The weather is getting chilly, so we want warm and cozy food. One of my favourites is chili. It is warm, nutritious, and easy to make.
I wrote about pulses here, and I think chili is one of the easiest ways to incorporate pulses into our diets.
- 1/2 lb ground beef
- 1/2 lb ground pork
- 5 slices bacon
- 1 can corn niblets
- 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
- 1 can (28 oz) diced or whole tomatoes
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 1/2 green pepper, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 poblano peppers, diced
- 4 jalapeno peppers, diced
- 2 cans (18 oz/540mL each) mixed beans
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cayenne*
- 1 cup beer/beef stock/water
Find your slow cooker!
Start by browning the beef and pork in a pan over medium heat. This should take about 8-10 minutes. Cook bacon about 8-10 minutes – it should be turning golden brown, but not be crispy.
Meanwhile, dice your onion, garlic, and peppers**. Preheat non-stick pan over medium-low heat and add 1 tbsp canola oil when the pan is ready. When the oil is hot, add your onion, garlic and peppers. Cook about 10-15 minutes. You don’t want the onion or peppers to colour too much.
About halfway through cooking the peppers, add the spices.
As the meats finish cooking, add them to the dish of your slow cooker. When the onion/peppers finish cooking, add to the dish of your slow cooker as well, along with the canned tomatoes.
When you add your beans, make sure you drain them first through a colander and rinse well. The liquid the beans are in is high in sodium, so you want to get rid of as much of that as you can.
Once everything is in the slow cooker, stir well and set it to cook on low for 6-8 hours. This is also a great meal to prepare the night before and then cook during the day while at work. Just don’t forget to turn it on before leaving the house!
*A note on handling spice in chili: spice can come from two places. The spices you add while cooking or the peppers you choose for the chili. If you are spice fiends, increase the cayenne pepper to 1 tsp and the chili powder to 1 1/2 tbsp. You can also choose hotter peppers, or leave the seeds in when you prepare your peppers.
The unfortunate side of choosing peppers, is you never know how hot they will be, regardless of whether you leave the seeds in. It can be a gamble!
**When handling peppers, WEAR GLOVES. Because you don’t know how hot the peppers will be, you don’t want to take any chances with tingling skin on your fingers and then accidentally touching your eye. It hurts.
When it comes time to serve, I like to serve rice alongside and top it with grated cheddar or marble cheese. You can also add a little bit of heat by grating jalapeño pepper jack cheese over top.
Don’t forget to enjoy!