The weather has changed drastically here in the last week. Our mild fall weather has taken a turn for the worse, a reminder that winter is well on its way. When the weather gets colder, and the sky is heavy and dark, I crave foods that warm me up on the inside; I want the one-pot, simmered for hours, warms up the kitchen kind of dishes that have comfort food written all over them. Chili is just that kind of dish.
Chili has many variations, and a range of different ingredients are likely to make their way into the pot. For me, chili includes both ground beef and beans, a lot of flavorful spices, and as many vegetables as I can sneak into the mix. Lately, the sprouts have been more willing to eat what is put in front of them, so I have even begun including minced up greens, mixed in with the more familiar staples, like carrots and celery. This chili can be served with rice, corn bread, or taco chips, but we find that topped with avocado, cilantro and shredded cheese, it is satisfying even without the extra carbs.
Good Ol’ Chili
(A Grow. Cook. Eat. Share. Original Recipe)
1 pound lean ground beef (grass fed, organic, if possible)
1 large onion, diced
4 medium carrots, grated
4 celery stalks, diced
3 cups leafy greens (chard, kale, rapini, spinach), minced
3 cups crushed tomatoes, approximately (I freeze our crushed tomato puree in three cup portions for future use)
1/2 cup each, dried chickpeas, dried black beans, and dried pinto beans, soaked overnight and drained,
or 1 small can of each of the three beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups water, plus more for additional simmering
3 tablespoons sea salt
Chili Seasoning Blend
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Put the ground beef into a dutch oven (large pot) over medium heat, and break it up with wooden spoon.
Add the onions, carrots, celery, and the minced stems of the greens; cook together with the meat until veggies are tender and ground beef is cooked through.
Add the seasoning blend to the meat mixture, and stir to coat, allowing to cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add the crushed tomatoes, the beans, and the water to the meat mixture.
Cover, and allow to simmer for an hour, stirring regularly, and adding more water if necessary.
Test to ensure the beans are cooked through; if they are not, continue cooking for 15-30 more minutes.
When the beans are cooked through, add the greens and the salt*, and cook for 5-10 minutes longer.
Continue to simmer, or serve immediately.
Top chili with your favorite additions, such as cubed avocado, shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa, hot sauce, or fresh cilantro.
Makes 10-12 servings.
*Add the salt only after the beans are thoroughly cooked, otherwise the beans will not cook properly and will still have a crunchy texture even after they are cooked.