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Chill Chasin' Chili

There is no denying that winter is breathing its frosty breath down on northwest Ohio! From late October until the end of March, this hearty chili is frequently on our menu. One of the most difficult aspects of sharing recipes is that one has to actually measure ingredients. Except for some baking recipes, I rarely make anything exactly the same two times in a row. However, I will try my very best to properly share this protein-packed family favorite.

Chill Chasin' Chili
People have very definite tastes when it comes to how hot they like their chili. We like it with a little kick, so adjust seasonings accordingly. If you like kidney beans in your chili, switch out of the beans or simply add to the pot and make it a four-bean chili!

1 pound ground chuck
1 teaspoon coarsely ground sea salt
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 red, yellow or orange sweet bell pepper
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 15.5-oz. (depends on your taste) mild or hot chili beans
1 15.5-oz. can black beans
1 15.5-oz. can garbanzo beans
1 – 2 tablespoons medium chili powder (I get my chili powder from The Spice House and Savory Spice Shop)
½ teaspoon garlic powder
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Dried, crushed red pepper to taste

Sprinkle salt in the bottom of a large, heavy skillet or Dutch oven. Brown ground chuck. Drain off grease. To browned meat add chopped onion and cook until translucent. Add chopped pepper and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, followed by beans and spices. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, then turn heat to low and allow to simmer about 20 minutes. 

Serve piping hot with optional nacho chips and shredded cheddar cheese.