The storm blew through Alexandria last night, and cooled our entire area by a couple of degrees. I spent the night inside of the basement with my sickie daughter, Katie, and it gave us quite the chills. So, we decided that it was the perfect night for Giada’s vegetarian chili verde (page 185 of Feel Good Food) to warm us up while we watched Netflix’s best drama, Orange is the New Black. (We’re addicted, by the way!) I know I was just ranting about what a great idea it is to avoid the stove, but on cool days like this, I am willing to make exceptions.
This was by far the best thing that I have cooked from the book. Well, at least that’s what I think. My husband was not here to weigh in, and I have yet to ask my daughters. Perhaps because of my southwest roots, I love the spice! Anything with cumin can win my heart. It was certainly not lacking on the heat, but we did note that the sugary sweet potatoes were a great addition to cut back on some of that bold flavor.
I start all my chilis in my favorite heavy stockpot. After chopping all my veggies, I couldn’t resist taking a photo of the beautiful summer bounty that goes into this pot. Notice that I keep my chopping board close to the stove for easy transfer. It’s a big time saver, and far more convenient than moving the chopped ingredients across the counter.
Since I live in a small townhouse, I don’t have a very big kitchen, so making room for everything isn’t the easiest thing in the world. Yet, as an everyday cook, I have lots of yummy ingredients for my meals, so I have to get clever with my organization. I keep my spices all together right next to the stove on my own magnetic spice rack (i.e. the side of my fridge). You can get your own at World Market for $9.95 for five or Ikea for $7.99 for three. It makes it easy for me to just grab that cumin while I’m mixing the pot!
Now, don’t forget that any town-home dwellers can also keep live herbs around their home, too. I keep all of my herbs in pots outside, making sure they get just the right amount of sun and shade right on my porch behind the house. They make my little back nook look so much prettier (live plants always do), and they smell great when we’re sitting back there on summer days. Tonight, I had to head back there for the oregano for the chili.
All together, it made for a beautiful, colorful pot, and a delicious chili that I will sure to make again when it’s not too hot outside!