I have been having a HUGE craving for Wendy's Chili lately and I can't seem to get enough. Maybe it's this little diet I've been on since Dec. and the fact that Wendy's Chili is spot on. 210 calories for a small cup and loaded with protein, fiber, and deliciousness. I can eat a cup of chili and a naked baked potato and be happy for the rest of the day. (That's a good thing since the rest of my meals suck!) A dear friend shared a copycat recipe of this chili a few years ago, and we even made it once on one of our enormous freezer meal cooking days. So I got this great idea to make a honkin' gi-huge roaster pan of the chili and freeze it in gallon bags for future use. I'm never sorry when I do this. And it came in super handy Mon. night.
So the kids started pouring in from school when the scent of delicious chili met their cute little freckled noses. My red head is the best. He comes home first and walks through the door and says, "MMMMMMM what's that mom?" I reply chili and he starts the whole fist pump, YES! yelling, and happy dance. I wish I could take full credit for his happiness, but I noticed the other day when he asked what was for breakfast and I told him cereal he did the same thing. He's just a cheerful kid. Practically perfect in every way. (As all my children are.) We started snitching small bowls, dipping chips in the pot, and testing to make sure the chili was safe.
At about 5:02 pm we were all lounging about doing homework, watching Netflix, and Pinterest when a car drove down the driveway. This may not seem out of the ordinary to most, but at our house you can see the car coming down forever, and they are far and few between. We didn't recognize the car either so we just sat until the car got closer. As the occupants started out of the car I got a sudden charge to my soul. The Missionaries!! I suddenly had a vague little remembrance of signing a sign-up sheet a few weeks earlier that I would feed the above mentioned missionaries for din-din on Jan. 9, 2012 @5:00pm.
Talk about jump into action. I yelled! "We're feeding the missionaries RIGHT NOW! Set the table, move your crap, pick up the other crap, and be a HAPPY FAMILY!" They did. Within 3 minutes hot steamy bowls of chili were served with chips, cheese, sour cream and avocado. I don't think we missed a beat. The missionaries had seconds and thirds and then I just happened to have the makings of Fried Ice Cream for dessert. Disaster was averted. I will still go to heaven one day. I was made strong and delivered and I will always call this chili Tender Mercy Chili:) It literally saved my bacon. So if you've got the missionaries coming over I know they like this stuff. I hope it serves you as well as it did me.
Tender Mercy Chili
AKA Wendy's copycat recipe
I've adapted it to just how I like it so enjoy!
2 pounds ground beef
One 29 ounce can tomato sauce
One 29 ounce can kidney beans, with liquid
One 29 ounce can pinto beans, with liquid
1 cup diced onion (1 medium onion)
1 diced green pepper
¼ cup diced celery (1 stalk)
1 can Rotel tomatoes
2 teaspoons cumin powder
3 Tablespoons chili powder
1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 T. Italian Seasoning
1/4 c. sugar
2 cups water
1. Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat; drain off the fat.
2. Using a fork, crumble the cooked beef into pea-size pieces.
3. In a large pot, combine the beef plus all the remaining ingredients, and bring to a simmer over low heat.
4. Cook, stirring every 15 minutes, for 2 to 3 hours.