Roasted "Convention" Chili
It’s just a few short days til Marscon - our first convention of the year!
For some brilliant reason, I decided at the last minute that I should make a Klingon costume for the occasion. This was with a trip to Dallas looming, and - unknowbeknowst to us at the time - a bout of stomach flu on the way!
So much for having enough time - am racing like a madman to get everything done on time, which is NOT a common thing for me... being a logistics freak. I definitely prefer being prepared far in advance, and walking into a convention well rested for the weekend to come.
Part of the preparation for any convention we go to is figuring out the food situation, so we don't end up paying a fortune for bad hotel food. This is especially important when one is under dietary restrictions for allergies.
As you may recall, last July we decided to create "Convention Sloppy Joes" as a way to ensure easy access to healthy proteins and veggies throughout the weekend.
It was perfect! Making it ahead and freezing it not only freed up time immediately before the convention, but also provided efficient "ice packs" for the cooler. We left it to simmer all day in a crockpot in our hotel room, so it was easy to go up and grab a bite to eat whenever we had a minute. (Well, realistically... whenever we started feeling gross from NOT eating, and could drag ourselves away from the fun!).
Best of all... it was the first convention we've been to where we did NOT get Con Crud. I've got to think that proper nutrition had a big hand in that!
We decided to go a bit of a different route this time, so I created a roasted "Convention Chili" recipe. I just don't want the hassle of dealing with crappy gluten-free buns, and really.. it's been too long since I put on a pot of chili.
With this recipe, we decided to just go insane with the vitamin C. Red peppers are much higher in it than tomatoes are, after all. Sounds good, right? In reality, my husband just hates tomatoes, so red peppers are a great, healthy, and tasty way to make chili delicious for him, too. All that vitamin C can't hurt, when facing down the possibility of con crud... especially during cold/flu season! The protein from the meats and beans, and all the fiber from the beans and veggies make this a really healthy food to live on for a weekend.
A few notes about this recipe:
- I created this recipe specifically to be made ahead and frozen, specifically for use in a slow cooker. See the end of the recipe for how to tweak this for immediate use – it would be great for a party!
- If you want to swap out types of pepper, swap the red peppers for tomatoes, add or subtract onion, etc… go nuts 🙂 It’s a very versatile recipe. Just try to keep the weights/volumes of substitution relatively similar to what it's replacing.
- This is suitable for a wide range of dietary needs and allergies. It’s inherently gluten free, dairy free, etc.
- While you can peel the roasted peppers after broiling them if you want, we don't. Too fussy, you lose some nutrition/flavour, and the texture isn't noticeable in the final dish anyway.
- Red bell peppers can be expensive.. so we used canned. If you have access to a big-box discount store like Costco - you can get canned red peppers for much cheaper than fresh. Farmers markets can be another great option.
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