Today is a perfect day for chili.
The windows are open. The rain is pouring, and it's a wintery 65 degrees here in the ATX.
Back in Feb. I made this chili recipe from our very own Mel's blog. OMG- it is hands down the best chili recipe ever. I loved it so much I made it twice in 2 weeks!
I think the secret ingredient is the unsweetened cocoa....mmmm....
I made the chili last week but made a slight mistake that I will share with you: don't use Pete's Wicked Ale or any kind of strong beer. She specifically says "light beer" so unless you want your chili to smell like a brewery, follow the directions!
Here is the recipe and make sure to visit Mel's blog for more goodness:
Mel's Favorite Chili
Makes about 6 servings of 1 1/3 cups each
Zone: 3P + 2F + 1C
Weight Watchers: 5 points, includes 1 healthy fat serving
2 tablespoons canola or olive oil
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 lbs. ground meat (lean beef, pork, turkey, veal, or a mix)
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon salt
1 packet Splenda or 2 teaspoons sugar
14.5 oz. can chopped tomatoes
12 oz. tomato paste
14.5 oz. can beef broth
1 bottle light beer (Shiner Lite tastes great!)
1 tablespoon Louisiana hot sauce
1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add onions and saute 'til soft. Add garlic and let heat 'til fragrant, about 2 minutes. DO NOT BURN THE GARLIC. Add the meat and sautee until browned and crumbled.
2. Blend all the spices in a small bowl. Add to pot and stir well, about 1 minute.
3. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, hot sauce, and beef broth to the pot. Stir well.
4. Crack open the beer and take a sip for luck. Poor the rest into the pot and stir well.
5. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low so the pot has a gentle simmer. SIMMER FOR AT LEAST 2 HOURS. Do not skimp on the simmer. Just as rest time is the magic time when you build your strength, simmering is the magic time when the flavors meld.
This recipe makes 6 3-protein-block servings of 1 and 1/3 cups each. You can make that into 8 servings of 1 cup each and eat it with 1 oz. of reduced-fat shredded cheese on top to make up the extra protein. That will also add 1-2 Weight Watchers points, depending on what kind of cheese you choose.
Add healthy carbs with a whole-grain tortilla alongside... or toss a 1/4 cup of your favorite legume (pinto, kidney, or black beans; chick peas) into each serving. Adds 1 carb block or 1 Weight Watchers point.
Add healthy fats with some chopped black olives, green olives, or avocado slices.
Add more veggies by serving over a bed of cooked spaghetti squash, grated zucchini, or baby spinach leaves.