Chiles and Chilis

by Jane Butelâ„¢

Last night we were so excited to see so many come to our Chiles and Chilis demonstration at the Tramway branch of the Albuquerque Public Library.  The event had a waiting list of 40, which inspired us to lock in another date as soon as possible.  The next date is July 8, 2009, at 5:30 PM at the Albuquerque Downtown Library, which has a much bigger room.

I had such a great time seeing many familiar faces who had attended my classes in the past, some had attended way long ago and remembered me when I first started my career for the electric utility, PNM. 

Chili has such a rich history of the cattle drives, the Blue Nun from Spain who had visions of chili back in 1620 up to the current moment with all of the chili cookoffs.  No single food is so American and conjures so much excitement.  I just love to share this history and the Basic Fitness Plan for perfectly fabulous chili every time.  All of this history, plus my favorite chili recipes are in my newest book, the revised and expanded "Chili Madness", which I have been touring the country doing classes, TV and media of all sorts.  The book is for sale on my website at www.janebutel.com under products.  ( And, I will autograph a copy for you.)

Chili is such a perfect dish for right now!  With the economy is such a slump,  cooking and serving chili makes perfect sense.  It is a dish that can be cooked in huge amounts,  improves with storage in the refrigerator or freezer, can be served myriads of ways, as is with toppings, which I call Fixin's 'n Mixin's or as a filling or topping for potatoes, egg dishes, on tortillas openface for pizzitas, in tacos, as an enchilada sauce and with macaroni--you see, the list is almost endless and so much fun.

Why is chili fun?  My take on it is that chili gets it's life blood, so to speak, from chiles--which are one of my very favorite topics.  Chiles have long been known by the Native Americans who first developed them and took them back to their native Asian areas--primarily Mongolia and Tibet.

Chiles help your body to be healthier in so many, many ways!  And to begin with, chiles excite, almost ignite our endorphin system--creating kind of like a runner's high.  Chiles have a greater ability to do this, due to their unique possession of capsaicin--the substance that we know of as the spicy quality of chiles.

Chiles, red or green, help clear plaque from our arterial system, improve digestion, fight cancer, aid our kidneys and fight aging ( I am increasingly interested in this one!) among many other properties such as aiding weight reduction. 

I am going to continue telling you the many,many benefits of eating chiles on a very regular basis--this is truly a life's mission with me.  Let me hear your thoughts and questions.  Until later,  have a healthy and fun life,  Jane