Although I have always toyed with the idea of becoming a vegetarian, I am not one. I think it would be liberating to take the plunge and give up meat, but I haven’t yet been able to actually do it for an extended period of time. I like the meat. What can I say?
In my mind, I have to really separate the animal from the food in order to enjoy my meal. Which I can usually do, no problem. It’s when I have to actually think about the animal that I am about to enjoy for dinner that things can get complicated. This weekend, we went to the local Farmers’ Market. I went in search of locally-grown organic produce. Unfortunately, there was not a lot of produce grown locally that was also organic. Which was disappointing. Giuseppe, however, found something that he really likes: goat meat. Yes, goat meat. Now, I like goat cheese, but goat meat? I don’t know. That is up there with rabbit and squirrel. Animals that, in my mind, are not for consumption.
So, I have this problem with what I call “crazy meats.” I usually stick to fish, steak, chicken, and turkey. Anything else is a little “crazy” in my book. Goat definitely falls into the CRAZY category. But I decided to have an open mind and we purchased some. Giuseppe was happy. But he’s an eater of rabbit, deer, lamb, you name it. So we brought home the crazy meat and put it in the fridge. I was going to try and prepare it this week for dinner, which made the hubby very happy.
That plan did not work out so well. On Wednesday night, I pulled the meat out of the refrigerator to start cooking. As I started to cut open the freezer bag, I realized that I just couldn’t do it. I wanted to try, but I just couldn’t do it. So I abandoned the meat and improvised. No goat me for me, thank you. I won’t ever go near it again.
As I the goat meat really put me off meat, I decided to make vegetarian chili. And I must say so myself: it was divine. I mean I don’t really ever make chili, so I wasn’t sure if it would turn it out. But it did, so I thought that I would share.
1. In a large saucepan on medium heat, cover bottom of pan with extra virgin oil. Add one can diced organic tomatoes, 1 tbsp. sliced garlic, and 1 tbsp. chili powder. Cook for about 5 minutes.
2. Add one can organic pinto beans, one can organic Mexican style light refried pinto beans, and one can organic corn. Stir thoroughly and allow to simmer.
3. Dice one medium red onion and one extra-large sweet potato. Add to saucepan.
4. Stir in 2 tsp. cayenne pepper and salt to taste.
5. Simmer for approximately 45 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are very tender; stirring occasionally.
6. Serve with grated cheese sprinkled on top. (I used pecorino; ironic, no?)
Enjoy! I served this with corn bread muffins, which Giuseppe love love loves. Eating dishes like this could push me over to the other side. But then I ask myself: could I give up an occasional steak? What about Thanksgiving dinner? Maybe I will just have to stay away from crazy meats.