Its’ been downright frigid here in Minnesota lately and what is better to eat when you are constantly freezing than a nice, warm, hearty bowl of chili!? There is nothing fancy about this chili; just you’re straight up traditional chili. But it’s a classic comfort food and is just what you need on a cold winter day (or any day for that matter).
This chili is loaded with beans and veggies and does call for ground beef. But if you are a vegetarian, you can easily skip the ground beef and add an extra can of beans and increase the veggies. This chili has simple seasonings like garlic, oregano, chili powder, and cumin, but also has ground cloves which rounds out the flavor and makes it just right in my opinion. Like most chili recipes, this calls for canned tomatoes. Now canned tomatoes don’t really qualify as “clean” food in my books because most canned tomatoes contain additives like calcium chloride. Calcium chloride is a preservative added to a lot of canned goods to increase the firmness of the food and increase the saltiness without adding actual salt. While there is a lot of debate on whether or not calcium chloride is harmful to our health, it is a preservative and an additive that I don’t like in my food. But there is good news… you can buy canned tomatoes with one single ingredient: tomatoes! Whoop whoop! However, I’ve only seen these at natural grocery stores like Whole Foods. So, read your labels my friends and try to find canned tomatoes that are just that, tomatoes. If not, don’t sweat it… 80/20, right!?
While chili is definitely a seasonal meal in our house, it’s one we make a lot. And I usually double the recipes because chili is the perfect food for freezing and creates an easy meal right out of the freezer for nights when cooking is just not looking good!
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 green peppers, chopped
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
- 3 tbsp. chili powder
- 1.5 tbsp. ground cumin
- 2 tsp. oregano
- 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3 cans diced tomatoes
- 1 can kidney beans, drained
- 1 can pinto beans, drained
- 1/2 cup water or broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp. raw honey optional
- In a medium frying pan cook the ground beef over medium heat until browned. Drain access liquid and set beef aside.
- While meat is cooking, add onion, green peppers, zucchini, garlic, and olive oil to a medium to large stock pot. Cook over medium heat until veggies begin to soften. This should take about 7 minutes. Add chili powder, ground cumin, oregano, cloves, and salt. Continue cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Turn heat to medium low and add the cooked beef, tomatoes, beans, water, bay leaves, and honey to stock pot. Stir until combined. Simmer for at least 30 minutes.
- Serve with your choice of toppings. I suggest green onion, avocado, cheese, and/or sour cream
- You could use 2 cans of kidney or pinto beans instead of using both, but I like the variety.
- If you like you’re chili extra thick, skip the water or broth, but I find it to be a little too thick without.
- Recommend organic ingredients where possible.