Fall has arrived early in Indy, and WE are not upset about it! Not only is it my favorite season, it means two things: football is back and it's time to make chili.
Chili is often seen as a "comfort food," and with a few tweaks in ingredients it can be one of the healthiest muscle-building meals YOU can prepare. Chalked full of vegetables, protein, and healthy carbohydrates, this recipe is great for a post-WOD dinner or lunch at the office. Feel free to adjust the spice level to your choosing and play around with the peppers you use. The more you try.... the more fun your chili will be!
- 1 Pound Ground Sirloin (90% lean), Grass Fed is preferred
- 2 14 oz. cans Dark Red Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 14 oz. can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 14 oz. can Chili Hot Beans
- 1 Medium White Onion, diced
- 2 Stalks Celery, chopped
- 2 Large Green Bell Peppers, diced
- 2 Jalapeno Peppers, diced (take seeds out to reduce the heat)
- 1 Serrano Pepper, diced (leave out to reduce heat)
- 1 Clove Garlic, minced
- 2 28 oz. cans Tomato Juice
- Chicken Stock to cover
- 2 Tbsp. Ground Cumin
- 2 Tbsp. Chili Powder
- 1 Tbsp. Smoked Paprika
- 1 Tbsp. Red Chili Flake
- 1/2 Tbsp. Oregano
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- 1 Tbsp. Avocado, Coconut, or other high-smoke-point Oil
- 1/4 Cup Jack Daniel's Whiskey (optional)
- In a large dutch oven (or large soup pot) heat the oil over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, put in the ground sirloin, and season with a little salt and pepper. Cook until the meat is completely browned, and just about cooked through.
- Add the onion, celery, and bell pepper. Cook until the celery and onion are translucent and the bell pepper has softened. Then add the jalapenos and Serrano (if using) and cook for another few minutes, or until all the vegetables appear soft and cooked. Add the garlic, and cook for another minute, being sure not to burn the garlic.
- Toss in your spices, stir, and then deglaze the pan with the whiskey. If you don't want to use the whiskey, you can also use water here. Do not skip this step. The deglazing process pulls all the yummy bits off the bottom on the pan and really flavors the chili.
- Add all the beans, as well as the tomato sauce. If it looks a little too thick, add some chicken stock to thin out the chili. You may not need all of the tomato sauce, nor any of the chicken stock. It depends on the size of your pot, and how many vegetables you put in the pan.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and then check for taste. Adjust the salt and pepper, as well as any other spices, and then partially cover and allow to cook for approximately one hour.
- When the chili is cooked and reduced to your liking, remove from the heat and serve.
One of the most fun parts of chili is the toppings. If you're a big sour cream fan, but are looking for a leaner option, try out 0% Greek Yogurt such as this from Chobani. It has the same tang as sour cream, but with a lot less fat and a lot more protein. Other toppings include fresh or pickled sliced jalapenos, sharp cheddar cheese, or crunchy toast/crackers. Remember, over-doing the toppings can ruin all of your hard work on making this healthy chili, so be easy with the amounts!