Chili Time!

Right about this time of year, clients start asking for “fall foods” – heavier meat dishes, chowders, casseroles…you get the picture. And the most requested of these dishes is chili. Texas chili, California chili, vegetarian chili…as long as it’s chili.

Here’s one that’s a real hit with my diabetic clients.

Chili Con Carne
Serves 8

Vegetable pan spray
1 pound 95% lean ground beef
1 1/2C chopped onions
1C green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2T chili powder
2t cumin powder
1t dried oregano leaves
1/4t ground cloves
2, 14.5oz cans no-salt whole tomatoes, undrained, coarsely chopped*
1, 6oz can low-salt tomato paste
3/4C beer or low-sodium beef broth
1T packed light brown sugar
2-3t unsweetened cocoa
1, 15oz can red kidney beans, rinsed well, drained
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2C shredded, low-fat cheddar
1/2C green onions, thinly sliced
1/2C fat-free sour cream**

Spray a large saucepan with spray, set over medium heat until hot. Add the beef, onions, bell pepper and garlic; cook over medium heat until beef has browned and veg are tender, 5-8 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, oregano and cloves. Cook 1-2 minutes longer, stirring to evenly blend ingredients.

Add the tomatoes with liquid, tomato paste, beer, brown sugar and cocoa, stir. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, uncovered, to thicken. Season with S&P to taste.

To serve, spoon into bowls, sprinkle cheese, green onions and sour cream. Cold beer on the side, naturally.

* I substitute fire-roasted or oven-roasted diced tomatoes. I find it adds a deeper flavor.
** I used a low-fat sour cream for this and other dishes. I find fat-free sour cream creepy.

Recipe, courtesy

Kent McDonald is a Certified Personal Chef, living and working in Phoenix, AZ. (c) All Rights Reserved, 2012.

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