Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Bold, colorful, healthy—we hit the "Like" button a bunch on this unusual chili

This was some of the most incredible chili I’ve ever tasted—and it was absolutely brimming with healthy ingredients.

Tomatoes, zucchini, squash, corn, and two varieties of beans rose to the surface in this bold-flavored mixture—Big-Batch Veggie Chili. It was spiced up with chili seasoning mix for a South-of-the-Border flavor.

Toppings such as cheese, cilantro, sour cream, green onions, and/or guacamole are icing on the cake to raise this dish to get a mega-good rating. In Facebook parlance, I hit the “Like” button a whole bunch.

Regarding the chili seasoning, the recipe source (Southern Living magazine) calls for 1 (3.625-ounce) package chill seasoning kit and states that the recipe was tested with Wick Fowler’s 2 Alarm Chili Kit. Not finding that, I purchased two 1.25-ounce envelopes of Kroger-brand chili seasoning (lower-sodium variety). I started to pour in both envelopes but hesitated. That seemed a little much for me—I tend to “walk on the mild side”. What a fortunate hesitation! Adding only one envelope was totally enough spice, according to my tastes.

This makes an ample chili supply (12 to 15 servings), so after Hubby and I feasted for a couple of nights, I froze the remainder for a future busy time (can we really be so near Christmas that I’m starting to put away my December emergency meals in the deep freeze?) This fired-up chili certainly will be warming on a cold night a little further down the road!

Big-Batch Veggie Chili

2 large carrots, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 (3.625-ounce) package chili seasoning mix
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce (I used the no-salt-added variety)
3 cups tomato juice
2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes undrained (I used no-salt-added)
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 (15-ounce) cans great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 large zucchini, chopped
1 yellow squash, chopped
1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn
toppings: chopped fresh cilantro, sour cream, chopped green onions, shredded sharp
Cheddar cheese, chopped tomatoes

Sauté carrots and onion in hot oil in a 5- to-6-quart Dutch oven over medium heat 7 minutes or until onions are translucent. Stir in half of red pepper packet from chili kit; stir in all of remaining packets (using my one 1.25-ounce chili-seasoning envelope, which did not contain separate packets, I added mine all at once). Sauté mixture for 2 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce and next 7 ingredients. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Serve with desired toppings. Makes 12 to 15 servings.

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