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2022 Chili Cook-off

February 17, 2022

If you haven't heard already, our staff had a fun office chili/soup cook-off at the beginning of the week! Our winners were Vernon McClure and Troy Hinote. 

The competition was tough though! If you're looking for some new recipes to try at home, try these:

Troy - Chili Recipe:

  • Medium onion
  • Fresh garlic
  • Jalapeño
  • 1 lb ground sausage (*Jimmy Dean natural)
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 can mild diced tomatoes & green chilies (*Rotel)
  • 2 cans white chili beans (*Bush’s)
  • 2 cans red kidney beans (*Simple Truth organic)
  • 1 jar marinara sauce (*Simple Truth organic)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder (*McCormick organic)
  • Salt & fresh pepper


  1.  Dice onion and jalapeño
  2.  Sauté with olive oil in Dutch oven. (keep jalapeño ribs and seeds for heat)
  3.  Add freshly minced garlic to sautéed onion mix. 
  4.  Brown meat and sausage together in onion mix. 
  5.  Add salt & fresh pepper to taste. 
  6.  Drain well after browning. 
  7.  Add 1 tablespoon of chili powder to meat and stir well. 
  8.  Add diced tomatoes, white chili beans, red kidney beans and marinara sauce. (do not drain beans)
  9.  Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon of chili powder. 
  10.  Add more salt & fresh pepper to taste. 
  11.  Allow to simmer for a couple of hours for a good mix of flavors.  Stir occasionally. 

 Pro tip: It's even better to eat the second day!

Vernon - Ruth's Red Lentil and Potato Soup Recipe:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped 
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 medium red potatoes, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 dash pepper
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 1 ½ cups dry red lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup roughly chopped kale
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon file powder


  1.  Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and celery. Cook until tender. Mix in the potatoes, carrot, and garlic. Continue to cook and stir about 5 minutes, until the potatoes are well coated with butter. Season the mixture with allspice, cumin, cayenne pepper, cloves, and pepper.
  2.  Pour in the vegetable broth, and mix in the lentils. Add water, increasing the amount as necessary to cover all ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and stir in the kale. Cook, stirring occasionally, 35 to 45 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Mix in the cilantro and file powder. Continue cooking about 5 minutes, or to desired thickness.

Try these at home and let us know what you think!