Winter (Def.) = the coldest season of the year, between autumn and spring. At the winter solstice, the days are shortest and the nights are longest, with days lengthening as the season progresses after the solstice.

Comfort (Def.) = Encouragement; solace; consolation in trouble; also, that which affords consolation.

Comfort Food (Def.) = foods consumed to achieve some level of improved emotional status, whether to relieve negative psychological affect or to increase positive. More generally, comfort food can be defined as food that brings some form or measure of comfort, sense of well-being, or easy satisfaction. Such food choices may consist of the simple and familiar. Dishes may be warm and filling such as a dish made with a staple food… Some definitions suggest that home-prepared dishes are most typical.

Chili Con Carne (Def.) = Winter Comfort Food of American-Mexican origins.
There is controversy about what ingredients are allowed in a Chili, whether tomatoes or even beans belong into it. Followers of the original Chili recipes (which have chilis and beef only as their main ingredient) will cringe when they see this recipe: beans, tomatoes, carrots and bell peppers. I like this vegetablized version of this warming winter dish. Apart from adding color to it, the whole dish becomes lighter. We love to to wrap the Chili in some homemade Whole Wheat Chapatis, topped with fresh chopped cucumbers and tomatoes and a big dollop of yogurt or sour cream. ——————————————————————–

(Adapted slightly from Gourmet, Feb 1990)
1 lb/500g ground beef
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dry oregano flakes
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (up to 1 tablespoon, depending on how hot you like it)

1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups cooked kidney beans
1 can chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup beef or vegetable stock
1 green bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
Serves 6

In a large pot, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are softened. Add garlic and carrots, Cook for one minute while stirring. Add the minced beef and cook over moderate heat, until it is no longer pink. Stir to break up bigger lumps. Add chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute.

Add tomato sauce and broth. Bring mixture to a boil, and simmer covered, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 30 minutes. Add kidney beans and bell peppers. Season with salt and black pepper to taste and simmer uncovered, for another 10-15 minutes, or until the bell peppers are tender. Serve hot. Tastes better the next day.


  1. This is near the top of the list of comfort foods for me. Like it hot and spicy (cumin is great for depth) and oh yes with the healthy veg!

  2. It’s funny how tere are so many variations of the classic chili out there and yet they are so similar! I’m sitting here in my husband’s sweater coz I’m soooo cold today…..wishing that bowl was in front of me! I love eating mine over a jacket potato with oodles of melted cheese on top!

  3. @ Lick My Spoon

    I have some leftovers in the freezer. I’d swap with your rosewater panna cottas 🙂

  4. Oh my! This looks and sounds sooo wonderful! I’d happily take some of that leftovers in the freezer… for WHATEVER you want 😉

    Mary xx
    Delightful Bitefuls

  5. I am all about chili & comfort. Great recipe Anja!!

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