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How I make my chili; Cooking healthy foods in bulk to avoid cheats? It works!

Saturday, May 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


I considered having a cheat meal last night for dinner, but I really wasn’t craving anything so I decided to just have my lean chili again. I love that stuff! A lot of people have been asking me how I make my chili. It’s nothing special: just 93% lean ground beef and Carroll Shelby’s chili kits. You can use even leaner ground beef or turkey if you like, of course. I always make a double batch using two chili kits and 4-5 pounds of ground beef.

Here’s how I prepare the chili (double batch). First I brown the ground beef in a large pot and drain off the fat. Then I add two cans of tomato sauce, 2 cans of water, both chili seasoning packets, both cayenne pepper packets and half of just one of the salt packets. I find that using half of one of the two salt packets is perfect – any more than that makes the chili way too salty for my tastes. I completely omit the masa that comes in the kits. I actually love masa, but it just adds too many calories so I leave it out. I also add lots of extra cayenne pepper because I don’t find the chili is spicy enough straight from the box. Anyway, I stir all that up, cover the pot and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 4-5 minutes. When it’s done I put 10-ounce portions into those little plastic storage containers with screw-on lids. After allowing the chili to cool down for a bit I put the lids on and stick the containers in the freezer. Defrosting is easy: take the lid off and defrost in the microwave just long enough to allow transfer of the frozen block of chili into a bowl. I add a 1/2 cup of frozen brown rice (pre-cooked), cover the bowl and nuke for about 4 minutes, stirring several times. It comes out perfect!

You may have noticed that I like to prepare many of my foods in bulk (brown rice, chicken, lean ground beef patties, chili, etc). I find that it’s much easier to stick to a healthy diet if I have ready access to healthy meals that can be prepared quickly and easily. Sometimes I just don’t feel like cooking, and if I can’t get something prepared fast and easy, well, that’s when ordering a pizza or Chinese food becomes extremely tempting! I know this about myself, and so I’ve learned to work around that potential pitfall by adapting how I prepare food. If you find yourself constantly breaking your diet because you don’t feel like cooking, then this the bulk approach may be something you should explore.

I think I’m going to get outside and enjoy some of this nice weather. Have a great Saturday!

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