Where I come from, fall brings beautiful color changes and makes way for colder temperatures, snow, and hermit-tendencies. I was born and raised in Minnesota and for some reason, choose to still live here. I did try to escape briefly – I spent some time in Spain and lived in Denver for a year – but ultimately, I am a family gal and everyone I love is here, so I am here. The beginning of fall is exciting and beautiful. I look forward to “sweater weather” all year even though I know that shortly following comes “hide inside and stay warm weather.” Thankfully, our apartment comes equip with a fireplace. There are a lot things about winter that make me depressed and annoyed. The sound the snow makes crunching under my feet is comparable to nails on a chalkboard. Driving in the snow is terrifying and makes me want to stay inside for 5 months. Is there anything worse than -10 degree weather? But there are also a few really great things about winter (yes, just a few). Have you seen how beautiful it is outside after a fresh snow? Is there anything better than being curled up with your family on a Saturday in front of the fireplace with a movie on TV? What is better than Christmas?
And then of course, there is comfort food. Something that most people look forward to with cold weather is warm food such as chili, casseroles, and soup. There is nothing better on a cold winter day than Panera’s soup in a bread bowl. Unfortunately, that is not an option for us this year. The trick this season is to find healthier ways to still enjoy the comfort foods that we rely on so heavily during the long winter. Over the next couple of weeks, I will be finding Paleo ways to enjoy all of our favorites. This weekend’s adventure was bean-free crockpot chili. My husband is a chili fanatic. I think he would eat it every day from November – February if he could. Because of this, when I set out to make paleo chili that measured up to the original that my husband loves so much, I felt a lot of pressure. Luckily, I made a chili that impressed him and now he can’t get enough.
Here is what you need
2lb lean ground beef
1 can organic diced tomatoes
1 can organic tomato sauce
1 can (28oz) organic crushed tomatoes
1 white onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1.5 tsp minced garlic
4 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp oregano
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 avocado, garnish
Here’s How to Make It
1. Saute onions and garlic in a large saucepan with a tsp of olive oil, medium heat.
2. Brown ground beef in the same pan.
3. Move cooked meat, onions and garlic into the crock-pot.
4. Add all other vegetables to the crock-pot, throw in your seasonings and stir well.
5. Set crock-pot to low and cook for about 6 hours
6. Right about when the chili is finished cooking, slice up an avocado.
7. Dish out your mouth-watering chili, top with a scoop of avocado and enjoy!
How easy was that? It has all the fantastic flavor of bean-filled chili but proves that you just don’t need legumes to have a good, hearty, mouth-watering chili! You can also experiment with more spices but sometimes I feel like less is more.
There is nothing better than leaving the chili in the crock-pot to cook, running some errands and then coming home to the smell of a hearty, healthy meal filling up the apartment!
Try it, let me know what you think!
xx until next time xx