The Monthly Recipe: Homemade Very Veggie Chili

Homemade Chili

When I was growing up, our family chili recipe was very simple – one chopped onion, a pound of ground beef, 28 ounces crushed tomatoes, 3 15-ounce cans of dark red kidney beans, salt, and a tablespoon or so of McCormick’s chili powder.

Then a friend told me that she grated carrots into tomato based things like chili to add more veg and my chili has been developing ever since. I love red bell pepper, but my husband can’t stomach it. I found riced cauliflower was a fantastic way to hide more veggies in it. Black beans and corn have been other options over the years. Here’s the latest version.

Be warned, it makes a BIG pot, but I love taking it to work for an easy and flavorful lunch and we don’t mind leftovers. It easily serves the three of us for two meals.

Also, watch out for the type of chili powder you use – I’ve picked up two chili powders recently and found they were blends, one with added sodium. I’m used to a fairly mild but completely chili based powder. Also, if using a hot chili powder, like McCormick’s Chipotle Chili Powder, I use half as much. I also cook low sodium so all products are reduced, low, or no sodium and we are used to that. Adjust to your tastes.

Homemade Extra Veggie Chili

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and coarsely grated or finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef or venison
  • 1 package of riced cauliflower (I like to precook this according to package directions, but it probably isn’t necessary. It just make take a few extra minutes to bring the pot to a boil.)
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Directions

  1. Spray a 4 quart or large soup pot with cooking spray and pour in the olive oil. Heat over medium low heat.
  2. Dice the onion and add to the pot.
  3. Grate the carrot in and stir it around.
  4. Cook on low for about five minutes then push the veggies toward the sides of the pot.
  5. Turn the heat up to medium.
  6. Put the meat in the center and chop it up with a spatula or large spoon, stirring in the onion and carrot as you go. (I like to get the meat fairly fine and the veggies help break it up.)
  7. Brown the meat thoroughly, stirring regularly, about five to 8 minutes.
  8. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir thoroughly. (If it isn’t “soupy” enough for your taste, just add another cup of water and it will loosen up but not really lose any flavor.)
  9. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer.
  10. Simmer for about an hour.
  11. Check for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
  12. Serve as is or with grated sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream, avocado or guacamole, and/or tortilla chips.

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