Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Paleo Chili

I don't know where you live, but here in northern Virginia, it's been FREEZING!!! We've seen some snow this week and had some pretty blustery winds. It's weather like this that makes me want to curl up in some sweats with the hubby and just eat a big bowl of chili.

Knowing the way I usually cook (throw random things in a pot and see what happens), I never know what to expect with my chili... sometimes I like it a lot, others, not so much. This particular batch I made tasted pretty darn good to me. Here's my version of:

Palo Chili

* 2 lbs grass fed ground beef
* 1 (24 oz) can diced tomatoes
* 4 big cloves of garlic, minced
* 2 cups of salsa (make sure it doesn't have any additives or sugar or other crap in it- mine was just veggies)
* 1 (4 oz) can of diced green chiles
* 1 jalapeno, minced
* 3 cups beef broth
* 1/4 red pepper, diced
* 1/4 green pepper, diced
* 1/4 yellow pepper, diced
* 1 yellow onion, diced
* 2 ribs of celery, diced
* 2 tbs cumin
* 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
* 2 tsp chili powder
* 1 tbs paprika
* 1 tsp red pepper flakes
* salt and pepper to taste

I started off by browning the ground beef in a big stock pot.  I just let everything cook on medium heat until everything was nice and brown.  While that was cooking, I chopped up the onion and jalapeno, green peppers, and garlic. 


Once the beef was cooked (doesn't have to be cooked all the way through because it will finish cooking later), I removed it and set it aside on a plate - make sure you save all the juices and stuff because there is a lot of flavor!  Anyway, once the pot is empty, throw in the onions and garlic.

I sauteed the onions and garlic for a few minutes until the onions were nice and soft.  Then I threw in the celery, red, yellow, and green peppers.  I'm not a huge pepper fan, but I'm trying to get myself to like them.  I'm almost to the point where I like red peppers, but not totally bought in on it yet.  Anyway, I figured that cooking them in a big pot of chili is a good way to start incorporating them in my diet.


Once the veggies were all cooked until soft, I added all of the ground beef back in.  I stirred everything together until it was all mixed well.  At this point, I added in the salsa.  It's not really a necessary ingredient, but I had a jar of salsa in the fridge and wanted to use it before it got lost in the mix of jars. All of the ingredients were natural and organic - no sugar or additives... just tomatoes, peppers, onions, and a few other things I can't remember now.

I mixed everything together and then added in the spices.  I personally LOVE cumin, so I added in extra cumin.  Here's where it would be easy to just add in one of those prepackaged chili seasoning mixes, but don't do it!  I looked at a few of them, even the organic ones.  They all had some sort of grain flour in them... rice flour, wheat gluten, cornstarch... I never even thought that gluten would be an ingredient in chili seasoning, but that's why it's important to check and be aware of what you're actually eating!

Moving on... I added in the canned diced tomatoes and the beef broth.  You don't really need to add in the beef broth, but I like my chili pretty soupy.  If you like yours more chunky, then just leave the beef broth out!  That's the best part of chili, you just change it however you want to.  I covered the pot and let everything simmer for about half an hour.  At this point, I was smelling all of the delicious smells and couldn't hold off any longer.  

I ladled a few scoops into a bowl and topped it with some cheddar.  I used an organic, raw milk cheddar that I had found at Whole Foods.  I shreded some on top and let it get nice and melty, then dug in! I really liked this batch of chili and I'm glad that I actually paid attention to how much seasonings I put in it.  I thought it was great and I ate all of the leftovers within a week!  I'm definitely going to have to make a few more pots of this before the weather warms up!

Does anyone else have any other interesting additions or versions of chili?

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