Since it's "winter" - or 70 degrees in December if you live in Houston - what is more fitting than a hot bowl of chili??? I tried this recipe the other night and it turned out pretty good if I do say so myself! I also subjected some friends to my experimenting this time and they liked it too! I found this recipe on one of my favorite recipe websites, but I changed it up a bit to make it healthier, and because I didn't have all the things it called for.
The original recipe called for 6 oz of hot turkey Italian sausage. By leaving this out you save 280 calories, 18 grams of fat and 1080 milligrams of sodium (which is the main reason I left it out, well, that and I don't like it!). So, instead of the sausage I substituted 1 cup of chopped carrots - 50 calories, no fat, barely any sodium and lots of beta carotene. No one knew about the carrots until after the fact...so sneaky!
Here is what you will need - it looks like a lot of ingredients, but there a quite a few spices so stay with me!
2 cups of chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
8 minced garlic cloves
1 chopped jalapeno pepper
1 cup chopped carrots
1 pound lean ground beef
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried basil (I didn't have oregano)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 c fruity red wine (which I only used because I had some, otherwise I would have used low sodium, low fat beef broth)
2 cans chopped tomatoes (28 oz) (low sodium, preferably)
2 cans kidney beans (15 oz) drained and rinsed
I am not a fan of chopping veggies, but I have a mini food processor that I threw all the veggies in and it was done in no time! Once all the chopping is done, you will have 4 CUPS of veggies to put into your chili - not including the tomatoes...delicious AND nutritious!
Start by throwing all the chopped veggies and the ground beef into a large pot and saute until the meat is brown.
Next, add the rest of the ingredients into the pot and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for about an hour stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook for 30 more minutes.
Easy as that! It's not super spicy, which I am TOTALLY ok with, but my husband likes it hot so he added some extra chili powder and Tabasco to his bowl for an extra kick!
On a side note, I made this a day before we were going to have it for dinner and it was even better heated up the next day.