This is the chili I've developed over the years for cold and gray football-watching weekends. The macaroni addition was a request from Adam, and I was hesitant at first, but turns out I like it! With the Smart Ground and the macaroni, this is about five bowls of chili. You can easily leave those ingredients out and still have some yummy chili, but it obviously doesn't fill as many bowls!
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cooked red kidney beans (or one 14-ounce can, drained and rinsed)
2 cups cooked black beans (or one 14-ounce can, drained and rinsed)
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 cups vegetable broth
chili powder to taste*
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1 package fake ground beef, such as Smart Ground (optional)
1/2 cup dried macaroni (optional)
cheddar cheese, grated
Heat olive oil in bottom of pot (I use a 5-quart saucepan), add onions and garlic, and saute until onions are translucent and tender.
Add beans, tomatoes, broth, and spices. Stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes. Add fake ground beef, if using, and simmer 10 to 20 minutes more, until you are happy with the consistency.
Meanwhile, if you're using the macaroni, cook it following the instructions on the package.
When the chili is finished simmering, remove from heat and stir in the macaroni.
Serve topped with sour cream and grated cheddar cheese.
*When I first started making chili I had weak, pathetic little chili powder, though I didn't realize that at the time, so I put in a ton. Then I picked up a new bag of chili powder from a local Indian grocery. I went ahead and scooped the usual amount into the chili the next time I made it, and oh my god we could barely eat it. My mouth was on fire. Lesson learned. Not all chili powder is created equal. So I'll just go with "to taste" here because you know your chili powder better then I do.