Primal (no-bean) Chili

So, for logistical purposes, I don’t actually have to define the chili as being “no-bean”. That’s because chili, by it’s definition, doesn’t require beans. Only “a thick sauce of meat and chilis”.

Now, I understand that beans are quite popular in chili, but not if you’re in Texas. Or if you’re trying to avoid beans.

Impossible you say? Not so. In fact, it’s simple. Just leave them out.

Here is a Saturday night recipe; while you’re watching the 49ers beat the Saints in the NFC playoffs, while your fiance is at school for the opera performance.

For those of you that like to measure, these amounts are approximate. I don’t like to measure. I just add stuff.

You will need:
4 slices nitrate-free bacon
1 pound ground beef – 85/15 or 90/10 is good.
1-1.5 pounds of stew meat
1 medium red onion – chopped
1 medium yellow onion – chopped
1 red bell pepper – chopped
1 green bell pepper – chopped
1-2 jalapeño peppers – minced
8 ounces white mushrooms – chopped
3 cans diced tomatoes, no salt added (14 oz. each)
8 oz. dry red wine
1/2 tsp dry ginger
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dry mustard
1-2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp garlic powder
2-3 tsp ground black pepper
5 tsp chili powder – add more to taste
salt to taste

1. Chop Bacon into small pieces and cook in a pot over medium heat.
2. While cooking bacon, chop all vegetables.
3. When bacon is cooked, add onion and cook until translucent. (4-5 minutes)
4. When onion is translucent, add bell pepper, jalapeno pepper and mushroom and cook, about 5 minutes more.
5. Depending on the size of your pot, you may have to set aside the vegetables in order to brown the meat.
6. Brown the meat over medium to medium-high heat.
7. Combine all cooked ingredients.
8. Add spices. Stir to combine.
9. Add tomatos and wine. Stir to combine.
10. Bring everything to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 2 hours.
11. After about an hour, feel free to taste and adjust spice accordingly.
12. If you are avoiding dairy, or engaging in a clean Paleo diet, garnish with green onion and avocado slices. Otherwise, sour cream and sharp cheddar cheese are tasty.
13. Try to convince yourself that you really need the beans….

So, this is by no means the only way to make chili without beans. The point however, is that there really isn’t as much lacking as you might think.
Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Thoughts? Comments?



Achy Joints Update

I have a quick weekend update on the status of the inflammation. I haven’t had any official tests done, so this is purely observational. However, after 12 days, all signs of the “talking” knees and shoulders is completely gone. In fact, it was basically gone within the first 3 days of clean Paleo eating.

A few other observations:

1. My energy throughout the day is very consistent. I don’t feel like I have to have coffee to make it to the second hour of the day, and there is definitely no mid-afternoon crash. (do I sound like an ad for 5-hour-energy?)
2. I don’t really have any cravings for sugar or other things that are sweet.
3. Black coffee isn’t really that bad, and the guy that invented the Aeropress is pretty smart.
4. I really enjoy cooking.
5. A pressure cooker might be a better kitchen investment than a slow cooker.
6. There are plenty of carbohydrate options in the absense of bread, pasta, rice, beans, grains, oatmeal, etc. Plenty of vegetables with a little bit of fruit works quite well.
7. My clothes fit better. Belts are a good measuring tool. So is a work uniform that you wear everyday.
8. Rachel noticed that her teeth are whiter and cleaner without any change in her daily tooth hygeine regimen.

For anyone who is unsure that you can eat well on a Paleo/Primal plan, let me share some of our meals from last weekend.
Friday dinner: Homemade meatballs with cauliflower rice. Between the 2 of us, we ate the whole head of cauliflower. 4 or 5 homemade meatballs (no breadcrumbs needed) with homemade marinara sauce.
Saturday dinner: Baked whole chicken with brussel sprouts, bacon and onions. Strawberries with reduced balsamic vinegar for dessert. (By the way, the dinner took less than an hour to cook, from start to table.)
Sunday dinner: Blackened chicken ceasar salad with bacon. One heart of romaine each, homemade dressing, bacon. Found the recipe for the blackening spice online, and the chicken breasts took 25 minutes to cook in the oven.

Lunches mostly consisted of leftovers from earlier in the week, or a salad. Breakfast is usually eggs or leftovers or nothing.

Anyways, just wanted to share some thoughts from the past 2 weeks. I’ll have a couple of recipes and other stuff later this week.

Thoughts? Comments?