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Slice of Life

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    When I was in cooking school, I learned to value the power of the sauce.I was taught that there were five mother sauces.
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    Anytime I talk about spring and planting a garden, my friends and family laugh, roll their eyes and pray for the poor plants whose fate is preordained.They know no matter what I plant, it will die. Guaranteed.
  • Sweet treats help you spring clean
    Spring is the time of year we make momentous, wake-up-from-the-dead-of-winter decisions. Not always about what to clean but rather what to keep or throw away.No where is this more evident than in the kitchen pantry.

Chili a perfect Super Bowl Sunday dish

It’s Super Bowl time again. Time to try and figure out what I’m going to serve to people who are thrilled that the game is in Indianapolis, but less than enthusiastic that their team didn’t make it again this year.

I’m traveling a lot this year so my regular recipes that take time to make aren’t going to cut it.

I decided that a big pot of chili with all the fixings and a bunch of store-bought snacks will round out the menu nicely.

However, now I have the difficult task of deciding whether this will be a bean or no-bean kind of chili menu.

Chili enthusiasts take their love of the dish to the extreme with recipe contests, cook-offs and grudge match cooking meets of the beans/no beans winner-take-all (all of what I’m not quite sure but they do take this seriously).

The perfect recipe is still being debated by cooks from Texas to New York and beyond. You will find my modest contributions to the list of recipes below.

Vegetarian Chili

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 cups chopped onion

4 tablespoons chopped garlic

2 19-ounce cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

2 19-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

3 stalks chopped celery

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 envelope taco seasoning or 1/4 cup taco seasoning

1 teaspoon basil

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1 15-ounce can tomato sauce

3 cups vegetable broth

1 6-ounce can tomato paste

Heat oil in saucepan. Cook the onions and garlic until they are soft and translucent. Add beans, celery, red bell pepper, taco seasoning, basil, oregano and thyme. Mix to combine. Add the tomato sauce, vegetable broth and tomato paste. Mix to combine and cook covered for at least 1 1/2 hours. Stir every 15 minutes to prevent sticking. Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 8.

Terrific Crock Pot Turkey Chili

2 pounds ground turkey

1 cup chopped onion

2 tablespoons chopped garlic

1 cup green peppers, diced

1 cup chicken broth

2 teaspoons dried cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 15-ounce to 16-ounce cans of kidney beans (not drained)

1 can refried beans or 2 cooked and mashed potatoes

In a large skillet, brown ground turkey and drain. Add all ingredients to crock pot except the can of refried beans. Cover and cook on low 2 hours. Add refried beans to chili for thickening. Cover and cook on low for an additional 2 hours.

No Bean Chili

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef, cooked and drained

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) stewed tomatoes, undrained

1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce

1 red onion, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies

1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Optional toppings: Shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and sliced green onions

Place all the ingredients into a crockpot. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or until heated through.

Serves 6.

– Modified from Slice of Life is a food column that offers recipes, cooking advice and information on new food products. It appears Sundays. If you have a question about cooking or a food item, contact Eileen Goltz at or write The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802.