Did I mention I made chili on Monday?
Yeah, that’s right. Why not?! I was home, I was in a wild cookin kinda mood, chopping veggies and fruit like it was goin’ out of style, and decided upon chili. I have never made chili for Matt in the entire 3 and a halfish years we have been together despite contantly claiming I’m going to. Couple that with all my beautiful Wild Cheff blends kicking around I decided why not give it a shot?
When I first smelled the Smokey Paprika & Chili Blend the very first thing I though was “this would make some kick-#$@ chili!” That and the curry blend have become my smelling obsession.
Everyone has their vices right? I love the smell of herbs and spices. So be it. When Denny (The wild cheff) presented me with his blend bounty and said “pick which ones you want to try”, what can I say, I went a tad overboard. Much like a kid in a candy store, only it was spice blend heaven. Hence this:
OK so maybe I took advantage a little but I have a purpose! My goal as a member of the Wild Cheff team is to use all of these blends in unique and interesting ways…like I’m not going to enjoy that?!
Any-who, moving right along, this week I managed to go above and beyond my goal of using at least one a week. Monday was chili which we had for dinner last night, and TONIGHT…I attempt…my FRIST EVER CURRY! Yes, that’s right. I’m taking the plunge. (I can hear Stephanie over at CookinFanatic cheering right now!)
But more on chili..and cornbread..so you open this jar of spice blend and it bombards you (as all of these blends do) with amazing aromas. The smokiness gets you right away but it’s immediately finished with sweetness. This was not quite as hot as I had expected although I will warn, you I used quite a lot of it in my chili and it was spicy, but not in an unappealing way. Nothing some sour cream or Chobani can’t mellow out 🙂 Matt was the one actually warning me as I was pouring in my cascade of blend, humming happily that if I wanted to make sure I was going to be able to eat it, maybe I should hold off a bit. Good point Matt.
SO here is my chili recipe, from memory as I made all the way back on Monday and, seriously, who can remember that far back? Well, me. 🙂 Yes if it pertains to food in any way shape or form I can pull stuff out of my memory vault from when I was 3 years old. Obsessed much?
I really did strive to make this chili as healthy as possible which IS attainable! Oh yes! Big key here; using grass feed, free range ground beef. This stuff has almost no fat plus all the great vitamins and minerals you get from “the good stuff”. I would also highly recommend using ground venison or buffalo in this. It would work perfectly! (IN FACT, I tried to steal some venison steaks Matt had in the freezer for this but he caught me :(. Oh well, no matter!)
Lean Chili with Smoky Paprika & Chili Blend
- 1 1/2 lbs lean, grass feed, free range beef (or venison or buffalo)
- 1 large can of crushed tomatoes (or boxed if you can find them! low or no sodium added. V. important)
- 2 cans of low sodium kidney beans rinsed (or 2 cups that were dried and have been re-constituted…if you have that kind of time)
- 1 large onion diced
- 1/2 red bell pepper diced
- 1 small or 1/2 large green bell pepper diced
- 3 small carrots diced (for added sweetness)
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 1/4 cup (yes I used that much) Wild Cheff Smokey Paprika & Chili Blend (I’m sorry I have no substitute for you. There is none. That’s the point! He’s done all of the work for you!)
- 1 Tbs. cumin
- 1 Tbs. dark brown sugar (stay with me here)
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika (I know it’s in the blend but this was the only I could add more good stuff without adding more heat!)
- 1/2 cup of beef stock
- Dice veggies and set aside.
- Heat a cast iron dutch oven over medium high heat.
- Add just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
- Add onions and saute 3 minutes stirring until turning translucent.
- Add carrots and saute another few minutes.
- Add peppers and saute.
- Add beef and saute until cooked through, breaking it up as you go.
- Add the garlic and saute about 1 minute.
- Now add seasonings, crushed tomatoes, beans and beef stock. Heat to a boil stirring occasionally.
- Cover and reduce heat to just above low and simmer…as long as you can! I did mine for about 3 hours? The longer it simmers and the longer it sits the better it will be! 2 Hours is good but I say let it sit a day to let the flavors meld.
- Serve with light sour cream or Chobani 0% greek yogurt (or mix them together if you like your chili on the verge of white like I do…Matt was horrified) and top with cheddar cheese. and Serve alongside cornbread.
Yum!! (I added way more sour cream after this. I’ll admit it.)
NOW! ON TO THE CORNBREAD! (keep reading!!!)
All I have to say is Wow. Seriously, BEST cornbread I have ever had! I bought some Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free Cornbread Mix on a whim and I am in love. I technically ate 4 servings of it last night but whose counting??
As our oven is still not working, we did this old school in the grill. Did you know you can BAKE things in your grill? Well you can! I wouldn’t exactly recommend it on all grills but as ours doesn’t have direct flame contact with food it worked well.
Matt was on cornbread duty. I must say he’s getting more interested in my blog. Like when I say “wait I need to take a picture!” he no longer rolls his eyes. IN FACT he set up a photo shoot for his beautiful cornbread! Oh yes he did! He made the whole bag according to package directions, put it into our cast iron skillet and popped it on the grill. 4oish minutes later and after a great suggestion from my buddy CookinFanatic to add more liquid (thanks for the tip Steph!), our cornbread came out looking like this:
And like this…
Matt insisted on cutting it and getting an inside picture so this is for him:
I staged the one above so now you have more pictures of cornbread than you ever thought you needed.
Did I mention I absolutely love cornbread? When it’s done right. That crap you buy from the grocery store that tastes more like a cupcake than cornbread is a joke. But this stuff? Hello perfection! It’s moist and savory and warm and mmm. MMM! I want some right now! Nutty from the corn. I’ve never come across a boxed cornbread mix I like. well this was in a bag so maybe that was the difference. 😉
Bob, I salute you sir! You cornbread is superb!
Go track some down (get this, I found mine in a tiny little gluten free section in WAL-MART of all places! Go figure!) and make and love it…and then serve it alongside some of my chili and then be SUPER happy!
TRAINING AND FOOD JOURNAL
TRAINING: I win the award for perfectly saint-like person today. I was up at 4:15am, drove to the gym and took combat. GREAT class. They give out awards for such things right? Like a slice of cornbread when I get home? 😀
PRE WORKOUT: about 3 good gulps of Bolthouse Farms Berry smoothie before I RAN out of the house.
POST WORKOUT: 1 slice of light oatmeal bread with 1 tbs of Teddy’s Peanut Butter and 1 Horizon low-fat chocolate milk. (I was like an angry bear before I had this. once done? More lamb like)
SNACK: baggie full of various raw veggies (which I am going to retrieve at this moment!)
LUNCH: Serving of my homemade chili with some Chobani AND low-fat sour cream and some cheese…and some mango too of course.
DINNER: Chicken Curry over brown rice. WISH ME LUCK!