Quick and Easy Chili
With winter weather in full swing, I get the craving for all things soup, stew or chili. It is important to eat with the seasons and winter calls for warming foods with easy to digest cooked veggies since people would work less in the winter. When preparing foods, think about the season in which it grew and how the food was prepared to last a winter or summer without refrigeration or heat. It is interesting even our meat and eggs are seasonal. Constitutionally, warming foods and ferments are best for cool seasons, fresh veggies and salads and smoothies are best for warm seasons.
I found this recipe in a cooking magazine over 20 years ago, as I changed my health and lifestyle over the years I adapted my original junky recipe to suit what I was doing at the time. I also realized one day I had inadvertently been using tablespoons for spices instead of teaspoons, which was funny. What my chili has now become is a bowl of nutrient-dense ancestral goodness that is both inexpensive and easy to make.
A few key things: use grass-fed, grass-finished ground beef for the most nutrients and flavor. Contrary to popular belief red meat isn’t bad for you. It is the way we have industrialized our beef that makes it horrible. A grass-fed beef will be full of vitamins A and E, omega-3 fatty acids (necessary for inflammation management) and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid, a powerful polyunsaturated acid that boosts the immune system and may be cardio protective). In fact, pastured beef is one of the highest sources of CLA.
Soak your beans. Beans can be hard on the stomach, think about that jungle you heard as a child 😉 They contain anti-nutrients called phytates and lectins. These anti-nutrients are enzyme inhibitors that make grains and legumes difficult to digest. However, traditional cultures around the world knew that grains and beans need to be prepared before they are eaten. Soaking your beans overnight in some apple cider vinegar os the traditional way to do that. Besides, dried beans are so much cheaper than canned anyway and you get to ditch the toxin lined can to boot!
Lastly, give this chili a nutritional punch by using homemade (or now you can buy traditionally prepared, it just cost a lot of $) beef or chicken broth. A homemade broth contains all kinds of vitamins, amino acids, minerals and nutrients that are great for your health. A good stock will contain gelatin which is great for gut healing, joint pain and the immune system. In fact, gelatin as a therapeutic agent dates back hundreds of years. Remember grandmother’s chicken noodle soup for a cold? Campbell’s ruined it :/ Not only is broth super good for you, it provides amazing flavor too. My kids now refuse to eat chili with the boxed junk.
1-2 tbsps healthy fat, I like ghee, tallow or pastured butter or lard
1 large organic yellow onion, diced
1 organic green bell pepper, diced
1-2 jalapenos, diced
1 pound grass-fed, grass-finished ground beef
2 cups, homemade or traditionally prepared chicken or beef broth (I have used both, both are yummy)
8 oz organic tomato sauce
6 oz. organic tomato paste
16 oz dried navy beans, soaked 12-24 hours in filtered water and a tbsp. of apple cider vinegar
I just soak my beans the night before I plan to make chili, don’t get caught up here, it takes 2 mins and I often make my kids do it, it’s so simple.
Interesting fact, did you know white navy beans, lima beans, and lentils are easier to digest than other beans, chickpeas and black beans can be the hardest
3 tbsps chili powder
1 tbsps cumin
Dash sea salt to taste
1-2 tbsps clean hot sauce
Read your labels! Hot sauce is often full of sugar and msg. This brand [link] is my new fave
6-8 garlic cloves, minced
Chop your garlic first and let it stand until you add it to the end. Traditionally allow garlic to stand after cutting allows it to retain nutrients when heated up. Furthermore, add your garlic to soups and stews to retain even more nutrients
In a 5-6 quart pot or dutch oven melt fat and saute onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno until tender about 5-6 minutes
Add ground beef and cook until brown
Stir in remaining ingredients besides garlic, bring to a boil
Reduce heat to low, simmer 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally
Add garlic 5-10 minutes before serving
We serve with fresh sour cream, raw cheese, sauerkraut and pickled jalapenos
This serves about 4-5, I easily double this recipe for my family of 6 big eaters with leftovers. Once I made 8 servings for a fundraiser! This is great if you have a large crowd or want chili for dayz J