Almost two years ago, when we started on our road towards healthier living in earnest , Anie turned me onto the Hungry for Change book/documentary combo. Beyond the somewhat-scary-eye-opening information contained in there, the resources on suggested foods and practical recipes are something we’ve referred to countless times. Of those, one of my favorites is their “chili” recipe.
What follows here is my personal adaptation, based on the ideas and criteria from the book and documentary, but changed slightly for our personal taste, and in this case, to meet the slightly-more-strict requirements for Whole 30. With our busy schedules, meals like this one have been a real life-saver, so I figured sharing it here could be useful to some of you guys as well.
- Coconut Oil
- Onion (i’itoi & sweet onions from our Chow Share)
- Sweet Potato
- Ground Beef (Grass-fed from Double Check Ranch)
- Bell Pepper
- Chili Pepper (Chow Share again)
- Crushed Tomatoes
- Vegetable Broth
- Cumin, Chili Powder, Red Pepper Flakes, etc
Usually I use roma tomatoes instead of crushed because fresh seems better and the recipe doesn’t require a full can of crushed, so then I’m left with half a can of produce. This time, however, we had a bunch in the freezer, and I can say the difference was noticeable. This was also my first time using veggie broth instead of red wine, in an effort to support Anie’s Whole 30 commitment. I would have gone with a Miso broth, but couldn’t find any that didn’t have added sugars. Lastly, because the crushed tomatoes and broth were adding a lighter body to the dish, I left out the tomato paste that is usually included.
Admittedly, this dish can be an exercise in “holy shit I haven’t finished prepping yet and it’s time for the next step!!!“. With that in mind, feel free to be hyper-organized in your approach, it’ll pay off.
Start with the coconut oil, onion, garlic and sweet potato. The crucial part here is to get the sweet potato chucks softened up so that they can add body to the chili and take on the flavors of the other ingredients later on. Once you’ve accomplished that, remove everything from the pan and brown the ground beef in the pre-seasoned pan you’ve just created. When the beef is no longer pink, but not yet all the way cooked, add back in the previous ingredients, as well as the peppers and mushrooms. At this point it should look like the picture at the top of this post, with the plethora of colors serving as a clear reminder of how healthy your masterpiece really is. When everything is up to temp, add in the tomatoes, and paste/fluids. Of course, season along the way and add heat to taste.
Here’s a quick and dirty snapshot of the finished product. Since it takes roughly an hour to develop the flavors, I’m always too hungry to take quality pictures before I start enjoying the meal. This time in particular, the Double Check Ranch beef was so flavorful that it was all I could do to not pick it all out of the pan under the guise of “taste testing”, so I actually had to take a picture of Anie’s share due to immediate devourment of my own.
When it’s all said and done, you’ve got a great tasting, Whole 30 compliant dish that holds up well as left-overs, too.
If you try out this dish, or have a similar one with an interesting variant, let us know in the comments below. Reach us on Twitter @RoguePepper or tag us on Instagram; we’d love to see your version.
- Results of Our 1st Annual Moz Chili Cook-off (seomoz.org)