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What to do with that left over spaghetti sauce – Budget #Cooking

cooking-on-a-budgetAs many of you know I am a chili aficionado. I make some kick ass chili both with and without meat. Last week I posted a vegetarian chili recipe which I slow cook and I have also posted my full meat infused slow cooker chili which my kids beg me to make every time we get together. When I made chili for them it had to be made in our Nesco slow cooker, all 18 quarts of it. Those are a kitchens best friend especially when you feed big groups of folks. You can have your oven ready and cook in the roaster. I managed to trick my ex into getting one to roast my turkey in when I noted that I could make 18  quarts of chili all at once (never before had I seen the credit card be whipped out as fast as it did that day).

All in all, chili is not made as often as Geoff would like because even with my easy recipe, it still takes time and requires more than a few ingredients. Another issue living off the grid in combination with Geoff’s work schedule & the fact I do not drive there are times we just don’t get to the store, also like many other folks we live pay check to pay check. However, no matter what I have learned after raising five kids how to cook within a budget and make the most out of the least amount of ingredients and also… quick, delicious meals!  Last night Geoff looked at me with this pained expression and said:

Do we really have to eat spaghetti again?”

We both were feeling down and needing a pick me up and since ordering pizza was out, I went to the fridge to see what we had other than the sauce… there was black beans from lunch last week, and garlic and it dawned on me… chili! Yep, Geoff looked at me like I was as crazy just like you are right now. I do love Cincinnati style but Geoff was beyond sick of spaghetti noodles.

5 from 1 reviews
Spaghetti Sauce Chili (Vegetarian)
Serves: 4 servings
  • 3 cups of spaghetti sauce (mine was four cheese.. and full of Italian spices).
  • ½ cups of water
  • 2½ cups of cooked beans (I had 1 cup of black beans and 1½ cups of pinto)
  • ½ cup of Bob's Red Mill TVP
  • 3 tsp of minced garlic
  • Onion powder (to taste unless you have onions in the fridge then about ¾ C of chopped onions).
  • 1-2 TBSP of Chili Powder (to taste, I like it with a lot of chili powder)
  • 2 tsp of Cumin
  • ½ tsp of fresh ground red, black and white pepper (or just already ground pepper is fine)
  • ¼ tsp Paprika
  • salt to taste
  1. Add the spaghetti sauce, water and beans into sauce pan over medium heat.
  2. When the sauce starts bubbling add the Bob's Red Mill TVP, minced garlic and the rest of the dry ingredients.
  3. Stir for at least 10 minutes and taste to make sure all the flavors are right and so the TVP gets saturated (you can re-hydrate it ahead of time but by putting it in sauce the TVP will take on more complex flavors. If you do re-hydrate it ahead of time, add garlic powder, chili powder and cumin. Just a dash and it will help). Everyone has their own idea of the heat needed for chili.
  4. Lower to medium low and cover, stirring often for at least 20-30 minutes.
  5. Serve with whatever else you want for chili, fresh bread, crackers etc..
Cincinnati Style - Add 1 tsp of Cocoa powder and serve over hot spaghetti noodles.

Southwestern Style - Add sweet corn and serve with Tortilla Chips
You can also serve it over brown rice! (or white but.. heck brown rice is better for you!)

You can also make corn fritters or corn bread. I always have Jiffy Mix corn bread mix which you can make with an egg and some water. So easy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 10 ounce bowl Calories: Does it really matter? It is GOOD! Fat: Bah, this is chili and meat free... no added fat..

Got any tricks up your sleeve? Or maybe any suggestions to try next? 

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