Welcome to the Table everyone! Have we got something good cooking for you today?! Here in SC, its snowing up a storm! Okay, we only got 1 inch, but in the south any sheet of white outside is a big deal:) When its 25 degrees outside, its nice to curl up to a hot bowl of something soothing, hearty and cozy. Well, I'm here to tell you that its easy to do that and still eat something healthy!
Here's where MILLIE'S KITCHEN comes in!:)
One of our family's favorite recipes is homemade chili beans. YUM. I can still remember as a child my mom cooking up a huge bowl of these on cold winter days and it was so soothing to your soul.
I'm a true nostalgic at heart so I like to cook meals that have a great deal of memory for members of my family. Since chili beans were always a favorite, I created a healthier recipe of our childhood version, that I recently made for my father. He was amazed how good it was!:)
So, I'm delivering this recipe to YOU with lots of love as well:)
*Hint, this recipe has a bit of heat to it but you can decrease the amount of spices by 1/2 the amounts if you have a milder preference and it would still provide the same flavor with a change in intesity. Try it first as it is though:)
WARNING: This recipe is EXTREMELY easy- PULL OUT YOUR CROCKPOT AND PUT IT TO GOOD USE:)
*:.HearTy HeaLthy Chili:.*
Seves 8 - 2 cup servings
1 pound of ground turkey meat
1 pound of lean ground beef ( organic grass fed if available)
2 regular sized cans of No Salt Added Diced Tomatoes
2 small cans of tomato paste
2 small cans of tomato sauce ( no salt added)
1 onion, chopped and quartered ( cut into 4 pieces )
1 onion diced into small pieces
1 small bag of dried red kidney beans
1 small bag of dried black beans
1/2 cup chili powder
4 tablespoons of paprika
2 tablespoons of garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
* You will need a large crockpot to cook this with ( you may also use a large stock pot )
* DID YOU KNOW? Buying dried beans is more economical ( approximately $1.00 for 10 servings!) Compare this to buying 1 can which costs the same and serves 1-2! Also, they are easy to prepare. Soaking them overnight allows the enzymes in them to be activated and more easily digested in the body. Beans are also RICH in antioxidants. Red beans have the most! Black beans are one of the highest and most available sources of plant proteins you can eat. They are extremely high amino acids ( proteins and fiber! )They also help lower cholesterol as part of a lower fat diet!:) EAT YOUR BEANS PEOPLE:)
8 Hours before you make the chili pour the 2 small bags of beans in a large collander, rinse well to remove any dirt/debris, and place in a large container. Cover in water completely and cover the container with a paper towel. Leave out on the countertop 8 hours. ( easy if you do this overnight and put in the crockpot the next day). Also, let the ground turkey meat and beef thaw in the refrigerator while the beans soak ( in their package is fine).
* At least 8 hours
1. Rinse the beans again and drain well. You'll notice they absorbed most of the water which is good. If beans were to ever not absorb the water and float to the top, remove them because this means they are old.
2. Set the beans aside.
3. In a very large skillet sprayed with nonstick spray of your choice, spread the turkey meat and hamburger meat evenly and add the diced onion and ground black pepper. Saute and brown the meat until thoroughly cooked.
3. Turning off the stove, set the meat aside and in a LARGE crockpot, add 1 can of tomatoes, 1 can of paste and 1 can of sauce.
4. Add half of the meat mixture, and 1/2 of the bean mixture.
5. Add two onion quarters and 1/2 of the chili powder, 1/2 the garlic powder and 1/2 the paprika.
6. Stir well, then repeat adding the remaining can of tomatoes, paste and sauce, then the meat, the beans the other onion quarters and the rest of the spices.
Add 1 cup of water to cover.
Stir just enough to combine.
*If cooking in the crockpot, cook on low for 6-7 hours. If cooking in a large stockpot, cook on medium heat for at least 2-3 hours.
*You may remove the onion quarters if desired but they really help add depth and flavor to the entire dish as they sit in the dish.
Serve piping hot alone or with a loaded salad, some whole grain crackers or also serve with toasted whole grain bread such as Nature's Own Light Double Fiber ( whole grain) or 100% whole wheat bread.
~For an even healthier bread try this one in your grocer's freezer aisle! Look for Ezekial bread which is nonprocessed grains and the grains and nutrients are actually live, which allows them to be more nutritious and more available to the body. Keep in the refrigerator and toast as you would any bread. They also offer gluten-free, and allergy free, yeast free and low-sodium breads. I suggest the Sesame version, the 7 grain or the low-sodium version!:)
* Enjoy my Dear Ones!
By the way, I love writing this blog so much. Tonight's recipe is a great example of how you can take a traditional unhealthy recipe that's usually made with lots of grease and fat. You'll never miss that flavor when you use ingredients like onions, and spices to change the entire way you think about heat and flavor. ENJOY and even keep and freeze the leftovers for later if you want:)
Okay, that's all dear ones, but before I go, don't forget tonight is Saturday and that means you're getting a dose of FOOD TRIVIA: )
Here goes, for whatever its worth:)
"Chili peppers were one of the most highly favored fruits and were derived from a flowering plant. Many thousands of years ago, the plant which ultimately produced all members of the pepper family, both hot and sweet, originated in what is today Bolivia. From there it rapidly made its way to Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean. The chile pepper was honored by the American natives in pottery and tapestries. It even functioned as a form of currency. "