In just two weeks, on February 27, it will be National Chili Day! 


I am not surprised at all that we celebrate chili day in the middle of winter because it is a perfect winter meal! Warm, filling, and versatile.


As a food allergy family, we are always looking for recipes that allow us to customize the ingredients – and chili fits the build. Chili is one of those meals where substitutions and flexibility do not ruin the integrity of the dish.  


Here is what I mean 


  • Bean type does not work for you? Pick a different bean variety 
  • Make it super spicy or not by increasing or removing the hot sauce or hot peppers  
  • Pick your protein! Beef chili, turkey chili, chicken chili, bean chili 
  • Add corn or diced peppers


As long as you maintain the proportions of the original recipe, you can substitute to your allergy needs and taste! 


Although our family has a few tried and true chili recipes, this option requires almost no planning to get on the dinner table. 


In our house, we have all the ingredients called for regularly. Perfect for a night when the fridge and pantry seem empty. Or the times when you forgot to take something out of the freezer for dinner. 


This 3 bean chili recipe got added to my recipe collection when my mom and I were early in our home daycare career. We provided breakfast, lunch, and a snack to the children in our care. USDA food programs that supported us sent the recipe in a monthly newsletter. 


And you guessed it; this recipe appeared in the February letter.


Over time the recipe has changed little by little to accommodate my taste (the original was a bit under-spiced in my opinion) As well as to accommodate Shaun’s food allergies.


Here are the reasons I LOVE this recipe: 


  1. It is yummy – For me, the taste of a dish is always #1. The flavor should not be compromised in something allergy-friendly.


  1. It is a quick, simple meal. – one cutting board, one-pot: easy clean up too! 


  1. It is packed with protein. 


  1. It is a plant-based option – We are not vegetarian or vegan, but I do like to have a few plant-based meals that we can filter into our weekly meal rotation, helping to balance meat consumption.


  1. Toppings are customizable in the dish! Make it easy to accommodate allergy needs and personal taste.


I hope you give it a try! 




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Linda Corning

Linda is one half of the team here at The Art of Allergies. Linda is a child-care provider of over a decade and has been a driving force of allergy advocacy. Not only finding new ways to reinvent how life works with food allergies, but also taking an active role in the allergy community.

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