Friday, January 8, 2010

The Secret Ingredient: Chocolate!

Here is our family recipe for Chili; something that my mom throws together without a recipe. I managed to jot down how she makes it one day when she was explaining it out loud.

If you don't go grocery shopping very often, this a good recipe to schedule in the days before your trip when your fresh produce may be running low, because almost all the ingredients can be found in your pantry or freezer. You can serve the chili as a thick stew, or if you want to stretch it to feed a larger group, serve it over brown or white rice.

The Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground lean meat (I like turkey)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, shredded (optional but adds some Vitamin A and natural sweetness)
  • Minced Garlic, to taste (I like 2-3 cloves)
  • 2 14 Oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 2-3 14 oz cans of kidney or pinto beans (or cooked frozen beans) drained and rinsed
  • 2 small cans of chopped green chiles (Coupon currently available! See here.)
  • 1 tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking cocoa
  • 2 T Sugar/sweetener (You can read here about how a little sugar can be a more nutritious way to add flavor to a meal versus fat or salt)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a very large skillet or dutch oven over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add ground meat and brown, breaking into small pieces. When meat looks cooked, add onion, carrot, and garlic. Cook, stirring occassionally, about 5 minutes. Add diced tomatoes, rinsed beans, and green chiles. Add water to taste (I like really thick, stewlike chili, so I only add about a cup of water). Add spices and stir to combine. Cover and simmer on low for 15-20 minutes.

Serving options:
  • Serve over brown or white rice.
  • Top with shredded cheese or sour cream (or my favorite: BOTH)
  • We enjoy this with homemade cornbread, too.

This freezes wonderfully! If your family is small, you may get 2-3 meals out of one pot.

This chili is low in fat and chock full of nutrients: protein, fiber, and magnesium in particular. Plus, it has chocolate in it! The cocoa adds a great depth of flavor.

Check out other healthy recipe ideas at!

1 comment:

gpopp said...

My mother's Chili recipe is very similar to this one...but we usually use deer hamburger (really is great and earthy with the cocoa undertones --and less fat -- ) and a pinch of cinnamon along with the other spices...we have not tried addind the green chiles, but I have been meaning to get some for a couple of Tex-Mex items I want to make, so thanks for the link to the coupon!! Great picture of the chili also.

Keep up the good work!!!