Winter Chili

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With cold (ish) weather upon us, my taste bud all of a sudden go from wanting all the lightly dressed vegetables to all the warm comforting soups and stews. Chili is a staple in my household when the weather starts to turn. It reminds me of my childhood and in turning into something that will hopefully remind my boys of theirs.chiliMy chili recipe definitely stems from my mom. She isn’t the type to use a recipe, nor write anything down. Just a little of this and a little of that…all done, perfect. I don’t know if mine quite has that reputation, but my family seems to enjoy it makes for one of the easiest dinners in my arsenal. 

This recipe can be really be made in whatever vesical you are jiving with. Sometimes I throw everything right in the crockpot, well instant pot on the slow cooker setting. Other times it’s a game time dinner decision and I make it on the stove the old fashion way, or pressure cook it. Side note: if you haven’t jumped on the InstantPot band wagon, put it on your Christmas list. No matter how you are cooking it, the ingredients really don’t change, nor does the simplicity of it. 

The whole process starts veg. I always use a sweet onion, bell pepper and garlic. From there its really whatever other vegetables I have on hand that need to be used up. Sometimes I add carrots, celery or zucchini, other times I toss in sweet potatoes or kale. It has turned into a great way to get extra veg into my kiddos. Sautee everything up in your oil of choice (we use avocado) until soft with little brown edges. Can you tell I am a professional?

Once the veggies seem done, add your meat of choice to the pot. We tend to go with organic ground turkey or organic grass-fed ground beef—you can always omit this completely or use a meat-substitute if you are not a meat eater. Once the meat is browned, add your seasoning. I like organic chili seasoning from Simply Organic. You can of course make your own. Tip: when buying a chili seasoning package, look at the ingredients, it should literally be only seasoning, specifically NO MSG. 

Next add your tomato products and let everything cook. If you are slow cooking it, I like to wait to add any beans until the last 30 minutes of cooking. Just to heat them through and not get them mushy. Again, the beans can be tailored to whatever you like. Usually I use pinto beans and dark red kidney beans. I try to go for organic canned beans not packaged in BPA cans.Then the topping… this is my favorite part! Cilantro, corn chips, avocado, cornbread… whatever you are feeling, it just makes it that much better! I usually go for a spoonful of roasted green chilis and avocado. As a bonus, this recipe also freezes super well for those nights that cooking is just not going to happen.

The point of this recipe is to work for you and your family. Something comforting y’all can enjoy through the frigid phoenix winters *inset emoji wink here*. Happy cooking!

Winter Chili Recipe

Ingredients:

1 TBS Avocado Oil

1 Sweet onion chopped

1 Green bell pepper chopped

1 Red bell pepper, chopped

Optional: Any or all

                 Chopped carrot

                 Chopped zucchini

                Chopped kale

                Chopped sweet potato

3 Cloves garlic, minced

1 lb. Ground beef, turkey or meat alternative

1 Package organic chili seasoning OR Homemade

15 oz can dice tomatoes

15 oz can fire roasted tomatoes

1 TBS Tomato Paste

15.5 oz Kidney beans, drained and rinsed

15.5 oz Pinto beans, drain and rinsed

 (or beans of choice)

Directions:

Sauté onion, pepper and garlic over medium heat in avocado oil.  Once translucent add another vegetable you wish and sauté until slightly browned.

Add meat, break up and cook until browned.  Then combine season and cook until fragrant.

Add tomato products with their juice and bring to a boil, if cooking on the stove. Then cover and cook for 45 minutes to an hour.  If slow cooking set cooker for 4 hours on high heat or 6-8 hours on low.  Once cooking time is up, add beans and cook for an additional 30 minutes

Serve with desired topping and enjoy!

 

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Nikki is an Arizona native who is married to her best friend. She is a newly second time mama of two handsome little boys, Jacob and her newbie, Owen. When not embracing mom life, Nikki puts her nursing degree to good use. Nursing has provided her with an amazing community of mom friends and plenty of playmates for her little guys. She comes from a big family and is thrilled to have been able to add to her clan. Favorite pastimes include cruising the local farmers markets and yoga classes, coffee dates with her hubby, and of course, spending time with her boys.

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