To make a dish with chili and rice, it doesn’t matter what kind of chili you use and it doesn’t matter what kind of beans you use (if you even use beans). It doesn’t even matter what kind of rice you use. As long as it’s called “chili”, you can put it on top of some cooked rice and make a meal out of it.
It should be obvious, but you can’t use uncooked rice, even while preparing your dish. I prefer chili with beans, even if it does make me flatulate like crazy. There are ways around the flatulence issue, so you should never let that be the one thing that holds you back from eating beans.
I ate rice regularly when I lived in Hawaii in the early 1970s, but my introduction to chili and rice came later. It was at the little diner in the bowling alley at MCRD San Diego, California in 1979. That’s where I went to boot camp and where the Marine Corps stationed me immediately after my class A school.
I don’t know if that diner cooked its own chili or if it came from a can. All I know is it tasted like canned chili and that’s the best way I can describe it. I know they cooked the rice because you can’t get cooked rice from a can.
Anyway, it was cheap and it did the job of filling me up when I was hungry. That happened far too often because I usually only ate one meal in a day. Sometimes I’d forget to even eat that one meal.
I don’t believe I had any chili and rice at all between the date I left there in 1981 and some date when my younger son was old enough to tell me he liked it. I’m guessing, but I think it was after 1990.
I don’t eat chili and rice very often now, but I get a craving for it once in a while.
I like the canned Hormel variety – chunky with beans. I can rarely find that particular item in any of the local stores of the Philippines. It has chunks of beef, sort of cubed, not like ground beef. One of the small cans, heated up and spread over the top of small plate of rice, can be dinner for me.
I don’t really care whether it has beans in it or not, but I like the fact that beans are high in protein and potassium.
The beans don’t always bother me. Whether I flatuate or not depends on how much I’ve eaten, I’m sure. If they start bothering me, I’ll use an old trick. I’ll stir in a teaspoon of baking powder while heating them up.
I won’t let a little thing (it depends on perspective, I suppose) like flatulence keep me away from chili and rice. Even when my wife, Josie, complains. (It usually starts to take effect when I’m ready to sleep.)
Originally published in June of 2014. Updated for readability.