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Happy Halloween!

October is coming to a close and I love to end the month celebrating Halloween by warming my belly with a hearty bowl of chili. I love how experimental chili can be. You can add or omit ingredients and yet still have a tasty dish. Over the years I have experimented with several ingredients, just a few being Italian seasoning, cinnamon, honey, corn meal, even taco seasoning. While each ingredient added flavor to my chili, I have one recipe I stick with the most.


  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 1 green pepper, chopped

  • 1 tomato, chopped

  • 1 zucchini, chopped

  • 1 carrot, freshly grated

  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes

  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce

  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans

  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can corn

  • 1 1/2 cup beef broth

  • 1 pinch of chili powder

  • 1 pinch cumin

  • 1 pinch paprika

  • 1 pinch garlic powder

  • 1 pinch cayenne

  • 1 pinch oregano

  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper

  • 1 pinch dried parsley

  • 1 pinch dried basil

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Remember, many of these ingredients are optional and you will have a tasty chili. Use what you have or add your own flavoring of choice. I like to add a freshly grated carrot to cut the acidity levels, but many prefer to use sugar. Use what tastes good to you.


  1. Add meat and chopped onion to a skillet over medium heat. Sauté until the meat is cooked brown and the onions are tender.

  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, add stewed tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce, chopped green pepper, chopped tomatoes, chopped zucchini, freshly grated carrot, beans, corn and beef broth.

  3. Add ground beef and onions to the saucepan.

  4. Add your seasons to the saucepan.

  5. Bring combined ingredients to a boil, then reduce heat to low, or a simmer setting.

  6. Let simmer for 15 minutes.

What secret ingredients do you use in your chili? Do you have any tips you want to share? Add them in the comments. I would love to try them!

With love from Peak Valley,

Dawn Colson

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