Chili Recipe, with Photos!

Okay, so I have a chili recipe that I absolutely love and wanted to share. So, I took pictures of it as I was cooking and thought I’d share them. Here goes:

1 1/2 pounds ground beef or turkey
1 small onion (I add a green pepper and some celery)
3 cups water
12 oz. can tomato paste
12 oz. can tomato sauce (I also add a can of petite diced tomatoes)
2- 29 oz. (large) cans kidney beans (I add an extra small can of pinto beans)
4 tbsp. chili powder, this makes a nicely spiced dish. If you REALLY don’t like spice, decrease it slightly, but even my kids are okay with it. You can add more chili powder to it (which I like) but it is a lot easier to add spice if you want it and nearly impossible to get it out.
2 tsp. sugar, don’t leave it out!
1 tsp. oregano
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. pepper

So that is the actual recipe, but as you will see in the pictures, I deviate quite a bit. That is actually one of my favorite parts about it- there are so many ways to change it up if you need/want to.

Step 1:
Chop (dice) onion. I also dice a green pepper and 3 celery stalks, but if you don’t have them on hand, no biggie. You might want to experiment with other veggie choices, but these are my normal stand-bys.
Step 2:
Add a tablespoon of coconut (or olive oil or butter) to a large skillet. If I am only using the onion and no other veggies, then I don’t take this extra step, I just toss the onions and ground beef in together; it’s faster and you get about the same results. It doesn’t work as well when you have this many vegetables though. Since I don’t always let it simmer all day, it is good to make sure your veggies are already tender.
Step 3:
Saute vegetables until tender.

Step 4:
Add the ground beef. This recipe is really good with fresh ground turkey and if you are a little short in the quantity, it doesn’t matter; it’s all a matter of personal preference. I have even used a 50-50 mix of turkey and beef before. You couldn’t really tell. I imagine that this would work equally well with any ground meat.
Step 5:
Add all the other ingredients to the crockpot, or if you don’t use one, a large soup/stock pan. Since I am using canned beans, this is really a quick meal, because you only need to cook it long enough to allow everything to warm up and mesh together (about 30 minutes) or you can let it simmer on low all day long. If you choose to use dry beans, it would probably be best to soak and completely cook them before using t his recipe since I hear tomato products inhibit the bean’s ability to rehydrate and cook properly. I like kidney beans, but I am sure this would work well with any other bean. Maybe a pinto/black bean combo would be good. I also normally make this a “bean-heavy” dish, meaning that I double up on the amount of beans I am supposed to have. It stretches this meal even further.
Step 6:
Add drained ground beef to the crockpot and stir to combine everything. You can see the plastic liner I have on my crockpot. I don’t always use them, but when they work, they work well. I am not sure how I feel about cooking my food in plastic though…this was my last one and I won’t be purchasing them again.

Step 7:
Cook as long as you want. I prepared this at night, after dinner and let it cook on low for a couple of hours. I am going to store it in the fridge tonight and let it reheat in the crock for several hours from lunch until dinner. I take the chance to cook whenever I get it. I easily could have done all this at lunch tomorrow for dinner that same night, but this chili really is better the second day. About 10 minutes before you serve it, mix in the can of tomatoes, I use petite diced.

Step 8:

Serve! We like to eat this with whole wheat saltine crackers. I dip them in, my husband crackes them up and mixes them in. (Which probably decreases the spice a little for him…ketchup is spicy for him…:) ) We also top it with some cheese. This would be a good baked potato filling too. Next time, I am going to try it with pintos and black beans and make a “frito pie” out of it…yummy! This recipe fills my large oval crockpot (I think it’s 5 quarts?) so we usually eat it once and then I save a small amount for leftovers and freeze the rest in individual servings. It is really easy to reheat and doesn’t lose any flavor!

My Menus…Finally!!!

Despite wanting to go whole-hog into this new dieting thing, I’m not. I am, however, following pretty closely to Perfect Weight America, with one (major) exception: I am not going organic! Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to. When we move to Colorado in the next few months, I will be able to do my shopping at a Whole Foods market; the closest thing I have to that right now is a Trader Joe’s that is about 45 minutes away. The produce section is tiny and that is a major reason I would even venture in, so I am not taking the time. I am looking for real food now, instead of the processed junk. Instead of buying chicken stock, I am making some, right now!

My meal plan consists of several “basics” that I can just pick and choose from at will. Dinners will be more extravagant but I don’t have the budget for much of that. I am building a repertoire of simple, easy to cook, healthful recipes suitable for dinners and appealing to children! The major dinner change is replacing the ever-present starch (usually potatoes) with a smaller amount of rice (keeps longer/cheaper) for the kids and my husband and the addition of a large salad with some new dressing selections. I am not a particular fan of most dressings, so I am searching for something new. (I admit it- I love RANCH!!!)

Egg dish- two eggs cooked in coconut oil or butter served with sauteed peppers and onions or homemade salsa (store bought for now, but I will get the ingredients on Friday for the good stuff), piece of fruit (if I am still hungry…I won’t be!)
Fruit smoothie- frozen fruit, whole milk yogurt (that I am also going to begin making for myself, it’s very easy- here’s a link. She also tells you how to make cream cheese and whey from the yogurt, check out her recipes on the left sidebar.) goat’s milk protein powder, some coconut oil and honey. Blend.
Starchy breakfast- Oatmeal or Cream of Wheat with a tbsp of real maple syrup mixed in, piece of fruit. I am making a soaked, whole wheat sourdough bread, also courtesy of the website above, but that takes a week to get the sourdough starter started. This bread is actually very good for you, I will spread with the cream cheese mixed with a little honey and cinnamon. This is something I only want to eat less than once a week.
Dairy breakfast- Cut up fruit mixed into some yogurt or cottage cheese. I don’t care for this idea so much, but it is part of the Perfect Weight America regime, so I’ll try it- the kids will like it!
For the kids- They can choose to have what I’m having or they may have cold cereal (I know it’s not good for them!)
AM Snack, if needed: Fresh fruit or one of the “PWA” items listed in the book (Perfect Meal Shake or FucoBars), I didn’t care for them when I tried them before, though the shakes smell fantastic! I am willing to give them a try again. The goal is to reprogram my taste buds anyway!
A large salad mixed with whatever fresh veggies are on hand, and a protein, either two hard-boiled eggs, a can of fish or a chicken breast.
A nourishing soup. One I want to try is Coconut Chicken Soup. I’ve tried it before, but did it wrong…it was still edible, but I am looking forward to trying it again.
Kids will either eat with me or eat a sandwich with fruit and veggie “dipping sticks” – I make a dip out of the cream cheese, good brain food for kids!
PM Snack: veggie sticks or a “PWA” item (Perfect Meal shake or the FucoBars)
Though I already mentioned what I plan on doing, I want to pull from Dr. Rubin’s own words on the subject:
From Perfect Weight America, pg. 86:
“Build family dinners around:
*Healthy salads (romaine lettuce, radicchio, escarole, and endive) with tomatoes, celery, red onions, peppers, and avocados
*Healthy grains like amaranth, millet, buckwheat, and quinoa
*Healthy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, sweet potatoes, and white potatoes.
*Grass-fed meat, free-range chicken, and wild-caught fish, all served as a vital ingredient, not necessarily the main course.”

I know this isn’t really an adequate plan, but it a loose guide to follow. I am hoping that I can stick to this (more or less) until the New Year, where I will begin with The Perfect Cleanse, ala Perfect Weight America and then move into a closer following of this diet plan. I will be using Nourishing Traditions as my primary cookbook, but I will also be using the recipes from the PWA website.
Also of note is my water consumption: Per the recommendations in PWA, I will be drinking about 50% of my body weight, in ounces, per day. That comes out to about 110 ounces, or about 9- 12 oz. cups. Let’s see: wake up, breakfast, AM snack, lunch, PM snack, dinner, after dinner, before bed? That’s only 8, and I don’t like the idea of drinking so much before bed. I will probably increase the amounts earlier in the day, especially when I first wake up. In the end, I just want to be well-hydrated, so if I’m feeling well, I will probably drink less than 110 ounces of water.
The final note is that I will also be taking three supplements. The first is a Garden of Life brand (Jordan Rubin’s company) Woman’s multi-vitamin. It is whole food based and really good for you. The next is a dose of FucoThin, also a JR item and finally, some Cod Liver oil in the evenings, I take the capsules.
So there you have it!!! It all seems to be good, but we will see how many days I stick with it versus how many days I “splurge.”