Black Bean and Beef Chili
Gone are the days when I’d airdrop white appendages of sour cream onto a bowl of chili. And if it wasn’t sour cream, I’d rain down full fists of shredded cheese, enough to create an inch-deep puddle of orange melted cheddar. I’m not arguing with the flavor factor of adding such dairy accessories chili, I just didn’t feel particularly vital afterwards and anyone who knows my life story knows…eating this way (and it was a way of life) got me to 345 pounds.
Wake-up calls like being on one’s way to 400 pounds tend to shake things up a little. I knew change was in order and on the horizon. I knew I would never go on another diet again. And I knew it was crucial to both enact some boundaries while retaining a baseline minimal sense of freedom. Feeling confined and punished doesn’t bode well for one’s dignity. So instead, I began examining food choices. This was done through research, common sense, listening to my body, and reaching out to others who experienced long-term success in transforming their habits and keeping weight off.
If you think’s it’s an absolute kill-joy move to eat chili without sour cream or melted cheese, you’re entitled to that. But don’t say it with conviction until you’ve tried a cleaner rendition. Sure I’d love to slather my chili with sour cream, but I’d like to maintain my weight and keep my energy levels high. I love that I feel satisfied and not sluggish after a bowl of this. And I’m no avoider of fat. To the contrary! I just make sure it’s good fat that aides in keeping my body humming. One of my favorite additions, besides a squirt of Siracha, is a colorful collage of avocado slices on top. So much more photogenic and graceful than dairy…and so yummy!
3 cans of black beans, liquid drained OR:
1 bag of black beans, soaked, cooked, and softened but still al dente
2 pounds grass-fed ground beef
2 jars of pearl onions, juice included
6 large carrots, peeled, cut in chunks, and blitzed in a food processor
3 32-ounce cans of crushed tomatoes
1½ cups beef stock
3 tablespoons cumin
3 tablespoons chili powder (NOT cayenne)
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon celery seed
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon Frank’s hot sauce
Cook beef in a large skillet. Drain fat and set aside. In a large Dutch oven or stockpot, heat the crushed tomatoes and beef stock. When that is just bubbly and simmering, add the cooked beef and all other ingredients. If desired, thicken with a bit of tomato paste. If you prefer a thinner chili, add more beef stock. Let all ingredients simmer together uncovered on low heat for approximately one hour. Stir occasionally.
Crisp and flavorful pearl onions make all the difference. No dairy needed when you’ve got enticing veggies…