Monday, January 4, 2016

Justin & Flavia’s Healthy (and yummy!) Chili

Chili is such a hearty dish! If prepared with lean meat it's also a healthy meal packed with protein and lots of other nutrients! I also think this happens to be the best dish to “hide” nutritious veggies that kids (or some adults!) won’t eat.

Every family has their own secret recipe for chili but mine is no secret and it only needs about 30 minutes to make! Here’s all you need:

  • 2 lbs cooked beans (or 2 cans of chili beans, I use 1 red and 1 kidney, mild)
  • 1 lb ground beef, lean or extra lean
  • 34oz diced tomatoes (1 use a 26oz container of diced tomatoes with onions, carrots and celery in it + 1 10oz jar of diced tomatoes with chilies)
  • 1 large bell pepper, any color, diced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pureed
  • 1-2T of dry chili powder (to taste. I use 1 but think 2 would be ok as well if you like the flavor)
  • ½ T tomato paste (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Frank’s red sauce original
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ T olive oil
  • 1/3 cup of water or broth (beef or vegetable I feel are more suitable, if you must, but it’s not necessary)

In a medium stockpot, sautée the bell pepper, tomato paste, onion and garlic using the olive oil, until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add ground beef, mixing well to avoid chunks and let it brown. That’s what’s going to give it the best flavor!

Once the beef is browned, add all the other ingredients. Cook on medium heat until it starts to bubble; stirring frequently then let it simmer on low heat for another 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

If you don’t have lean ground beef, you may want to brown it first so you can drain the unhealthy fat.

To pack nutrients, consider adding an extra bell pepper, a couple stalks of celery and 2 small diced carrots. I also chop spinach and/or kale and add to the bottom of my bowl for extra healthy stuff! The fact that you won’t overcook the greens but will still warm them up will ensure lots of vitamins to be delivered with your meal!

I serve my chili bowl topped with low fat sour cream, fresh parsley and green onions. Feel free to add regular or 2% milk shredded cheddar, too. Also, add the level of spiciness to your taste. I do not like spicy food so if you do, you may think this needs a kick. Try adding a couple diced jalapeños, more chili powder and some extra hot sauce.

Voilá! I guarantee you will think you’re indulging and you’ll want to go for seconds! A great meal, easy enough for week nights! A bonus: it will freeze amazingly!

Happy new year!

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