If there is one go-to meal I have had for the last few years it is chili taco salad. It pretty much works spring, fall, and summer and to be honest it is a great way to use up things in your pantry and veggies that look less than stellar in the fridge. Chili never gets old with the endless number of combos to try out. I extra love that I can have leftovers for days – chili tastes better with time, it freezes well and honestly you can have chili and corn bread, chili in a bun bowl, chili on salad and my personal favorite chili as a taco salad … the options are there. I know, I know – you think of hot chili as a fall food. Well damn it – I am using up things in my pantry and this is literally one of my favorite things to eat. Also, you probably have nothing but sweet, sweet time to let this simmer.
In this veggie version we are using 2 different kinds of beans (lentils would also work well) – nothing aggressive; kidney and black beans + the odds and ends that are lurking in my pantry and in my kitchen. I even thru in a can of pumpkin puree (actually recipe inspiration photo below) – this adds thickness to the chili without making it taste like pumpkin.
Chili is VERY forgiving if you have more of one thing and less of another – buttttt to make my recipe – you will need:
- I medium onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 ribs of celery, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ bag of tri color frozen mixed peppers
- 28oz can of Tomatoes (mine had Italian spices because that was all I had in my cupboard)
- 2 cups veggie broth
- 14oz can of pumpkin puree (BE VERY CERTAIN TO NOT PUT IN PUMPKIN PIE FILLING)
- 2.5 Tablespoons of what ever chili powder you like
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp oregano
- 2 tsp Braggs liquid amino
I sautéed the first 5 ingredients until lightly browned and then added in the spices and let the flavors get all warm and smelling delicious – then I dumped the other stuff in the pot. Brought it to a boil and then let simmer for 20 mins.
(NOTES: use the veggies you have on hand that is what chili is for – out of celery skip it. Also if you don’t have pumpkin don’t add that – but you might want to lighten up on the broth OR add in 1/4 of dried red lentils OR add cornstarch 1 tablespoon at a time and let it thicken up. Yes you can put in soy sauce instead of liquid amino OR leave it out)
How to make the Chili Taco Salad:
Roughly chop up 2 cups of lettuce of your choice – I use romaine. Spread out over a plate. Then add about 1 cup of chili on top of the lettuce. On top of all that add – Green onion, Cilantro, Pineapple, Corn chips.
BOOM! Springtime / Summer Time Chile Taco Salad.