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Tasty Tuesday: School Lunch Chili

photo credit: Serene Vanoy

photo credit: Serene Vanoy

OMG, you guys. I am SO SAD. 

By now you know that when I’m not blogging, I moonlight (or daylight…) as a school lunch lady. Every year, the registered dieticians and nutritionists who create our recipes and menus go through the old recipes to change them up, and add exciting new things. Which is great! (who else is totally glad that they don’t serve Salisbury Steak anymore?) But the saddest thing ever is that this year, they 86’ed a favorite of the kids and staff alike: Three-bean Chili with Cinnamon Rolls. 

If you’ve never thought to serve cinnamon rolls with chili, it’s a brilliant combination. I can’t imagine chili whithout cinnamon rolls now! Anyway, I am not sure why they did away with it, but I was lucky enough to copy down our kitchen’s official recipe, before it went to the shredder…

This is a BIG recipe. I’ve cut it down from the usual 52 servings to a manageable 12. Still, that’s a lot of chili, so you’ll want to prepare this when you can plan for leftovers. I recommend freezing half for another day–put the frozen chili right into your crock pot on low in the morning, and it will be perfectly warmed by dinner time. 

The best part of this recipe is that it calls for fresh corn and tomatoes (yep, fresh! Not canned! We lunch ladies do it up!) both of which are perfectly in season right now. 

It’s meatless, but if you want to add a pound or so of meat, I suggest omitting one can of beans. And obviously, you are required to serve it with cinnamon rolls!