Some might not recognize at first that chili is actually very healthy. It all depends on how you make it, and which ingredients you use. Done right, chili not only checks the boxes for a healthy dinner, but also as one of the best comfort foods on a cold, winter’s day.
To begin, use only fresh organic produce. My go-to’s are bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Organic red kidney beans, stewed tomatoes (Roma), unsalted tomato sauce, chili powder (or a mix – be careful and read the list of ingredients to make sure nothing unwanted is added), and cumin round out the list. As for meat, local organic ground beef (or sirloin, cubed) works best, and for vegetarians, try Good Life Ground Crumbles (original). If you’re not into soy, try adding in either some pinto or garbanzo beans to “beef” it up.
One green bell pepper diced
One small white or yellow onion diced
3 cloves of fresh garlic minced
2 cans of red kidney beans (soup can size)
3 small cans of unsalted tomato sauce
One regular sized can of organic stewed Roma tomatoes
Chili mix package or Chili powder and Cumin
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (two shakes)
One pound of lean organic ground beef (or cubed sirloin) or One package of soy crumbles
Salt to taste
One pot method:
Heat on medium. Add one tablespoon of light cooking oil to pot. Sauté bell pepper, onion, and garlic until just beginning to soften. Add in your ground beef, beef, or soy, and continue to stir vegetables with meat until cooked through and no pink in the beef.
Add cans of kidney beans, tomato sauce, and stewed tomatoes. Stir. Add in chili mix or Chili powder and Cumin until desired taste. Sprinkle in a little salt, and add two shakes of the crushed red pepper flakes. Stir and combine all ingredients, cover with a lid and let cook for an hour on low.
To make “Chili Mac”, add one cup of elbow macaroni in with the all remaining ingredients before covering to cook for one hour.
By using organic and unsalted ingredients, you eliminate the excess sodium. Chili is a high protein, high vegetable, and high fiber dish. Onions and garlic are natural antibiotics, and chili peppers and red peppers are natural painkillers that also boost metabolism. The fiber content of the kidney beans is especially good for the digestive track. Tomatoes add licopene which is hailed as a cancer-fighting nutrient.
This recipe makes 6 servings. Serve with crackers or sprinkled with a little cheddar cheese. Enjoy!
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M. Gwynn has authored two books, Harvest and The Cat Who Wanted to be a Reindeer on Amazon.com . Ms. Gwynn also writes for National Animal Rights and San Antonio Sex & Relationships for warptown.com.
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