Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pop quiz

You have some cabbage and a sweet potato that need to be used. What do you make for dinner?

Answer: Chili!

Ok, it sounds weird, I know, but hear me out. First off, let me say that I don't condone "deceptively delicious" type ideas- hiding spinach in the brownies just isn't my thing. I DO condone the eating of more and different types of vegetables. Honestly, I don't think I know anyone who eats enough veggies. So I try to put different veggies in things. I don't sneak them in, you can tell they are there. (like spinach in meatloaf.) But they are sometimes a little odd. Like my new favorite is to put some sweet potato in with mashed potatoes. It makes them orange, but otherwise taste mostly the same, and they have a little added nutrition.

So, back to the chili. I made this in my crock pot. And it was awesome. Just follow your normal crock pot chili recipe. (I can post one if there is a large public outcry, but otherwise won't bother.) Use about half a small head of cabbage. Dice it as fine as you can manage. Peel and dice the sweet potato really small too. I added the meat, the seasoning, onions, peppers, the cabbage, and sweet potato and cooked it all together on high for a few hours, then added the beans and corn. (Sometimes I add tomatoes, sometimes not.) If you are using dried beans, put them in with everything else and let them all cook together. Mine were canned this time, so they went in later so as to get hot but not mushy. The awesome thing about the cabbage is that is just disappears. I don't know where it went, but it was gone. Every now and then you got a little crunch, but if you put onion in, it may have been onion. Nobody knows. The sweet potato disappears if the pieces are really small, or there may be one or two blocks of orange left. I stirred and mushed before I added the beans, though they were mostly disintegrated already. The sweet potatoes add a little bit of sweetness to the chili- much like if you were to add some chipotle. It balances nicely, and will probably be a usual addition for me from now on. I assume the cabbage would work with a slow-cooked stew as well.

The moral of the story: don't be afraid to make somewhat odd veggie pairings. They work, sometimes.

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