It’s one of those meals that symbolizes the start of sweater weather. Comfort in a bowl.
Here’s the thing I’ve learned about chili: it can go one of two ways. One, you can use inflammatory, conventional meat, vegetable oil, tons of starchy beans and no added vegetables. Then you can pair it with noodles (Cincinnati-style), white rice, or cornbread and pile on sour cream and cheese. This combination sends your blood sugar way up only to come crashing down and leave you craving MORE – and usually more of the simple carbs that got you there in the first place!
OR, you can make a healthier chili, focusing on quality ingredients, dicing up veggies like bell peppers and mushrooms (adds nutrients AND umami!). Then pair the protein and fat in the chili with fiber like some avocado and a non-starchy veggie (like greens, cauliflower, delicata, etc…). This combo leaves your belly, brain and body satisfied and fueled. You won’t be reaching for the nearest dessert to top off your dinner!
I’m partial to my chili recipe, but the beautiful thing about chili is that it can be customized for YOU. Do you like beans? That’s fine – add a few, but don’t go crazy or balance it out and don’t add another starch with the meal. Do you like spice? Add extra jalapeno or cayenne. Does your family do fine with dairy? Pair the chili with a sprinkle or full fat shredded cheese or a dollop of full fat sour cream. Again, just think about the balance between protein, fat and fiber and do what works for you!
Make this recipe on a Sunday and enjoy while watching football! Or set yourself up for a week of comforting, healthy lunches or dinners for the week! This can easily be lightened up by added more vegetables!
No Bean Trilogy Chili
A nutrient dense take on a comforting classic
- 3 lbs. grassfed ground beef
- 1 tbsp. avocado or light olive oil
- 1 tbsp. tomato paste
- 3/4 yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 cup of bell pepper (red, yellow or orange), finely diced
- 1 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, finely diced
- 1/2 lb of baby bella mushrooms, finely diced
- 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2-3 tsp. himalayan sea salt, divided
- 3 tbsp. chili powder, divided
- 1 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne
- 1 – 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- Heat oil in a large dutch oven or large high sided skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add ground meat and season with 1 tsp. of salt and 1-2 tbsp. of chili powder.
- Brown meat – breaking into small pieces – until it is no longer pink.
- Add tomato paste and stir into meat.
- Add all of the vegetables, garlic and mushrooms. Add remaining spices and salt.
- Stir in crushed tomatoes. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Allow to simmer together for at least an hour – the longer the better!
- Serve immediately or allow to cool and refrigerate for delicious Plan Ahead meals throughout the week!
For a balanced meal using the simple trilogy, enjoy with greens (arugula works great!) or cauliflower rice, some avocado and a drizzle of delicious non-dairy sauce like Tessemaes Avocado Ranch!