Adventures in Healthier Eating with 2 Kids and a Picky Husband

Yet Another Chili Idea

Posted by 7 years ago 15 Comments

In the fall I could make a chili every weekend but unfortunately the husband isn’t a fan. I know, crazy… right? I mean WHO doesn’t like CHILI?!? Especially on a cool fall day! This drives me nuts as chili is the ultimate comfort food for me. I don’t care if you make it with beef, turkey, or only beans. Scoop it over rice, bulgur, pasta or even couscous, doesn’t matter. Top it with some cheese and it’s love in a bowl in my opinion.

Regardless of the husband’s opinion I still make huge batches of chili because it freezes well and I can eat for days without getting bored. I made the batch I’m about to share on Saturday and since then I’ve eaten over brown rice, couscous, on a chili dog and just straight up over a handful of baby spinach.

I don’t think I ever made a pot a chili the same way twice. I react to what I have on hand and how much time I have. Sometimes I use the slow cooker, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I use fresh chili peppers, sometimes dried. Just look at a few of the ways I’ve shared here on GreenLiteBites…

And those are just the ones I posted about! I’ve made many other batches that I didn’t put on GreenLiteBites but this weekend I decided to jot down and share with you my recent chili adventure… Yet Another Chili Idea

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions chopped
  • 4-5 stalks of celery chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 3 small fresh red Jalapeno Peppers diced (with seeds and ribs)
  • 3 large Bell peppers (I used 2 red and 1 green) chopped
  • 1 large zucchini chopped
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 15oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 15oz cans of kidney beans
  • 1 6oz can of tomato paste
  • About 3 cups of finely chopped spinach
  • Splash of tabasco to taste

In a large stock pot heat the oil over medium high heat. Sauté the onion, celery and garlic. Cook until the onion softens and browns.

Yet Another Chili Idea - step 1

Now I’m using 1 lb of lean beef but you could use turkey or any other lean ground meat you like. You could even skip the meat and just add a variety of beans. It all works. For this batch I used a 1 lbs package of Laura’s Beef…

Yet Another Chili Idea - step 2

Which I stock up when it’s on sale.

Dice up the hot peppers. I had 3 from the farm but when I don’t I just ground red pepper flakes. Add the peppers to the browning meat…

Yet Another Chili Idea - step 3

Chop the bell peppers, zucchini and add them along with the chili powder and cumin.

Yet Another Chili Idea - step 4

If you have a bored child during this process invite them to help. My little guy loves string the pot as I add each ingredient. :)

Yet Another Chili Idea - step 5

Even though he won’t eat it now I know one day he will. So I’ll keep offering it to him.

Time for the cans. Add the can of diced tomatoes with one can of water and the can of tomato paste with 1 can of water. Now I had two different cans of kidney beans…

Yet Another Chili Idea - step 6

One with salt once without (can you tell I’m a no-name person. ;) So I decided to add both with the liquid they are in. Normally I rinse them to reduce sodium but I haven’t added any salt to this and I don’t plan to so the sodium in one can should be enough.

At this point our chili should look like this…

Yet Another Chili Idea - step 7

Now.. I could have been done just simmered it for a bit and been happy. But then I remembered the bag of frozen spinach I had from saving my dying bags of spinach

Yet Another Chili Idea - step 8

(click here to see what I’m talking about)

I broke it up as best I could and added the whole bag.

Taste test time! I decided it still need a small pinch of salt and a splash or two of tabasco. I used these two kinds…

Yet Another Chili Idea - step 9

At this point I brought it to a boil (little bubbles forming in the corners) and then simmered all day (about 6 hours) until I was ready to eat it.

I then served it (to myself) with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro and shredded cheese on top. It was perfect!

Yet Another Chili Idea - finished

Since then, as I said, I made a chili dog, served it on a bed of baby spinach, over leftover brown rice from the chinese restaurant and today I made 1 serving of whole wheat couscous and topped it with the chili. Oh! and yesterday I used a flat out wrap and stuffed it with chili, spinach and cheese to make burrito-ish lunch. Seriously.. I can (and will) eat it all week and never tire of it. I told you.. I’m a chili fanatic! :)

Unfortunately I didn’t measure how many servings this batch got me so I don’t feel comfortable calculating the nutritional info but I have stretched that 1 pound of beef into at least 10-12 servings with tons of veggies and beans. It’s a healthy, satisfying, bulked up meal in my book.

Any chili making tips you’d like to share? I’d love to get some new ideas!

See other recipes using: beans, ground beef, peppers, zucchini

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There are 15 comments so far. Join in on the conversation.


    October 12, 2010

    I'm right there with you! I LOVE chili so much. I make it almost every weekend. Fiber, protein, delicious and filling what's not to love?! I need to make some chili.

    Krista S.

    October 12, 2010

    Laura's Lean is the ONLY ground beef I can eat without gagging. It always tastes good and cooks up so nicely. Your bowl of chili looks delicious! I need to try cilantro on mine the next time I have some.


    October 12, 2010

    Where do you buy that ground beef? I've never seen it before.


    October 12, 2010

    All my local grocery stores carry it, I'm pretty sure. I mostly shop at Weiss nowadays and it's always there.


    October 12, 2010

    I love chili too. I've made it dozens of ways and no pot turns out the same usually. My husband likes to add corn, black beans and a handful of crushed tortilla chips. He says the tortilla chips help thicken it. I also like to use a bag of frozen pepper & onion blend in mine. I use that with everything though. :)

    Pamela LaRue

    October 13, 2010

    If you have a super target I've noticed they sell Laura's lean ground beef there also. My son loves chili, just not the kind that I make which is with bulger. He thinks it's to healthy.He likes the one from Chili's restaurant with a side of fries!


    October 13, 2010

    I love chili. The husband likes it too but not when I pile it with veggies. So, I usually make chili now to where he doesn't notice the veggies and I add more to my serving. (Like on a bed of baby spinach) Also like you, I don't think a batch of my chili ever comes out exactly like another. I always use lean beef in mine because I get beef for free from my parents farm. Frozen veggie blend, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, different variations of beans and seasoning.


    October 13, 2010

    I am the only person in my family who will eat beans so I can't add beans to anything. Bummer. So, I make a meaty chili and add beans to mine. I can't get too crazy with the other veg either. I just keep those on the side for me when I make it.


    October 13, 2010

    Roni - do you ever freeze it? I'm just not educated on freezing meals and with only 2 of us in the house now, we waste alot of food.


    October 14, 2010

    Yum, I have a can of Acme kidney beans in my closet too lol. That sounds like a good thing to me, I just baked a london broil earlier so Ill cut that up and make that my meat in my chili... Especially if its 55 degrees out again tomorrow :/


    October 17, 2010

    I've never thought of putting spinach in it. I will the next time. I always add black beans and corn to my chili. Lots of cumin, too. Yummy! :o)~


    October 17, 2010

    I made a big pot of chili and cornbread today for game day. It is great to have on top of the stove and family/friends can help themselves through out the day. I like to add a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes and a teaspoon of cocoa. I agree with you there are so many different ways to make chili and bulk it up with healthy veggies and beans.


    November 13, 2010

    I am making this chili recipe today with the hubby :) I will give you my reviews later today :)

    Candace Byan

    July 7, 2011

    this actually appears to be something I could accomplish. I’ve been curious about making pho before, but it always looked a touch too complicated for me (and there’s a fantastic pho place near the house, so it’s kind regarding like “Why bother? ”). Nevertheless, this recipe doesn’t seem that complicated, and yay! I can put my crockpot to function. Candace Byan

    Matt Green

    September 28, 2011

    Hey i like you site.