Who knew that two Coloradans could be such whimps in the chilly fall temps of the Chesapeake Bay? Yes -we have enjoyed the birds and lighthouses of the bay, and even visited Washington, D.C. Now it's time to head south...and get warm.
When we're underway, it's a challenge to make warm, nourishing meals while the boat is bouncing. Crockpot chili has always been a favorite after a day of skiing, but I need a recipe that comes together easily without 8-hours of cooking in a slow cooker. Aboard Snowcat we use solar power so appliances that have to be plugged in are off limits.
I've been tweaking my chili recipe to make it healthier and still easy to prepare. Here are a few of my recipe upgrades:
- Added vegetables - chunks of sweet potato add an interesting texture and nutritional boost
- Drain and rinse canned beans - convenient canned beans that have been rinsed and drained have 40% less sodium than regular canned beans
- Extra beans, less meat - adding beans increases the fiber and lowers the calories compared to traditional no-bean chili recipes
- Bring on the heat - easily add spiciness to your chili with your favorite salsa
My special chili ingredients are sweet potatoes and salsa. What makes your chili recipe stand out? This recipe is a work in progress, so leave a comment if you give it a try or have suggestions for other additions.
When the weather gets cold, you can easily make a pot of this chili from items that you usually have in your pantry and freezer.
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 cups low sodium beef broth
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes, including juice
- 2 cups salsa use your favorite tomato/green chili salsa
- 1 medium sweet potato peeled and diced
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
- salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot over medium heat, begin browning the meat.
After about 5 minutes add onion and garlic, continue cooking until the meat is browned and the onions are translucent. If the meat is lean you may need to add a tablespoon of canola oil during this step.
Add chili powder, cumin and paprika to the mixture and continue cooking over medium heat for one more minute. This process will enhance the flavor of the spices.
Add broth, drained and rinsed beans, tomatoes (including their juices), salsa, wine and tomato paste to the pot. Stir to combine.
Roughly chop the peeled sweet potato into ¼- to ½-inch chunks, and then add them to the chili.
Simmer for 30-40 minutes then serve.
This good-for-you chili has more vegetables and high-fiber beans than traditional chili.
Canned beans are a convenient source of fiber. Draining and rinsing the beans removes about 40% of their sodium.
The addition of chunks of sweet potato adds a boost of nutrients and an interesting texture.