So last night I made chili, as it was horrible Romance movie night with a friend who can't have cow milk products or wheat. The chili turned out fabulous (of course, pshaw) and was super basic.
(I would love to have remembered to take a picture, but I didn't.)
I soaked Cannelloni beans until they were nice and plump. If I was smart, I would have cooked them now, but I forgot and I had to let the chili cook them as best as it could. I grated a HUGE zucchini that was hiding in my fridge, and used about 2 c. worth in the chili (I froze the rest). After grating the zucchini, I sprinkle salt on it to draw the water out, and then squeeze the excess liquid out of my zucchini. I tossed that straight into the crock pot. Also add in your beans, preferably cooked.
At this point I also boiled some more water and reconstituted three little chili peppers that I had. Once plump, I scraped out the seeds, chopped finely, and tossed in the crock pot.
I also tossed straight in a can of crushed tomatoes. I used about a cup or two of vegetable broth to rinse out the can and get the last little bits of tomato.
While I was getting all that set up, I chopped and fried two little peppers from my garden (yay!) and half of an onion. Once the onions were mostly translucent, I removed most of them from the pan and put them into the crock pot, and kept the rest in there to flavor the ground beef that I fried next. I had enough ground beef that it almost filled my pan, so it took a while for that to brown fully. Once it was done, I threw it in the crock and mixed it all up, trying to gauge how "chili-like" it was. It needed more liquid, so I added more vegetable broth. I also added tomato paste, salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder.
I let it cook for several hours (read: 5) and Mister bought a sheep's milk cheese that was to replace the cheddar I would have normally put on top. All in all, highly successful!