After a busy Saturday of Mayfest and planting the trees we got for free there, I was trying to decide what to cook for dinner. It was 8 pm and I hadn’t planned anything. I searched my little head and considered what I had for leftovers… Light bulb! Chili! I put so many nontraditional things in here you may turn up your nose at it. If you do, you are going to miss out, because it turned out wonderful!
left over pineapple salsa
left over cowboy caviar (this was provided by Misty, my fellow hoecake. We had a potluck at work and discovered that my pineapple salsa and her cowboy caviar tasted great together so we mixed what we had left and each took some home)
left over split peas
2 chicken breasts (mine started out frozen)
1 fresh jalapeno, diced
2 fresh tomatoes, diced
2 fresh carrots, chopped
4 cups swiss chard (run a knife through it so it is bite size)
2 cups fresh spinach (run a knife through it so it is bite size if the leaves are big)
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup arrowroot or corn starch
1 tbsp corn meal or masa
3 cups water
1 tbsp fresh oregano
1/2 tsp fresh Thai basil
1 tbsp fresh rosemary
If you started with frozen chicken like I did (lack of planning) then put your water on to boil and toss in the frozen chicken. Use the next 10 to 15 minutes to wash up your veggies and cut them up.
Next toss in your chopped carrots, stir
Toss in your tomatoes
Toss in your jalapeno
Toss in your swiss chard
Toss in your garlic
Pull out one chicken breast. It may not be fully cooked, it is ok. Put it on a plate or cutting board and carefully cut it up, remember it was boiling so it is hot. Put the piece back in and pull out the other breast and carefully cut it up. Once all your pieces are back in, stir. It will only take a couple of minutes for the piece to finish cooking.
Get your left overs and start putting them in. They are already cooked so you only need to warm them.
Add your herbs and spices.
At this point I like to add corn meal or masa. I do it because I like the flavor. I don’t add enough to actually thicken my chili, because I don’t want the flavor to overpower the other ingredients.
Mix your arrowroot with enough water to dissolve it and pour into chili. As is cooks it will thicken without changing the flavor of your dish. I don’t like my chili super thick so you may have to add more if you do.
Toss in your spinach and stir. It will quickly wilt.
I added some cilantro to the chili after I put it in our bowls.
Serve warm and eat lots!