Monday, August 24, 2009

Chili and Artichokes

Tomorrow's lunch is a bento of four-bean chicken chili with a dessert of heart-shaped Rice Krispy Treats and fresh peach slices.

West Los Angeles hosts a Farmers' Market every Sunday; Mr. Toro and I walked over yesterday, and I picked up lots of luscious produce. So, in addition to the onions, bell peppers, jalapeno, squash, and carrot that went into the chili pot, I also bought some giant fresh artichokes.

The artichokes got cleaned and steamed, then marinated in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and parsley. After marinating, the quartered artichokes went onto the grill.

Artichokes are so much work for just a tiny amount of eatable vegetable, but they are just so delicious! The smoky, grilled flavor added by grilling really matched up well with the natural flavor of the artichokes. I really enjoy this preparation.

The three large 'chokes were entirely too much for Mr. Toro and me to finish, so I plan on pulling the hearts from some and making a pasta.

As for the chili, I soaked dried Black, Great Northern, Pinto, and Kidney beans overnight, then cooked them today.

I sauteed a mess of chopped veggies from the farmers' market, then added 12 ounces of diced chicken breast to brown. Finally, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, and chili power went into the pot. This mix simmered for 40 minutes, then the beans went in. Another 30 minutes of simmering and dinner was done.

Garnishes included raw onions, reduced fat Monterrey Jack cheese, and fresh avocado.

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