World's Best Chili

Ah, chili.  The meal of choice for the unsettlingly poor.  Or at least, my meal of choice when I'm unsettlingly poor - I imagine there are a lot of people out there who would rather live on ramen noodles, spaghetti, and kraft dinner.  But those people are idiots.

Chili is the way to go for a few reasons.  First, it's cheap to make - for a little over ten bucks, you can make a batch large enough to last one person for a couple of days.  Second, because chili tastes better the longer you let the individual flavours mix, it actually tastes better as leftovers.  Third - and most important, for me - if made right, it's a helluva lot healthier than other types of poor people food.

And finally, it goes great with hot sauce.  Always a plus.

It's a little known fact that I make the world's best chili.  People have expressed doubts over this fact, especially when they learn that my chili is completely vegetarian (it might even be vegan!).  But every time they eat it, they wind up grudgingly admitting that, yeah, my chili is awesome.

And I've been eating it for the past two weeks.  I guess it's one of the ups of being poor, eh? 

Anyways, without further ado:

1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can chick peas
1 can corn kernels
1 can of either a bean mix, or lentils (I prefer lentils, but the mix works too)
2 larger cans of crushed or diced tomatoes (if you can, get a "garlic" or "chili" mix)
1 can of Aylmer's "Chili Accents" crushed tomatoes
1 packet of Old El' Paso Chili Seasoning
2 Carrots, chopped into small chunks
1/2 Red Onion, chopped into small chunks (the smaller the better!)
2 Stalks of Celery, chopped into bite-sized wedges
1 diced serrano pepper (alternately, use a jalapeno for less spicy chili, and use 2 habaneros for hotter chili;  leave the seeds in!  Omit the pepper if you like milder chili). 
1 tbsp of dried chili pepper flakes
2 tbsp of brown sugar
optional:  1 diced garlic clove
optional:  1 tbsp chili powder

Cooking Instructions
1.  Combine all the beans and corn in a single bowl and drain of any excess fluids.  Rinse this mixture multiple times, to get rid of any gross "bean guck" that will make your chili look ugly.  Drain of any excess fluid, and let the bean mix sit for about fifteen minutes at room temperature.  Drain again, and then dump into crock pot.
2.  Combine all the other ingredients into the crock pot.  Give it a big stir.
3.  Cook on "low" for 6-8 hours, or "high" for 3-4 hours.  Stir approximately every hour or so.  The mix is done when you think it's done, although a good rule to go by is you're good when the carrots are soft but not too soft. 
4.  Best served topped with shredded monterey jack cheese and a dollop of sour cream. 

Sometimes, I'll cut the onions really big, and fish them out when the chili is done cooking.  Also, I like to put the Serrano pepper seeds into the chili seperately, and I take out the pepper itself when the recipe is done cooking, as it tends to get soggy.  Naturally, use organic ingredients when able.  If you use dried beans, make sure you let them soak for 24 hours before putting in the chili - but I recommend using canned beans, because they really do taste better. 

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