My mom is a master at using what she has on hand. She taught my sisters and I a lot about making do and being creative when it comes to cooking.
She can take three cans of just about anything and turn it into a meal. Now, I will admit that we ate some strange flavor combinations growing up, but there is something to using what you have and making do.
Today’s recipe is an example of just that. It is a recipe I came up with in order to use what I had on hand. I had a couple of busy days a few weeks ago and decided to change up the menu plan. I wanted to make a large batch of chili that we could eat over several days.
I had taken out several pounds of ground beef from the freezer and started making the chili. I soon realized that I only had a few cans of beans and only one of which was kidney beans.
My go to bean for chili is kidney beans. This time of year I almost always have five or six cans on hand for chili and soup. I had forgotten to buy more kidney beans, but I saw that I had some pinto and navy beans. I decided to go ahead and make chili, but make a three bean chili instead of my regular chili.
Now I know this is a pretty simple idea, but it is an important one. Instead of making something else, or running to the store, I adapted and used what I had. And it turned out delicious!
All too often we get lost in the details and exact directions when it comes to food. We think we have to follow things exactly. If we don’t have what we need, we run to the store. This often results in not just picking up the items we “need” for a recipe, but adding a few more things to the cart. A few trips like that and our grocery budget is gone.
We all run out of things from time to time. Even a well stocked pantry at times needs refilled. Learning to use what you have is often the key to keeping a grocery budget under control.
Slow Cooked Three Bean Chili
- 2 1/2 lbs ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons chili powder ( less if you don’t want it spicy)
- 3- 14 ounce cans diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can navy beans, rinsed and drained
- Brown beef in hot skillet.
- Place in a crock pot and add salt, onions, green peppers, chili powder, diced tomatoes, sugar, and beans.
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
- Serve and enjoy!