Sunday, April 18, 2010

Frugal Gluten Free Dinner #3

This is part of a series of gluten free menus for dinners costing under $4 per person.

I hate throwing away food, so I’m practicing leftovers management. About twice weekly, I actually look in the refrigerator (I know, what a concept) to see what leftovers are still there. Then I move them into the freezer.

And no, my freezer is not overflowing with leftovers!

I keep a container in the freezer labeled “Chili Fixin’s”, and most leftovers go into the bag. Well, not everything, of course, but most things. Also, small amounts of leftovers that wouldn’t ordinarily be saved, like a few bites of this or that, go into the freezer container.

About once per month, I make chili with all the leftovers. It is NOT yucky! It is surprisingly good.

I start by defrosting the container of leftovers, either in the microwave if I’m in a hurry, or in a sink full of COLD water. Don’t use hot water to defrost frozen food – it isn’t good food safety.

I usually buy canned beans when they’re on sale for 50 cents per can. I like pinto beans, kidney beans, and sometimes black beans in chili. Drain and rinse the beans.

I used to make chili with dry beans, which are very economical and easy to cook. This, however, requires me to remember to soak the beans the night before, then remember to keep an eye on them while they’re cooking, and my memory just isn’t that great anymore.

Leftovers Chili, which I usually make in the Crock Pot, may contain: taco meat, corn, roast beef, refried beans, baked beans, chicken, spaghetti sauce, stew meat, lunch meat, mushrooms, roast pork, onions, peppers, salsa, and/or fresh diced tomatoes.

Add beans, chili powder, and whatever else you like in chili.

I usually serve it with gluten-free cornbread.

What do you like in your chili?

2 ½ cups cornmeal
1 cup rice flour (either brown or white if fine)
½ cup sorghum flour
½ cup cornstarch
2/3 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
3 teaspoons xanthan gum
2 teaspoons salt
4 eggs
2 cups milk
2/3 cup canola oil
1 can (15 oz) whole kernel corn, drained (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Wisk together all dry ingredients

In a separate container, lightly beat eggs and mix with milk and oil. Add to dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in drained corn (if using).

Spread into greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

Cook for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until center is done.

Printable Recipe

A link to this recipe/post also appears at The Gluten-Free Homemaker.


  1. Not too long ago I had chili served with Fritos. We put them right in the chili. It was tasty. I'm usually pretty basic when making chili, I'll have to try some of your suggestions.

  2. I have a very similar cornbread recipe I use. It's such a comfort food. I haven't made it lately and you have me in the mood for it now. Thanks for participating in Gluten-Free Wednesdays.

  3. I make a leftover chili that I call Miracle Leftover Chili because some time the ingredients are so odd you think they would never go together. But chili seasoning is the bind that ties! : ) I love thie idea fo putting it all in the crockpot, so much easier! And once it is done I can change the setting to warm, to keep it hot for the straglers...

    Thanks for sharing this idea. Your cornbread looks awesome!