Chili, Chips, and Cheese

I first had this fun, substantial finger food at Wendy's.  Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried beans (kidney, pinto, black, or mixed) (optional)
  • 1 lb. organic, grass-fed beef, ground
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 to 10 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 fresh tomatoes, diced (or 2 cans tomato sauce and 1 can water)
  • 1 tbsp each of oregano, cumin, basil, salt, chili powder
  • 1 tsp each black pepper, red pepper, paprika, turmeric
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 cups organic cheddar cheese, grated or diced
  • 4 bowls organic tortilla chips

Directions

Soak beans overnight if possible; if not, soak for at least an hour, drain, and simmer covered for at least an hour.  The beans will be firmer than normal, but chewable.

Gently cook the beef, onion, and garlic in oil and/or butter, then drain and put into a slow cooker or pot.  Add the tomatoes and spices and stir.  Cook slowly for at least an hour.

Put the oil into a small pan.  Add the cheese and heat, covered, until it melts (it should take 10 to 15 minutes on very low heat), stirring occasionally.  (If serving is delayed, remove from heat; if the cheese gets overheated, it begins to lose its elasticity.)

Place chips in individual bowls.  Cover chips generously with chili.  Pour cheese generously on top so it touches all exposed chips.


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