Leading The Good Life

Double Duty

I've had a wonderful - and productive - morning in the kitchen. I rolled out of bed to a hot pot of coffee (thanks Kate!) and a mind full of food ideas. It was nice and chilly in the house, so I revved up the oven and got to work!

I started with some Paleo apple muffins so I had something to enjoy with my coffee. While they were baking, I prepped a bunch of Roma tomatoes for roasting. (I'll be making this soup again - so good!)

Meanwhile, I had a pot of kidney beans going on the stove and a poblano pepper roasting in the oven. Both are for the chili I have on the menu for football watching tonight. (RIP Red Sox baseball season!) In fact, it's currently simmering away on the stove. Well, the base of it is.

This chili will be performing double duty as a bean version for me and a meat version for Kate. Those are the only 2 ingredients that need to be kept separate in order for it to fit into both of our 30 Day Challenges.

Double Duty Chili Base

This chili base can be combined with beans for a vegetarian version and/or meat.

(serves 6-8)

hands-on time: 30 minutes

cooking time: 20 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, diced (optional)
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 15 oz cans crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce (fire roasted tastes great)
  • 3 15 oz cans diced tomatoes (try some with diced chilies mixed in)
  • up to 1 cup vegetable broth (if need to thin)
  • salt, to taste


  • Set oven to broil. Cut the poblano pepper in half length-wise and remove seeds. Flatten and lay cut-side down on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Place under the broiler until skin is black and blistered (5-10 minutes). Wrap the pepper in the foil and set aside to let steam loosen the skin.
  • Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until just beginning to soften (about 5 minutes.)
  • Add the mushrooms (if using) and jalapenos, stirring to combine.
  • Once cool enough to handle, unwrap the poblano pepper and peel off the burnt skin. Dice the pepper and add to the pot.
  • Stir in the tomato paste and spices (not the salt.) Cook until fragrant, stirring constantly (1-2 minutes.)
  • Add all of the canned tomatoes/sauce, including their juice. Stir until well combined. Use vegetable stock to thin, if needed.
  • Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
  • Taste for seasoning and salt, adjusting as necessary.

At this point, your chili base is done! Add cooked beans, meat, or additional veggies, as desired. Or split between multiple pots to create different varieties of chili. Continue simmering with added ingredients until flavors have combined.

I'm excited to eat this tonight on top of spaghetti squash and topped with avocado and cilantro. Yum!

Cooking accompanied by all of my favorite radio shows on NPR (Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, This American Life, Studio 360, & The Splendid Table) made for a lovely morning. Wrapping it up with a tasty lunch of an over-easy egg atop sauteed kale and tomatoes (with hot sauce, of course) didn't hurt, either.

Happy Saturday!

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