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Ugly Christmas Sweater

Comfort Food

Photo by Jake Colvin on Pexels.com

It’s fall here in Virginia and the turning leaves are vibrant. Once those leaves start turning and temperatures decline, we begin the slow march into winter. Virginia weather is hardly predictable any time of the year but still, we diligently break out the boots, sweaters, scarves and hot cider!

In late October we begin to crave warm and hearty dishes that subdue our primal need to hybernate. One of my favorite meals this time of year happens to be healthy, no guilt, beef and bean chili. It’s super easy and that’s quite appealing when I’m pre-occupied with end of season cycling adventures.

Chef Tips:

🌶 If you really like the idea of a smoke flavor in your chili, substitute a jar of chipotle salsa. This increases the flavor and brings to mind a campfire in the woods on a cool evening.

🍁Sauteing the garlic and onions brings out the best flavors! Both the garlic and the onion are naturally sweet after you cook them instead of hot and spicy. Give them a quick saute in EVOO right before you cook the beef.

💡Use the same skillet in which you sauteed the onions and garlic. This will transfer the flavors into the beef for a more rounded flavor.

💸Use lean beef for a healthy chili. This recipe calls for 96% lean ground beef. I use it because it is healthier than 80% and yields a lot more beef per pound after cooking. Typically, when cooking with higher fat beef, the fat cooks off and you end up with less meat than you paid for.

🥘When cooking your beef, try not to stir it too much. A chunky beef chili is what we are aiming for here.

🍂Cook the beef until mostly done. It may show a little bit of pink and that’s fine because it will finish cooking in the crockpot. I’ve included a picture for reference.

🥫You’ll not find a lot of extra ingredients here. The chili powder contains all of the ingredients commonly added to chili in the first place. Find my recipe for smoked chili powder at this link and adjust it however you wish! Smoked Chili Powder

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RECIPE

Healthy Crockpot Smoky beef and Bean Chili

Prep time: 15 minutes
Ready in: 5 hours
Serves: 6 people

Ingredients

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

2 lbs 96% lean ground beef

½ large yellow onion, finely chopped

1 TBS minced garlic

16 oz of your favorite low-calorie salsa (about 20cals per serving)

3 TBS smoked chili powder (homemade link here)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 – (15 oz) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Shredded cheddar or Mexican style cheese (optional).

1/4cup chopped scallions (optional)

Preparation

~Heat the EVOO in a large and deep non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.

~Add onion and garlic sauté on medium-low for 5 minutes

~Pour onion & garlic mixture into a 6 or 7 quart slow cooker.


saute onions and garlic
saute onions and garlic

~Leave onion and garlic remnants in the skillet.

~Set heat to medium, add beef and stir occasionally until beef has mostly browned and slightly chunky. You’ll want to see a tiny bit of pink so it doesn’t overcook over 5 hours in the crockpot.


smoked chili ingredients. beef has a small amount of pink left to cook in the crockpot

~Drain fat from beef. 

~Place beef into crockpot.

~Stir in salsa, beans, and chili powder.


chili ingredients, beef, beans, salsa, chili powder in a crock pot

~Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours.

~Stir in salt to taste. This recipe is low-sodium so taste testing is required.

~Serve hot. Top with optional cheese and scallions.


healthy smoky beef and bean chili with cheese and scallions

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(lean ground beef and scallions are not in the above list)
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
2 lbs 96% lean ground beef
½ large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 TBS minced garlic
16 oz of your favorite low-calorie salsa (about 20cals per serving)
3 TBS smoked chili powder (homemade link here)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 – (15 oz) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Shredded cheddar or Mexican style cheese (optional).
1/4cup chopped scallions (optional)



I’m saving this recipe for later… Healthy Crockpot Smoky Beef and Bean Chili by @its.tobi.d https://well-being-connection.com/2019/10/30/healthy-crockpot-smoky-beef-and-bean-chili/

Keywords: Easy Chili, Healthy Chili, Crockpot Chili, Beef, Beans, Paprika, Onions.

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