July 26, 2013

The Lighter Side of Chili-E

My husband likes chili.  It's pretty much up there with pizza and nachos in his book, and it was a staple in our house before Trim, Healthy Mama (THM) showed up.
The thing with THM is that you have a choice:  luscious with fats, or lighter and carb focused.
So which should chili be?  For me it comes down to beans or not.
Now I like beans.
They are tasty and cheap, and I already have a bunch canned and ready to use that were soaked and sprouted even.
So save the meaty stew for cold weather and lets bring on the veggies and the beans for this one.

This chili will have some meat, in the form of lean turkey, and some beans, black beans today but pinto or even a white bean are also appropriate, and some veggies that are on hand.  I find chili as a good place to stash all those peppers that tend to come from the garden all at one time.

But I have a secret.
This is really, really bad.
This is slacker chili.
This chili only takes about 20 minutes to make from start to finish, and I'm not chopping, cutting or doing any prep.  This is a busy day chili and I'm either taking everything from a jar or from the freezer.
I'm not a snob about food.  I believe you should look at what your needs are, what your resources are, and see how things fit your life.  I refuse to feel like this is an inferior food because it is quick and easy

I start with 2 pounds of lean, ground turkey and brown it in my dutch oven.  I actually got this on clearance and had coupons so this was an especially good deal.  Feel free to use any lean meat though.

Browned turkey with peppers and onions (you can see
the Fajita Mix bag in the background).
Veggies.  I try to sneak them in where I can, and now is the time of year to get the best products.  But today is kind of a busy day.  I don't have time to sit and chop onions and peppers.  And you know what?  I don't have time to hit the farmer's markets, and bell peppers are expensive at my local grocery store.
So I found Fajita Mix in the frozen section.  It is pre-cut frozen bell peppers and onions.
It is cheaper per pound than buying peppers and is equivalent to the price of onions.  I stock up when the put the store brand of this mix on sale.
You can also feel free to add squash or other veggies.  Just cut it small and your kids probably won't be know.
And feel free to get an onion and a bunch of bell peppers and slice and dice.  .
I should probably defrost first, but I'm in a hurry, so I add the whole bag, frozen to the browned meat and put the lid on the pot.

After about 10 minutes, the veggies are defrosted and cooking.  You can add a bit of beef stock at this time, but it isn't necessary.  It will just give a better flavor.
I also add in seasonings at this point.  Again, I'm going to keep it simple and get out my 1 tsp spoon.
I add 1 tsp of ground cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt.  I add about 1/4 tsp of ground red pepper.  Feel free to add more or less of any of these spices depending upon your tastes.

Next comes a can of diced tomatoes with green chili.  You might know this as Rotel, but I buy the store brand (of course) and save 50% over the name brand price.  Again, feel free to get tomatoes from the garden and chop them or use some you have frozen or canned.

I then add in a quart of black beans.  These were dried beans that I sprouted and then canned.  Feel free to open up some cans of store ones if that is what you have or soak and sprout and pre-cook some; it doesn't matter.

After everything is added to the pot, stir it all together, put the lid on and let it simmer for 10 minutes or so for flavors to blend.
Then enjoy.

You can have up to one and a half (1.5) cups of beans and that would be a fairly massive serving of this.
I like to enjoy with a warmed low-carb pita.
It's not exactly a purists version of chili, and I'd imagine that quite a few people out there would find the name chili to be somewhat dubious, but I just call it good and tasty and filling, and my family calls it dinner (and that is really all I care about).

This post is linked with Gwen's Nest and Stacy Makes Cents for Trim, Healthy Tuesday.


Sarah K said...

Dude. That's crazy fast! I like that.
I bet I could modify this for camping with my crowd, too!
Thanks! It's not rocket science or anything but a good idea is just a good thing.

The Babiak Family said...

Add some cocoa powder to this. It really makes it wonderful. No joke! I won a chocolate contest with this chili recipe by adding some cocoa to it.

Stacy Makes Cents said...

So smart! I have never added fajita veggies to my chili - I need to try that. Thanks for linking at Trim Healthy Tuesday!

~Stacy @ Stacy Makes Cents

Melissa Taylor said...

So easy! I may brown the meat and throw the rest of it in the crock pot. I always need crock pot recipes on Mondays!

Anonymous said...

So hard to find good E meals.......thank you! I am doing this for dinner today!

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say...I made this chili today (with some small variations, like adding chicken instead of gr. turkey, adding mushrooms, etc.) and it was fabulous! Such a filling, yummy meal for a chilly day, but still on plan. Thanks for sharing the idea and your recipe. I hope to try several of your other recipes soon, too. :) God bless!
- Lydia