Well, it might not be “infamous” but according to family and friends who’ve tried it, it may as well be! Many people have asked me for this recipe time and time again and after I got home from work (Starbucks) this afternoon, I decided to document this recipe for your viewing and tastebud pleasure! This is a staple in our “household” because it’s A) super tasty and B) really easy to make! Not to mention versatile and super healthy! I can honestly say the first 20 pounds I lost when I went on my diet in December 2007 was from eating this chili. No exaggeration! This thing is sugar-free (other than the natural sugar in the tomatoes), low in salt, low-carb, and leeeeeaaaaaaannn!!!
So who doesn’t like chili? If you don’t, I’m sorry. Because you are missing out! Chili is bitchin’, especially the kind I make! In fact, I challenge you to make this chili and try it for yourself. And if you don’t like it—like you really, really hate it—then we don’t have to be friends. Just kidding! But seriously, if you don’t like it, then you probably didn’t follow the recipe correctly and who’s fault is that? 😐
Okay! So let’s get started! Let’s begin with the main ingredients. Below you’ll see 1 medium size onion, 1 28-oz. can of diced tomatoes with green chilies, 2 14-oz. cans of mixed beans, low-sodium chicken broth, one package turkey sausage, and one 2-pound package lean ground beef. Now here’s the beauty of this recipe! Don’t like onion? Leave it out. Want to use regular diced tomatoes? You got it! Prefer black beans to pinto? Sure! Want to use water instead of chicken broth? Absolutely! Don’t like sausage or beef? Use Boca brand no-meat crumbles! The versatility of this recipe is endless! When I get bored, I like to switch it up and use turkey cutlets or chicken breast in place of the beef. And if I’m crunched for time, I’ll skip the onion and use 1/2 teaspoon of granulated instead.
Spices you’ll need! From left to right:
– a “dash” of Mrs. Dash (the yellow cap)
– 1/2 teaspoon granulated onion (in case you skip the onion!)
– 1 teaspoon cumin
– 1 tablespoon chili powder.
Also have ready a 1/2 tablespoon of minced garlic and one packet of Old El Paso Original Taco Seasoning Mix (I prefer this brand because it has ZERO sugar). 🙂
Now that you have all your ingredients organized, have the following tools ready:
– one measuring cup
– a cooking knife
– a can opener
– a cutting board
– 1 small cooking pan (not pictured)
– 1 large cooking pan (not pictured)
– Rice cooker
If you don’t have a rice cooker, no worries! A large cooking pot will work just fine! I like using the rice cooker because it gets hot fast and I can set it to “warm” when cooking time is finished.
I’m not a big “measuring” type person, so do me a favor and just drizzle a little bit of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil for you non-cookers) into a small cooking pan and set your burner to medium (about 5-6 on an electric stove).
While that warms up, let’s get started on your onion! Of course, if you opt out of using the onion, you can skip this next lesson. The next few pictures might be a little too involved, but I figured I’d share it because some people just don’t know! How many of you know how to cut an onion? I’ll be honest—I didn’t! I had to ask my dad to teach me and after he did, I don’t know why I couldn’t figure it out before! But here’s the deal. Place the onion on your cutting board, like so…
Slice the onion down its center, from point to point, so you make two halves.
Using the top of the onion (I refer to it as the “knot”) as an anchor, begin slicing the onion from top to bottom. You’ll create a “fan” as you make each slice.
Because the “knot” of the onion is holding the onion in one place, you can begin cutting across the onion to make smaller pieces, like so…
By the time you’ve cut the whole onion and discarded the “knots”, your small pan has probably reached the correct temperature. Pour the diced onion into the pan and spread evenly. Then add your minced garlic.
Now stiiiiiiiiiiiiiir. And let it sizzle for about 5-6 minutes, until the onions get soft.
While your onion is cooking, grab your can of Ro-Tel and your can opener.
This is one of those optional things, but lately, I’ve been draining the can of tomatoes. I tend to like my chili on the chunkier side, but not draining the tomatoes is totally okay! It really doesn’t alter the flavor at all because it’s mostly just water anyway. So it all depends on you and your preference for meaty or soupy chili—it’ll still be tasty! Regardless of draining or not draining, feel free to add the tomatoes to your rice cooker. Set the Ro-Tel can to the side, because you’ll use it later. Also, you can set the rice cooker to “cook” to start bringing it up to temp.
Next up! BEANS! I’ll be honest, I’m not a big fan of Bush’s beans. They can get kinda mushy during the cooking process. I highly recommend Progresso’s brand of beans, which we used to use, but for some crazy reason, not a single grocery store in our area continues to offer them. 🙁 Also, as a side note, feel free to try different beans! Just about any kind is good for you—they’re high in fiber and an excellent source of protein. However, do not purchase the beans labeled “chili beans” or any variation thereof—those beans are loaded with sugar, brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup, honey, you name it! And you’re gonna eat clean when you eat my chili! Fo’ shiz!
Okay, firstly, I demand that you stop looking at my dirty sink—stop it! Okay, now proceed to rinse your beans in a strainer. When you spill the beans (I had to! I’m sorry!), you’ll notice some kind of gelatinous goo that comes out too. And THAT is why we rinse beans. 🙂 Once they’re rinsed, they can join the tomatoes inside the rice cooker. Set the strainer aside, because you’ll need it later.
Once again, we find ourselves at a question of preference—chunky or soupy? Really, it’s up to you. I go with 1 cup of broth, but you can pour in the whole Family Size box! Although, that might be a bit excessive, even for soupy chili.
By now, the onions should be nice and soft, so throw them in, followed by your broth.
Time to break out your “big pan”. This is my “Holy Big Bertha” pan, a gift from my dad. (Thanks, Dad!) Make sure you add a nice spread of EVOO and set the heat to medium-high (about 8-9) on the stove.
This next part is pretty self explanatory. Once the temperature on your stove is reached, add your ground beef and break it up evenly across the pan with a wooden spoon. While the beef begins to cook, you can begin cutting the turkey sausage links into small discs. Once they’re cut, you can toss them into the pan with the meat. Stir the mixture up, to avoid any sticking to the pan and then cover to cook thoroughly.
While your meat is cooking (about 5-7 minutes), begin to add your spices to the rice cooker. Including the Mrs. Dash (not pictured), chili powder, cumin, taco seasoning, and granulated onion (if you didn’t include an actual onion).
Now it’s time to grab the Ro-Tel can and the strainer, which I asked you to set aside. I keep the can handy for when the time comes to drain the meat. The very last thing anyone wants is to pour excess fat and oil down your sink! If you do, you may as well call a plumber tomorrow and treat him to a delicious bowl of chili while he’s there!
Once you’ve drained all the excess junk from your meat, feel free to add your meat to the pot! <–THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID! HAHA!
By now, the temperature of your rice cooker should be pretty high. If you’re using a regular cooking pot, it should be about the same. Once all the ingredients are inside, make sure you stir everything up until it’s evenly mixed up and you have a nice consistency.
Now set your timer (or your microwave) for 25 minutes.
Feed the cat.
Take out the trash.
Watch the most recent episode of “The Office” posted to Hulu.
And DING! When the timer goes off, prepare yourself for the best heaping bowl of chili you’ve ever tasted, all for less than 400 calories! SHA-BAM!
So there you have it! Do try this recipe! And when you’re finished, comment here or send pictures of your results to firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know how much you LOOOOOOVE it! And don’t forget to mention any changes or variations you made because I’m always interested in alternative ways of cooking this particular recipe! Hope you enjoyed this little personal post! It’s nice to write and post pictures about things that aren’t all business/portfolio/entrepreneurial related. 🙂 This is life and every bit counts!