Meal Planning Monday – Chili

Hi guys!  I hope that you all had a wonderful weekend.  I am happy to report that fall is in the air here in Florida.  This time of year is heaven and when we tend to do most of our favorite outdoor activities.  Soccer has kept us pretty busy, but I am definitely looking forward to some hiking in the near future.  We are also in desperate need of a date night.  Life has been a little chaotic lately for both of us and we really could use a break from reality, even if it is for only a few hours.  A deserted island in paradise sounds really nice right now, but I will settle for dinner and a night out on the town being Diane and not mommy.  I love my kiddos to pieces, but being a mommy is exhausting.

Since the weather is finally cooler, it is time for comfort meals.  The weather is awesome, but truthfully I get more excited about the food.  I have so many favorite recipes, some original creations and others are recipes from some of my favorite foodies.  I am looking forward to sharing them with you.  By far, one of our favorite cold weather foods is chili.  We could seriously eat chili every single week at my house, but we compromise and go for every other.  While one would think it would be easy to find the perfect chili recipe, you are sadly mistaken.  I tried several recipes and could not find the right one.  Some of them had too much “green stuff”(aka green peppers) according to my son.  We tried a few recipes that were too spicy and others that were not spicy enough.  I even tried a healthier version with ground turkey and that was another epic fail.  I have no idea how the men in my life can just look at a dish and know that I changed something.  My little man is the worst!

I decided to take matters into my own hands and created my own recipe for chili.  It took me over ten tries and I almost gave up, but I finally created the perfect combination that the whole family liked.  In my house, that is not an easy task.  It has the perfect amount of spice, but yet not too spicy for the kids.  The original recipe that I created was not gluten free, but thanks to this bad boy that is no longer an issue.  It is processed so that the gluten is removed.  If you have not tried this beer, you must get some stat.  I have tried other gluten free beers and I was not a fan.  You cannot even tell the difference with this brand.  In fact, it is better than many of the other craft beers that I have tried.  I purchased mine at Whole Foods.  Please do your research when it comes to beer.  Many of the mainstream brands contain propylene glycol, an ingredient in anti-freeze, and a whole host of toxins.  I am a fan of Food Babe and she has some very interesting information on her site.

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This recipe is fairly easy, but does need to simmer for several hours.  We typically have our chili night on Sunday, so I start it up right after breakfast and let it simmer all day long.  I am sure you could make in a crockpot or Instant Pot, but there is something about simmer over the stove all day that makes it taste better to me.  It is awesome for lunch during the week too!  Chili always seems to taste better the next day. I am sure you could even double the recipe and freeze the leftovers.  It is always nice to have some freezer meals on hand when you do not feel like cooking.  While I love to cook, I even have those days.

I am well aware of the fact that this photo sucks!  I am still perfecting my photography skills, so be easy on me.  It is a must to top your chili with some shredded cheese.  I also top mine with plain yogurt, but you can also use sour cream.  The sky is the limit on the toppings.

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Chili

 

Ingredients
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 lbs ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 15oz cans dark kidney beans, rinsed and drained
3 8oz cans tomato sauce
1 12oz bottle of beer
1 carton of beef broth
1 6oz can tomato paste
1 4.5 oz can chopped green chilies
1 Tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika

Directions
1. Heat olive oil in dutch oven over medium heat for 1 minute.
2. Add chopped onions and sauté for about 2 minutes, until onions are almost translucent.
3. Add ground beef and cook until browned, about 10 minutes.
4. Add garlic and sauté an additional one minute.
5. Combine the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.
6. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for at least 4 hours.
7. Enjoy!

I can’t wait to share some other amazing recipes with you soon!  As I am getting into this blogging gig, I am going to be switching things up a little bit in order to provide the best experience for my readers and allow me to keep my sanity.  I have decided to go down to posting three days a week instead of five.  I plan on posting Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  I have a lot of ideas, but I am open to suggestions.  If you have any feedback on the blog so far or have a topic you would like me to write about, please let me know.  We are on this journey together and we are just getting started!  I hope you all have a wonderful week!

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