5 Delicious, Nutritious Chili

Mhmmm, breathe in the savory aroma emanating from a pot of chili bubbling on the stove, relish the saturated, intense flavors that make taste buds dance. I love food with big flavor.

10 reasons chili is one of my staple meals in the cooler months:

  1. It’s a meal everyone seems to eat
  2. It’s a one pot meal
  3. It can feed a lot of people
  4. Versatility: a) turkey, or bison, or beef b) With beans, without beans, or only beans. c) Some veggies, no veggies, LOTS of veggies (bell peppers, celery, carrot and more).
  5. Fiber-rich and loaded with phytochemicals, natural plant chemicals that boost our immune system
  6. Big flavor. The spices that make it so tasty also boost our health. Chili powder, cumin, ground coriander, basil, marjoram, oregano are some of the spices and herbs that go into my chili pot.
  7. Happy tummies. Loaded with protein and fiber, chili fills our bellies full longer
  8. Affordable. Another reason to use beans. Because beans have high protein, it takes less chili to fill us up than many other dishes
  9. Every one can fix up just the way aha aha they like it:
    • chopped green or red onion
    • chopped cilantro
    • sliced avocado
    • plain Greek yogurt (instead of sour cream)
    • shredded cheddar
    • chopped Serrano peppers
  10. Excellent way to jumpstart other meals
  • Sheppard pie with Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes
  • Baked in a butternut squash or spaghetti squash, topped with cheese
  • Mix into Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
  • Chili nachos loaded with fresh tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, red onion

The first weekend of December every year brings  Galindo cousins to our house for a gingerbread marathon.  A direct link to my beloved mother and continuing her legacy, this my all-time favorite Christmas tradition. Not just gingerbread but real Austrian gingerbread. Not just a gingerbread house, but the witch’s house, Hansel and Gretel, trees and stars, forest animals. But that’s another story. With the tantalizing smell of gingerbread wafting through the house with every opening of the oven, it’s hungry work. And because I want the cookies to make it through Christmas, I must feed our gingerbread elves.

So, I made a double recipe of  Lentil Chili adding ground turkey to one pot and a separate smaller pot without meat for the vegetarian bakers. It’s perfect food, something everyone of all ages will eat, with plenty of leftovers for cousins who miss dinner but will come in and out throughout the weekend to decorate and chat.

When the gingerbread is baked, and we’re a good stopping point with the decorating, we ladle up the chili, get a thick slice of rustic bread, a chunk of cheese, and gather around the table.

The Green and Red Salad is always a hit with it’s seasonal colors and marvelous flavor and textures.

The food nourished our bodies, the chatter and laughter, the companionship and affection fed our souls. My heart brims with happiness, a marvelous and blessed way to start the Christmas season.

Favorite Chili

Lentil Chili (with or without meat)

One Lovely Life: Pumpkin Chili

Epicurious: Turkey Chili with White Beans

Epicurious: Black Bean Chili with Butternut Squash  (vegan)

Fit Foodie Finds: Black Bean and Quinoa Chili  (vegan)

For More Empowerment

The Great Chili Debate: Beans or No Beans?

6 Ways to a Healthier Bowl of Chili

The Secret to Great Chili

What To Do With Leftover Chili =