January 29, 2015
After a long day nothing tastes better than a hearty and delicious meal. And on a cold evening, as many are this time of year, chili is a wonderful go-to dinner to cap off your day. Chili can be very versatile and easy to adapt to your tastes, schedule, and dietary needs. Whether your vegan, a meat-lover, short on time or have all day you can make chili fit to your needs. My personal favorite is classic beef and bean chili, but I like to mix up the spices and flavors as well as play with unique ingredients to keep things interesting.
For tonight’s meal, I adapted a recipe from the Thrive Energy Cookbook by Brendan Brazier. The original recipe is vegan in nature, and I imagine would be delicious sans the meat. Given the craving for a little meat, I added a few extra things to make this recipe my own. Here’s what I ended up with this time.
Sweet Potato, Corn and Bean Chili
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 lbs lean ground beef
1 yellow onion, diced
4 Tbsp minced garlic
1/4 cup chili powder
3 Tbsp cumin
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 can sweet corn, drained
1 can pinto beans, drained
1 can red kidney beans, drained
~3 cups veggie broth or beef broth (I used approximately 2/3 of a carton)
1 small can tomato paste
Sharp cheddar cheese, Fat Free Plain Greek yogurt and Avocado for topping
Cilantro Leaves, for garnish
Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan, add salted water until potatoes are just covered. Bring to a boil and boil until potatoes are slightly done but not completely cooked, approximately 8-10 minutes.
While potatoes are cooking, brown ground beef over medium heat until near fully cooked. Drain and set aside.
Drain potatoes, cover in ice water to stop cooking. Drain again and set aside.
In a large saucepan, sauté the onions and garlic in some olive oil over medium heat until onions start to turn translucent. Add chili powder and cumin, stir until onions and garlic are well coated and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add sweet potatoes, coffee, canned tomatoes, corn, beans, cilantro and broth. Simmer for 30 minutes. If the chili is too thick for your liking, add some more broth.
Serve with a dollop of greek yogurt (high-protein, fat-free substitute for sour cream), a squeeze of lime juice, some cilantro leaves shredded cheese and sliced avocado on top. Yum!
Recipe makes 6 servings
Nutrition Info: 577 calories, 22g fat, 55g Carbohydrates, 13g Fiber, 42g Protein
Recipe adapted from The Thrive Energy Cookbook by Brendan Brazier.
This hearty chili really hits the spot on a cold evening. In addition to satisfying the ‘comfort food’ craving, this recipe is a great recovery promoter post-workout, or can work as a nutrient-dense pre-workout meal, if given enough time to digest. Lean ground beef provides lean protein needed for muscle building and recovery. The beef and the beans provide a hefty portion of your daily iron needs, which is important in the delivery of oxygen to cells. It’s relatively common for runners to become iron-depleted, especially females or those under strenuous, high-mileage training so good sources of iron are an important staple in the runner’s diet.
Beans and sweet potatoes are chock full of fiber and slow-digesting carbohydrates to aid in the stocking and replenishment of the body’s carbohydrate stores. Sweet potatoes are also a great source of vitamin A. Tomatoes and tomato paste provide lycopene, a cancer and heart disease preventing antioxidant that may also help in preventing oxidative cell damage associated with exercise. The vitamin C in tomatoes also helps your body to more efficiently absorb iron from the beans. Overall, this chili is a complete and healthy meal perfect for post-run recovery or a heart-warmer at the end of a long day.
Note: This recipe also works great in a slow cooker. Brown beef, then add beef and remaining ingredients to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 to 5 hours.
Also, for broth, try to choose one that has no salt added to help reduce sodium content. Many broths are loaded with sodium that most of us do not need. My favorite is Kitchen Basics Unsalted Vegetable Stock. Not only is it low in sodium, it has a rich vegetable flavor which adds tremendous depth to the dishes it is used in.