Leftovers into Luscious

September 2, 2011  •  Meat & Poultry, One Dish Meals

I have a small problem – I don’t ever throw food away. Faced with the zucchini harvest of the decade, I shredded them all, and now have over 30 pounds of shredded zucchini in my freezer. When an early frost hits and my tomatoes are all still green, I puree them and freeze them.Last week I cooked a bison brisket – I put it in the oven to cook at 4pm – and at 10pm as I was going to bed, my husband had to remind me it was in there. So I just kept it wrapped in foil and refrigerated it to deal with the next day. Well, when I sliced into that thing, it was less than tender and certainly less than moist. Not wanting to just throw it out, I went to my fail safe backup plan: make a soup or stew of some sort. Simmering tough or dried out meat with moist ingredients and seasonings tenderizes it and brings it back to life.I’ve figured out that when making chili, it doesn’t much matter what you put into it vegetable-wise. It will all simmer down with the chili spices and meld together, making it a perfect place to use up shredded zucchini, which sort of melts into the sauce, and pureed green tomatoes, which give it a tomatillo kind of flavor. I had the chili for dinner – delicious -and now I only have one problem. I’m left with two quarts of chili I don’t want to throw out either, so back in the freezer they go. I’ll be happy to find them on a cold fall night soon!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Bison Chili with Zucchini and Green Tomatoes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 6
  • 1 bison brisket (or beef) cooked and cubed (about 1½ to 2 pounds)
  • 1 large onion, diced small
  • 4 cups shredded zucchini
  • 2 cups pureed green tomatoes
  • diced roasted chile peppers, to taste (I used about 6 small ones with seeds removed)
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 can beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • cilantro, for garnish
  • shredded cheddar cheese, for garnish
  1. Heat cubed bison or beef in a large stock pot and add onion, stir together until onion is softened. Add zucchini, tomatoes, and chiles then stir in flour until everything is coated. Pour in broth and add spices; stir, cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer for 30-60 minutes for flavors to meld. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with chopped cilantro and shredded cheese.
If you are using frozen shredded zucchini or frozen pureed green tomatoes, drain some of the water off before adding to the chili.



7 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Ty says:

    I am the SAME way. I love my freezer. I need another freezer. Maybe 2.

    I hate wasting food. >.O

    This looks great. Definitely gonna add zucchini to my next chili. Shhh don’t tell my husband it’s there.

  2. Chef Dennis says:

    I’m certainly glad you didn’t throw it away, that is one delicious looking bowl of chili! I have a great guest post today, and I think you might know her!

  3. KC Quaretti-Lee says:

    Looks delicious and thanks for the honesty! Nice to hear I’m not the only one to change dishes mid stream because something didn’t turn out as expected!

  4. Christine says:

    I was just visiting your daughter’s blog. I didn’t know until today Jenny is your daughter. Big thanks to you and your daughter for all you do. I have the no kid hungry badge and bloggers with out borders badge on my blog. Again, thanks for all you do.

  5. Lea Ann says:

    Love the photo Michele. And this cool weather has me thinking about chili.

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