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Chili con Carne Recipe (Also Makes a Great Pasta Sauce!)

Sylvia Leong is a former healthcare professional who uses her education and experience as a nutritionist and therapeutic personal trainer.

This chili con carne also makes a fabulous pasta sauce

This chili con carne also makes a fabulous pasta sauce

Everyone seems to have different ideas of who invented chili.

So who was it?

Was it a Franciscan friar named Bernardino de Sahagún, who wrote in 1529 about chili pepper-seasoned stews being consumed in the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan? Or was it Sister Mary of Agreda of Spain who—in the 1600s—went into trances and mind-travelled to faraway lands only to wake up and record a recipe for chili with antelope meat, onions, tomatoes, and chile peppers? Or perhaps it really was the early-1700s immigrants from the Canary Islands, who settled in San Antonio, Texas, and brought along their chili recipe.

Who can say?

Whatever the case, the savoury aroma of chili conjures images of warm sweaters, autumn leaves, and fireside reading. Meaty, spicy, tomatoey! It doesn’t get better than that. Yum!

Ingredients

  • 12 to 15 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 pounds cubed sirloin beef or lean ground beef, organic, grass fed, pasture raised.
  • 4 large carrots, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves, ground
  • 2 chilies dried or fresh, sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pepper, grind as desired
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 12 to 15 mushrooms, quartered
  • 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon 100% pure Canadian maple syrup
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large red, orange or yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 ribs celery, sliced
  • 1 cup peas, asparagus, green beans, or Brussels sprouts, chopped as needed
  • 1 bulb garlic, crushed and minced
  • 4 cups dried beans (garbanzo, fava, kidney, black), soaked and cooked
  • 1 jar tomato sauce, organic

Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated Oils

Refined vegetable oils became available in 20th century after extraction technology was invented. Oils are extracted from plants using a chemical solvent or an oil mill, and are often chemically altered.

Too much omega-6, relative to omega-3, may contribute to chronic inflammation, increasing the risk of obesity, heart disease, arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease.

To add insult to injury, heating up monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils make the fatty acids fragile and more sensitive to undergoing oxidation, thereby degrading them into free radicals and harmful compounds.

Why is this important?

The fatty acids in oils are used to build every cell membrane in your body. Using degraded fatty acids weakens your cell membranes, inviting disease into your body's cells.

When cooking at high heat, it's important to use oils or fats that are stable and don’t oxidize or go rancid easily.

Saturated Fats

Some experts still believe saturated fats like butter, coconut oil, and animal drippings are implicated in cardiovascular disease and obesity.

What Should You Cook With?

Tomatoes!

Read More From Delishably

Step 1: Cook the Meat

  1. Use enough chopped tomatoes to cover the bottom of your cast-iron frying pan. A cast-iron frying pan is best because it adds the element “iron” to the dish. This can help stave off iron deficiency.
  2. Add beef atop the nest of tomatoes and turn to medium heat. Never cook above medium temperature. Higher temperatures can destroy enzymes, proteins and vitamins.
  3. When the meat is almost browned, add in the carrots, ground cloves and chilies. When it's fully cooked, add in the rest of the spices.
Most folks don’t add enough vegetables to their chili, sauces, or casseroles. This is such a missed opportunity to get several servings of vegetables in a yummy way!

Most folks don’t add enough vegetables to their chili, sauces, or casseroles. This is such a missed opportunity to get several servings of vegetables in a yummy way!

Step 2: Cook the Vegetables and Add Meat

  1. In a stock pot, over medium heat, caramelize the onions. Here, a little coconut oil will go a long way. Add a pinch of salt to speed up the process.
  2. Add the mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, maple syrup and leave to cook.
  3. Add the cooked food from the frying pan.
  4. Add in the rest of the tomatoes, vegetables, beans, and garlic.
  5. Add the tomato sauce, stir well, and leave to simmer.
Use chopped over-ripe tomatoes for your chili. This way you can use less processed tomato sauce.

Use chopped over-ripe tomatoes for your chili. This way you can use less processed tomato sauce.

Tomato Sauce or Tomato Paste?

I don’t know how to give chili that creamy tomatoey broth without using canned tomato paste or sauce. A better cook probably would. If you’re out there, please enlighten me!

I used to add a can of organic tomato paste. However, I stopped because of the can’s plastic lining.

Why?

The plastic secretes Bisphenol A (BPA) into the tomato product which, when ingested, it disrupts hormones in the human body.

Storage and Serving Suggestions

Keep the chili in a glass, lidded casserole dish in the fridge, ready to ladle out into a bowl at any time! Serve on its own, over brown rice, quinoa, barley or even pasta. Yum!

Cook this dish without the beans and chilies, and presto, you have pasta sauce!

Sop up this meal with fresh-baked, homemade soda bread and enjoy!

© 2021 Sylvia Leong

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