Tuesday, October 25, 2011

RECIPE: Beef & Bean-tastic Chili

 In the pot, ready to simmer....
... and in the bowl, with cheese, on the chili-covered counter!

1.5 lb lean ground beef
1 medium- large onion, diced
1 can light red kidney beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed
1 big can Bush's seasoned pinto chili beans
1 can Rotel chili-fixins seasoned diced tomatoes
1 medium can tomato sauce
1 tsp Mexene chili powder
1 tsp Ground cayenne pepper
1/4 cup fat free shredded cheddar
Crackers if you're splurgin' (count the points!)

Combine everything but onion, beef, cheddar and crackers in a medium sized slow cooker and stir well. Season to taste and to the desired heat. Turn on slow cooker to "high" setting and replace lid. 

Brown beef in a large skillet on medium heat. Do not drain if you use lean beef... not enough fat to bother! Push the beef to the outside of the pan and dump diced onion in center. Use the tiny amount of fat from the beef to cook the onions until just translucent. Dump it all into the slow cooker and stir thoroughly. Simmer on High for an hour, stir, turn down on low and cook for two more hours. Stir occasionally. 

Dip into bowl and sprinkle on cheese. Devour!

Note: This is a mostly-Power-Foods recipe, but some seasonings in the prepared beans and tomatoes should be noted as costing points. I'm experimenting to see if the cost is negligible. So I'm officially saying a cup of this stuff, with fat free cheese and no crackers is made of all Power Foods and shouldn't be much of a "cheat". Now, seconds and thirds are a different story... :)

Note 2: COST-- For a 3.5 quart slow cooker full of chili, it cost about $13, which is a splurge for my budget all at once. But considering for a moment that, if I didn't have company, 3.5 quarts of chili would last all week, it's a pretty sound investment...

Note 3: This stuff could probably freeze really well, in meal sized portions!

Style Note: If you're a spaghetti-in-your-chili person (weird to me, but tasty, I guess...), then cook some whole wheat pasta and throw it in there. Or pour your chili over it. Or whatever you guys do... :D

Style Note 2: I made a very mild chili with a lot of good flavor. Plus, I cheated by using pre-made, pre-seasoned ingredients. If you pay close attention to your Power Foods list, you can make it all from base ingredients instead. You'll end up with a more true-to-Simply-Filling result by controlling all ingredients. I could have cooked dried beans and painstakingly seasoned them in measured portions, diced real tomatoes, pureed them and made a sauce. Like I'd do that on a Tuesday. Bah! ;)

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