Some Like it Hot: One Pot Mexican Chili
Well, it’s officially fall.
I’ve busted out the hoodies, my warm fuzzy socks, and now I want some chili.
There’s not much I like more in the fall than curling up with a blanket while wearing my comfy sweatpants and a reading a good book… oh yea, and filling my belly with something warm. Tea is my drink of choice when I don’t have a water bottle in hand and fall is about the time when drinking warm tea becomes an almost every day habit of mine. But when I am looking for some belly warming food, chili has to be one of my favorites.
I never really loved chili as a child. I liked my food to be separate so I could see exactly what I was eating. My dad would make his amazing bean chili with beef and onions and peppers. But I hated both onions and peppers at the time and I could find even the smallest of chopped onions in any meal he made. I would spend hours trying to eat around the foods I didn’t like… fishing out each individual piece of pepper and onion I could find. So you can see how chili was my nemesis as a child. Now I feel for my poor father, who has always been an incredible cook, because my childhood taste buds were not very appreciative. Now that I am 31, and have children of my own I can relate to the heartbreak and frustration that comes with cooking an amazing dinner only to have your children turn up their noses in protest.
My husband, on the other hand, grew up with a chili recipe that calls for elbow noodles and has no beans onions or peppers. To me, this is not chili but I soon learned (or at least was told) that I was in fact wrong. Especially since my husband is not a fan of kidney and white beans (he really only likes black beans). So, I begged his mom for the recipe of her homemade chili and she happily obliged. Her recipe became a favorite for our entire family due to it’s simplicity and it’s yumminess factor. However, this was all before we started cutting out wheat from our diet and so I have since longed for an alternative chili recipe (that my husband would eat). So, I came up with this “Mexican chili” the other night (with black beans!) by combining some ingredients from my mother in law’s chili and searching for delish seasonings to use in home made taco seasoning. This is a super simple one pot chili recipe you can make in a pinch with the herbs and spices you probably already have in your cupboard (no pre mixed chemical containing seasoning required)
- 2 cans of tomato sauce (no sugar added and preferably BPA free) UPDATE: I recently started using 1 box of Pomi tomato sauce rather than canned. There is no citric acid in Pomi and no BPA since it’s not canned. I buy mine at Target. Here is a link to the product site.
- 2 cans (or one box full if using Pomi) of filtered warm water (you can use the tomato cans or box once you empty out the sauce)
- 1 can of diced tomatoes OR 1 box of Pomi diced tomatoes OR 1 1/2-2 cups chopped tomatoes (optional)
- 1 cup organic frozen corn (optional)
- 1 large sweet pepper of choice or lots of little sweet peppers (I used a bunch of little ones I picked up at the farmers market). Peppers are optional but add a nice flavor.
- 1 lb (preferably grass fed) beef
- 4 cups of home cooked black beans (or 2 cans of store bought)
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp salt (you can use less if you like)
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 TBS chili powder (I have been using Ancho Chili powder I found at Target that doesn’t have any added salt and I love it)
1. Chop up your sweet pepper(s) if using and set aside.
2. Brown your ground beef in a huge pot. Drain the fat if you need to. I have found that the grass fed beef I get has very little excess fat so I often don’t need to drain the fat out.
3. Add your cans of tomato sauce and tomatoes (if you are using diced tomatoes) to your pot.
4. Use your empty cans of tomato sauce to add 2 cans of filtered warm water to your pot.
5. Add your black beans and frozen corn.
6. Add your diced sweet peppers.
7. Add all your seasonings. You can use more or less of the spicy stuff depending on your taste buds. I usually make a separate mini pot of chili for the kiddos and add all the same spices but only add a dash of chili powder and paprika. I then add even more crushed red pepper flakes to my own personal bowl when I want a little extra spicy kick.
8. Let the chili simmer for a half an hour then serve. You may want to take the pot off the burner to cool a little before serving as it is often so hot you can’t enjoy it right away. Or you could add a piece of ice to your bowl if you are super impatient like me.
You can see in this photo I have my mini pot in the background for the kids. They ate it all up and asked for seconds.