Friday, November 19, 2010

OBD 18- Chili, Finally

Yesterday I finally got the chili made.

I know, I know, I was talking about it for a long time, and I should have made it waaaay before now, but meh.

Anyway, World's Cheapest Chili (maybe)

  • 1lb black beans, dry
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 1/2 small can tomato paste
  • 1T chili powder (I used cayenne and something I got at the Mexican grocery)
  • 1T salt (est, to taste)
  • 1T oil
  • water
Rinse and cook the black beans according to your preferred method. Drain off some of the water, until the beans are *just* covered. Chop the onion and fry it until soft in the oil. Add everything to the beans and stir. simmer overnight for best flavor.

As written, this recipe uses about $1.50 worth of ingredients (my local prices). Some ideas for more tasty (and pricier) chili are:
  • a couple handfuls frozen corn
  • more onion
  • add some ground up, roasted Hatch chilies (if you can get your hands on them)
  • 1 chipotle pepper, plus the adobo sauce they come in, chopped fine (can be very hot)
  • 1/2 lb ground meat, browned and added
  • 1C chunked chicken flavored seitan or left over chicken
  • 1C leftover *any* meat
  • 2-4 cloves garlic
  • more tomato paste
  • chopped bell pepper
  • sliced black olives
  • vinegar (I like malt, but plain white vinegar works)
  • different beans
Did I forget anything? I'm sure I did. Just about any of those "extras" will add $0.50 to $2 to the total cost. It's not bad as written, though. Just don't forget the salt.

I had a couple scoops over broken tortilla chips, and a couple more over rice. I'm bringing about a cup over rice for lunch today at "work". I should get about 6 (big) servings out of the lb of beans, so the per-serving cost is about 25 cents, before rice or extras. If you have nothing in the house but salt, total cost to buy everything (1lb beans, oil and spices from $ store) is less than $6, including a bag of rice. Cost for me would be about $6, getting a big bottle of oil ($2) 1lb of beans ($1), and a 3lb bag of rice ($1.50). For an extra dollar I could make a double batch of beans, twice as much chili, and eat this for a week. Oh, and have oil, spices, and rice left over.


  1. I love Chili! and I Love making things cheap! thanks !

  2. Yep- Mom's normal chili recipe is, like, the same price per serving as this one is for the *whole recipe*. Not that you can't make this one super spendy, but cheap is always a nice option.