Friday, February 8, 2013

Storm Prep Means Chili!

I live in rural northeastern Connecticut which means I will be snowed in today and probably without power for a week. We have equipment and supplies to sustain such an outage (I hope) but there are a series of preparations that we do before big storms. I started yesterday morning with grocery shopping, getting all the laundry washed and dried, filling up all gas containers, and working on clearing felled trees in the cross-country ski trails with my husband. This morning preparations took on another level. We have potable water stockpiled, and filled both tubs with water for flushing toilets. Then I started cooking.......

It is always easier to  weather power outages if I have easy to heat soups and stews already made. We can heat them up on the woodstove, gas grill or camp stove using a minimum of dishes. I started making a huge pot of a family favorite -Vegetarian Chili.

Vegetarian Chili for a Crowd

1 Tbs. olive oil
12 oz package of Smart Ground TVP - like ground beef but not!
2 large yellow onions, diced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
4 large stalks fo celery, diced
3 15 ounce cans of beans- I use kidney beans but others work as well.
3 14-ounce cans zesty diced tomatoes
2 6- ounce cans spicy V8 juice
6 large carrots, peeled and sliced
2 cans corn
1/2 cup dried lentils (optional)
2 medium green bell peppers
3 Tbs. chili powder
1 Tbs. oregano
1 Tbs. Cumin
1 tsp. Thyme
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 cup grated cheese
Chopped cilantro

• In a large pot heat the olive oil on medium heat.  Add onion, celery and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add TVP and brown as you continue to cook onions about 3 minutes.
• Reduce heat to low.  Add the chili beans and their juices, tomatoes and V8 juice. Cover and let simmer while you prepare the vegetables.
• Peel the carrots and add them to the pot along with the corn and peppers.
• Add lentils.
• Stir in chili powder, cumin, oregano, thyme, red pepper, salt and sugar.
• Let the chili simmer, covered, over low heat for about three hours, stirring occasionally.
• Add tabasco sauce to taste if desired.
• Top with grated cheese and chopped cilantro and serve.

I made this huge batch of chili because I hope that once the storms blows out to sea we can have a skiing and snowshoeing party with neighbors and friends. The chili will be set to go!

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  1. You are a very organised lady/family. We have to prepare for cyclones at this time of year and some of your preparations are similar with the storing of water. Love the idea of cooking up the stews and soups.

    1. With the change i weather patterns it seems we get stronger storms and more power outages for longer durations. It means approaching recovery with a little more planning.