Last week I attempted to make chili from scratch for the first time. I’m not the best planner ever, so the fact I had to soak the red chili beans overnight had always stopped me before. I know about the whole ‘quick boil’ technique, but beans are never quite as soft when I do that method, so I try to avoid it, meaning I usually cook with lentils or canned beans. Anyway, I managed to soak the beans overnight and then cooked them until soft (about an hour~ it didn’t take long.) Next I warmed olive oil in a big soup pot and threw in all of a (chopped) onion for 2-3 minutes. Then I added all of a chopped red pepper and a yellow pepper, a couple of diced celery sticks and carrot sticks, and three cloves crushed garlic. After a couple of minutes I added 1 T. cumin and 2 T. chili powder. Next the rest of a can of chopped tomatoes that I had used earlier in the week, and then a can of tomato sauce. Oh, and I used about 3 cups of the beans, adding them in with the tomato products, plus a hearty dose of oregano, basil, black pepper, thyme and Mediterranean salts. It was delicious! The veggies were still slightly crunchy which gave the chili an extra healthy taste. I must admit my husband was less enthusiastic, saying it was “good. Healthy and filling, but as for chili, the best chili I’ve had is full of meat.” I offered to grate cheddar cheese on his, but he said he liked it the way it was, but he only ate it once. I on the other hand ate it all last week, usually with warmed corn tortillas that I tore off bits and wrap around spoonfuls. Yum! Just as a side note I was 24 before I found out people ate chili with things (like rice and corn) other than spaghetti! I grew up in Louisville, KY where that is the norm. It is pretty good actually~ try it sometime.