BRRR. Anyone else feeling that polar vortex chill?! We just got our first snow of DC’s winter season and it is officially cold here! Although the roads are gross and the skies are cloudy, the snow at least helps to brighten up the day. I’m not a cold weather person, so I’m allll about anything that warms me up. Which prompted me to make this delish chili yesterday. .
We had a plethora of root veggies sitting in our fridge – typically I’ll either roast them or throw ’em in the juicer, but its too cold to juice right now and I haven’t had the time to roast them this weekend for meal prep. We also had some free-range ground beef from Trader Joe’s that I wanted to try out – a great find that was only about $6 a pound! I typically only like to eat local meat from sources I know, but the convenience of being able to pick up some good quality meat at a place I do supplemental shopping is nice when I can’t make it to the farm stand. I have a couple jars of turkey stock in the fridge, too, from last week that’s been calling my name, so all I could dream of was chili! There is something so comforting about a bowl of chili that seriously warms your bones – add in the veg and it’s damn good for you, too.
This particular recipe is loaded with earthy veggies that contain beta-carotene, vitamin C, folate, and B vitamins. This time of year, with the flu rampant, you can never get enough vitamins and minerals in your diet. Homemade broth is also particularly awesome for your immune system, so if you have the time to make a big batch I’d highly recommend doing so! Freezing it or storing it in the fridge in airtight containers [if you know you’ll use it within a week or two] makes it super handy to have around.
Hearty Winter Chili
- 1 lb free-range ground beef
- 1 large yellow onion; diced
- 5 cloves garlic; peeled & roughly chopped
- 3 medium-sized beets; scrubbed & diced
- 5 large carrots; diced
- 1 small blue hubbard, butternut, or acorn squash; peeled & diced**
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 – 8 oz. can diced fire-roasted tomato
- 1/2 cup veggie or poulty-based broth
**If you’re using an acorn or blue hubbard squash, to make peeling and cutting easier place the entire thing on a tray and stick it in the oven at 300º for about 20 minutes – this will soften the skin and make it much easier to cut it into the desired size when prepping. Just make sure to let it cool so you don’t burn yourself!
If you’re using a slow cooker :
In a medium-sized skillet pan, heat coconut or avocado oil – when its ready, cook ground beef until it’s browned [about 10 minutes]. Drain the excess fat and combine all the ingredients in the slow cooker basin; give it a good stir and set on low for 8 hours.
If you’re cooking on the stove top :
In a large pot, heat coconut or avocado oil on medium high heat until its hot and ready to go – add in ground beef and cook until it’s browned. Drain the excess fat. In the same pot add in onion and garlic and cook until onion becomes translucent and garlic is fragrant; next, add in the spices [but saving the bay leaves for later] and give it a good stir. Throw in the beets, carrots, and squash next, followed by the tomatoes and broth – adding more broth if needed. Mix everything so its combined well, then top with bay leaves and cover to simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour.
When the veggies are cooked through and the chili is ready, serve with this delish cornbread from Foodie Fiasco! [I added in about 1/2 cup gf flour to my batter, but otherwise followed her directions – its perfect!!] Top with a little dollop of plain Greek yogurt, if you please, or maybe a little chopped cilantro. Whatever you decide to do, enjoy it!
This week is supposed to be a cold one and I think we’re expecting snow later on, so I’ll probably have this recipe on repeat alll week long! Chili, fuzzy socks, and day dreaming of a sunny beach – sounds pretty perfect to me.