice; break the tomatoes into small chunks) and kidney beans; reduce to simmer. Add chili powder, cumin, parsley, oregano, beer, cashews and raisins (opt.). Simmer as long as you want. Garnish with fresh parsley or grated cheddar cheese.

I can’t remember if beer was part of my original recipe or I just dropped my beer in it once when I was cooking it; in any event, the beer is essential. Also, “T” does mean tablespoon, not teaspoon; the whole secret of this chili is in the large amounts of herbs.

A votre sante. Please eat it in good health.

Word for word from Ken Wilber’s amazing book GRACE AND GRIT Spirituality and Healing in the Life and Death of Treya Killam Wilber


Turkey Chili with White Beans



1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

½ jalapeno, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 ½ teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

15 oz. can Great Northern white beans, rinsed and drained, or freshly cooked white beans

15 oz. low sodium chicken broth

10-oz. package frozen edaname

4 oz. can chopped mild or medium green chilis

2 cups bite sized cooked turkey meat or 1# ground turkey

1 cup loosley packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

lime wedges


In a 5-quart Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat until hot. Add onion and jalapeno and cook until tender, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Stir in chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper; cook 1 minute longer.

Add beans, chicken broth, frozen edaname, green chilis, and turkey meat to mixture in Dutch oven. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 5 minutes to blend flavors. Remove Dutch oven from heat; stir in cilantro and lime juice. Serve with the lime wedges.

Totally yummy and light!


Adapted from a Good Housekeeping recipe


Venison Chili J-Bar

I puchase elk and venison online from and keep it in my freezer to use in the winter for saucy savory dishes.Elkusa is a ranch in SW Colorado, where it is legal to raise and sell such meats, and their meat is free of hormones, steroids and antibiotics.


2 Tbsp. canola oil

1 lb. venison stew meat, 1-inch cubed

2 medium yellow onions, medium diced

2 ½ jalapenos, seeded and small diced

4Tbsp. fresh garlic, minced

2 tsp. dried cumin

2 Tbsp. smoked paprika

2 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 Tbsp. chili powder

¾ cup dry red wine

¼ cup ruby port

¼ cup brown sugar

32 oz. canned kidney beans, rinsed

32 oz. can whole plum tomatoes, with liquid

32 oz. water

salt and pepper to taste


Heat oil in a stock pot until hot, but not smoking. Add venison meat and brown on all sides. Do not burn. Remove meat from pot and reserve. Saute oinions and jalapenos until translucent, in pot. Add garlic and dry spices, saute until fragtant, about 45 seconds. Add meat back into pot, and then add wine and port. Simmer and allow liquid to reduce by 75%.

Add brown sugar and stir until it dissolves. Crush whole tomatoes, roughly, with your hands and add to the pot with beans, water, salt and pepper. Simmer slowly for 2 – 3 hours, stirring occassionally. Cook until meat is tender. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt, pepper and sugar.

Serve topped with grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, yogurt or chopped green onions.


Adapted from Ski Town Soups by Jennie Iverson (a wonderful collection of soups!) . The J-Bar is in Aspen’s Hotel Jerome, chef Rich Hinojosa.



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