Hawaii… the land of loco moco, spam musubi, and chili and rice. What?? You didn’t know about the chili and rice? When I lived in Honolulu in the early 90’s, my host family introduced it to me, and I have to admit, I thought it was a bit strange. Come to find out, chili and rice was super popular at fast food restaurants like McDonald’s, Zippy’s and the local plate lunch icon, Rainbow Drive-In. The health food store near my home called Down to Earth, had a small counter where they served up steamy bowls of chili and rice so I tried it. YUM! I was hooked.
Fast forward to lunchtime yesterday. I made chili the day before and pulled it out of the fridge to have along with the leftover rice. But as I was gathering the ingredients, I spied the spaghetti squash I had roasted sitting in the fridge next to the rice. Hmmm… certainly a healthier option but what would it taste like? Chili and Spaghetti Squash?? It sort of sounded odd. But those colors WOW – just dynamite together! I had to try it. And am I ever glad because it was just fantastic! Here’s what I did:
1 yellow onion*, chopped
1 green pepper*, chopped
Salt and pepper
1.3 lbs grass fed ground beef*
1 pkg Carol Shelby’s Chili Mix in the brown box (just the spice mix and cayenne, toss the salt and the masa)
1/2 pkg Senator Goldwater’s chili mix
5 cans beans* (I use a combination of pinto, black and kidney)
2 28-oz cans fire roasted tomatoes*
Directions: In large dutch oven, brown onions and pepper with salt and pepper until translucent. Add beef and cook until done. Add remaining ingredients, stir and cook for an hour or two. Chili is best the next day, so I refrigerate mine and patiently wait.
1 medium spaghetti squash*
salt and pepper
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 F. For easy cutting, place the spaghetti squash in the microwave for about 3 minutes on high power. Cut it in half and sprinkle the inside with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place face down on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake about 25 minutes until crisp tender. You don’t want it mushy. Scrape out spaghetti squash with a fork into ribbons.
Here’s how it went in my bowl:
Chipotle flavored Cheddar Cheese, grated
Roasted Salted Pumpkin seeds*
Salt and Pepper