MABO CHILI (マーボーチリ) mabo dofu + chili

When Aya and I first got married, one dish she made frequently was mapo tofu, or mabo dofu. From what I understand, it’s originally a Chinese dish, but is a very common dinner meal in Japan. It’s a really simple tasty dish. Even my dad likes it and he doesn’t like tofu! But recently I was on a quest to find a perfect fusion chili recipe. Our school district has a chili cook-off every year and I was curious what would be a good chili that represented our Japanese immersion school. That captured both American and Japanese tastes. My first try was Japanese curry chili (which was fantastic), and now I decided to combine mapo tofu and chili. All the main ingredients of a typical chili recipe, but with all the spices of mapo tofu. The results were pretty good!

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Every year our school district has a chili cook-off contest. While some parents were talking about who would enter it got me thinking. Since our school is a Japanese immersion school, what would a fusion chili be? If I were to make a Japanese chili, what would that be? After some deep thinking, I settled on a fusion of classic American chili with Japanese curry. It would have all the main ingredients of chili, but all the spices of Japanese curry.

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Chili in our family is a Halloween tradition. What turkey is to Thanksgiving, chili is to Halloween. I can’t imagine a Halloween without it. Even when we aren’t with my parents on the holiday, I try to carry the tradition and make her famous chili. It’s not overly spicy, or interestingly unique, but it is a classic dependable recipe. If you like to experiment, this is a good base to make your own creation. However, I don’t like to stray too far from this tried and true recipe. Continue reading “MOM’S CHILI”

Vegan Quinoa Sweet Potato Chili

2013_02_26bAs far as chilis go, this was not my favorite. However, not comparing it to chili and judging it on its own, this was really good. We all really liked it. Between the sweet potatoes, beans, and quinoa it was very filling and rich with flavor. The quinoa texture balanced the mushiness of the sweet potatoes and the avocado on top really made it sing. I paired it with a salad with pecans and strawberries. Not bad eating. Now for dessert. Vegan cupcakes!


Vegan Quinoa Sweet Potato Chili

Pumpkin Chili and Corn Bread

What says “fall” more than chili? How about pumpkin chili? Yes!

Pinterest is a great place to find pumpkin recipes which is where I found this one. This picture on the website looked great! I love that the pumpkin added great color and texture to this chili, but unfortunately it didn’t add as much pumpkin flavor as I had anticipated. So for lunch tomorrow I’m going to add cubed butternut squash to maybe kick up the pumpkin-ish flavor a notch or two.

This wasn’t bad at all. This was a good solid chili recipe but not my favorite. I’ve made eleven different chili recipes of the past year or so and I’d rate this one a 7.9 overall. I can’t give it an 8, but 7.5 seems too low. I’m hoping my modification edges it up a few points.

Update: I made the modifications to this chili and it helped a lot! So I guess technically it’s a pumpkin/squash chili. Either way, it bumped the rating up to an 8.5!

When looking for cornbread recipes I went for Paula Deen’s super easy recipe, but this was a little flavorless. It had excellent moisture and texture, but was kind of bland. I definitely wouldn’t make this one again. But it got great reviews online so maybe I’m missing something.


Pumpkin Chili

Moist and Easy Cornbread