I grew up in a small suburban town outside of Boston. Looking back on my childhood, I am in wonder of my mother. For most of my childhood, my mother worked a full time job and sometimes a part-time job, as well. However, everyday she always seemed to be able to have a meal on the table for dinner. Looking back, those nightly meals were important. They were a chance for all of us as a family to catch up on our daily events and to connect and bond. Those dinners were where we talked about our achievements, disappointments, and joys of the day. They were the quiet moments for us as a family in an otherwise hectic day.
There are many articles written today about the benefits of family meals. It appears that these moments in time, captured across the table, are nothing short of miracles. Some of the reasons for spending that meal time together are role modeling, reconnecting, improving weight control, an opportunity to teach and conversation. Also family mealtimes together may mean that children are less likely to try drugs or alcohol.
The fact that my mother prepared these meals daily is nothing short of amazing, particularly noting her work schedule. Today, I believe we live life at even a faster pace, with kids having just as much on their own schedules if not even more. So time is a more precious commodity.
To save some time, and still have that important family meal, I have tried many one dish meals. One of my favorite meals to make is Chili
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1-1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
• 1 large sweet green pepper, coarsely chopped
• 1 large sweet red pepper, coarsely chopped
• 1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, with their juice
• 1 6 oz can tomato paste
• 1 cup canned beef broth (chicken broth is okay as well)
• 1 19 oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
• 1 10 oz package frozen corn kernels, thawed and drained (optional)
• 2 tablespoons chili powder
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven over moderately high heat for 1 minute. Add the beef and brown on all sides — about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large plate lined with paper toweling.
2. Reduce the heat to moderate, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the peppers, and onion to the Dutch oven, and sauté, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and sauté, stirring frequently, 2 minutes more.
3. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, broth, beans, corn, chili powder, cumin, salt, and red pepper, and bring to a boil. Return the beef to the Dutch oven, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until tender — about 1 hour. If a thinner sauce is desired, add a little water.
Recipe Type: Main Dish, Meat, One-dish meal
Source: Reader’s Digest One Dish Meals