Fall is the perfect time to pull out those comfort food recipes and “healthify” them. One of my favorites is Chili. There are so many versions of chili out there: green, white, red, beans/no beans, vegetarian, chicken, turkey, beef…..the list goes on and on–but this one has to be my hands down favorite. It is full of seasoning with just a touch of ‘back heat’ that lingers rather than an “in your face, give me a glass of water” hotness that is actually hard to eat.
When I make chili I always think of my Dad, he always made the best chili when I was growing up; full of flavor and chunks of meat and veges. Unfortunately I could never get him to write the recipe down before he passed away so I’ve had to improvise to make my own version. I originally found this recipe in Yankee Magazine titled “Booma’s Revenge Chili” and have changed it around a bit to make it mine. I cut back on the meat, added more veges, eliminated the serrano chilis, tweaked the broth and added more beans….but otherwise its pretty much the same, okay so its not really the same at all.
Dad’s Chili, updated
2 lbs lean ground beef
1 Tbs olive oil
1 medium green pepper, diced
1 medium red pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 cups low sodium beef broth
6 TBS chili powder
3 TBS cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 cans 15 oz diced tomatoes (I used low sodium and fire roasted)
1 can 6 oz tomato paste
2 cans 15.5 oz kidney beans, rinsed and drained,(I used 1 light and 1 dark)
1- If you have time brown the meat ahead of time and allow to drain over a colander to get out the fat other wise just brown the meat in a large pot and remove as much of the fat as you can. I like smaller pieces of meat but break it up to your preference.
2-Either set meat aside and re-use the pot or in a second pot heat the oil
and then saute the peppers, onions and garlic for about 5 minutes or until softened.
3-Combine the meat, veges, beef stock, spices and tomatoes
(pretty much everything except the paste and beans) in a pot and
allow to simmer on low heat for about an hour, stirring occasionally.
4-Add the tomato paste and cook for another 20 minutes
then add in the beans and cook for another 10 minutes.
Of course, recipes are just a starting point and are meant to be personalized. I like more “juice” in my chili so I used more broth but feel free to use less (or add more tomato paste) if you like it thicker. I love using the veges and beans but add less or eliminate if its not something you like. Initially I also questioned the amount of chili powder and cumin but it really makes it nice and flavorful, not overwhelming.
If you give it a try, please let me know how you like it. If you have a recipe you love, please share it! I love trying new recipes to see what I can add to our healthy repertoire