My father was a cook in the Army and taught me the basics in the kitchen. My childhood baby-sitter inspired my love of cooking, too...in fact, she gave me this recipe. —Julie Brendt, Antelope, California
Green, sweet red and yellow peppers give this hearty chili a splash of color. I often fix it for my grandsons. Because they don't like spicy chili, I use mild salsa, but try it with a hotter variety if you prefer. —Richard Rundels, Waverly, Ohio
You're sure to get a kick out of this spicy entree, which placed third at a chili contest in Murphy, North Carolina.
"I wanted to make good-for-you chili that also used veggies from my garden," C.J. Counts explains. "My husband and I are chefs, but we also like to have fun and use our imaginations when we cook."
This vegetarian chili is zesty, but it also offers a slight hint of sweetness. Because it doesn't have to simmer for hours like other chili recipes, it's ideal for serving to drop-in visitors. —Jeraldine Hall of Ravenden Springs, Arkansas
"Folks who like their chili hot really get a kick out of this zippy recipe," pens Amy Baxter of Bishop, California. "I serve steaming bowls of it with oven-fresh corn bread. It's chockfull of garden goodness—with two kinds of squash , tomatoes, green chilies, black beans, etc.—that you can leave out the meat altogether and not miss it a bit."
Because it looks different than traditional chili, my family was a little hesitant to try this dish at first. But thanks to full, hearty flavor, it's become a real favorite around our house. I like to serve it with warm corn bread. —Jeanette Urbom, Louisburg, Kansas