i use a different combo of meat and veggies each time i make chili. here's what i did last night:
brown two mild italian sausages (casing removed) in a stock pot, crumbling w/ wooden spoon while cooking (chris did this for me). remove sausage and set aside in a bowl.
brown one large yellow onion (chopped) and about 5 cloves of garlic (rough chopped) in the sausage drippings (scraping up brown bits as the onions and garlic cook).
add carrots and bok choy (yes, this seems very odd, but i had some leftover home-grown veggies from the night before...there were probably about 4-5 small carrots sliced super-thin on a mandoline and 1 smallish bok choy chopped up thinly (leaves and all)...i had made a very simple stir fry the night before and had only added a bit of soy sauce - i was a bit worried about the soy sauce, but by the time the chili was finished cooking there was no soy sauce taste at all...so...you could add some carrots and bok choy at this point, or whatever you like - the colors, texture, and taste of the carrots and bok choy were great and i'd definitely do it again.
add one seeded and finely chopped serrano pepper.
add a 15 ounce can of great northern beans.
add a 28 ounce can of fire roasted crushed tomatoes.
add the cooked sausage.
add cumin, chipotle chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a little brown sugar and let simmer a while. i took it easy w/ the spices thinking i could add more later after i let it all settle and let the flavors mingle together. it turned out to be spiced perfectly and i didn't have to add anything.
so that's what i did. we just finished off the pot for lunch. it's cold and rainy, so hot chili was just what the doctor ordered!
have fun making your version : )