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An abundance of cans of black beans and the loom of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) on the horizon, I decided to prepare a few meals ahead for those crazy weeks when I needed to write or attend meetings and my husband still wanted to eat. Im not sure why he feels he should have to eat EVERY day but like the family pets, he begs for food and I cant resist his sad eyes.

This one is so easy. While I prefer dry beans cooked in the crock pot until mush, the convenience of canned beans cannot be denied, especially when we are pressed for time. Even if you are not doing NaNoWriMo, you know time is something we all need more of.

Ingredients:

2 pound package of ground turkey (you can use any ground meat you like but turkey and chicken make it lighter and you may need to add something for extra flavor.)

5 15-ounce cans of black beans

1 large (20 ounce) can of crushed tomatoes

1 cup of picante sauce of salsa or a can of tomatoes with chilies

1/4 cup plus a teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 cup plus a teaspoon onion powder

1/4 cup chili powder

1 tablespoon cayenne powder

1-2 teaspoons cumin (if you like it)

1/4 cup oregano

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (just a pinch brings out the tomato flavor)

2 teaspoons black pepper

I do not use salt much so salt as you need

2 teaspoons of oil (vegetable or olive oil if you are trying to keep it healthy)

In a frying or saute pan, heat up oil, add in ground meat, crumble to cook, and season with 1 teaspoon each onion, garlic and black pepper, add a little salt if you need it. Cook until browned. If you use fatty meats like beef or pork dont forget to drain grease. If using chicken or turkey you probably wont need to.

Drain black beans and put in crock pot or large pot to cook for a while. Tomatoes are best cooked low and slow. Anything made with tomatoes whether chili, soup or sauce is best cooked all day. Add in tomatoes and salsa. Season. I use a lot of seasoning. If I dont think 1/4 cup is enough, I add more. You can also use prepackaged chili mix instead of or in combination with the seasonings. If you use prepackaged mix, cut back on the seasoning adding to taste.

Cook on low several hours.

I like to add cheddar cheese and sour cream to my chili and serve it with jalapeno corn bread or grilled cheese sandwiches.

I like to make a big pot and freeze half for later. This will be great for NaNoWriMo when Im trying to make word count and need a quick meal.

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