Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Healthier Chili

Ingredients (I do not measure very often, I just "eyeball" things)
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 med. onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 T Chili powder, adjust to your taste
1 t cumin
1 can corn or approx. 1 c. fresh/frozen, drained
1 can pinto beans, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 can dark red kidney beans, drained
1 can tomato sauce
2 T carrot puree
1 to 2 T ground flaxseed
1 T butter (real butter please, unsalted!)
salt and pepper to taste

Start by browning your beef, salt and pepper if desired, and then drain grease.  Add onion, peppers and garlic to skillet and saute until tender.  Add all remaining ingredients, I usually swish the tomato sauce can with a little bit of water to get the consistency that I want.  Simmer on stove top for 30 minutes or put in crock pot on low for a couple hours.

Notes:  I realize that my picture does not have corn ... that is because I made this batch for the "big" family and my father in law said, "why would you put corn in chili?"  So I didn't put in this batch, but normally I would.  Also, you don't have to used canned ingredients.  I wrote it this way to make it easier for everyone to follow, substitute and adjust according to what you like.  The butter helps cut the acidity from the tomatoes, please don't leave it out.  Finally, I wrote to dice the onion and peppers (remember that diced is smaller than chopped!) because my family would be less likely to see them and pick them out or say eww and pass on the dish ... so I figured that others might be the same way.

Why do I call this "Healthier" Chili?  For several reasons!  First of all it is loaded with veggies!  Onion, garlic, peppers, carrots, tomatoes (I know they are a fruit) ... they all have great benefits!  Also, the flax is a great addition to your diet, see my previous post "Quest for a Healthier Family" for more on that.  And finally I use DARK red kidney beans because they have more nutritional value that light red, which a lot of people tend to use because of their milder flavor.

If you are not familiar with pureeing veggies for uses like this, I will make a blog post later about my pureeing adventures.  For now, check out "Deceptively Delicious" by Jessica Seinfeld.  I don't follow her recipes to the letter, but I use them for inspiration.  I have also heard people say that they use baby food this way... that is if you happen to have some in your pantry!

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