Paleo | Whole30 | Meats | Soups
Growing up in Nebraska, at the very first sign of cold weather, my mom would always make a big pot of chili. As a kid, I looked forward to this every year because to me, it was a sign that the holidays were getting closer and the possibility of snow days was imminent. My mom's chili recipe is also special in my memory because she always made it for our family's Christmas Eve celebrations. Even now that I live in sunny Arizona, I still crave a warm pot of Paleo Chili in the winter-time.
When trying to re-create my mother's chili recipe I ran into two different problems. First of all, she never worked off of a recipe or wrote anything down and when I would ask her how to make chili she would just say things like "oh, just throw in this and that until it tastes right". I realize that there are MANY people out there (my husband for one) who cook this way, but for my Type A brain, even if I'm the one developing the recipe, I measure and write down every single thing.
The second issue I encountered regarding my mom's chili is that it uses beans, and while I've always loved chili with beans, beans just don't love me back, so I knew they had to be eliminated in my own paleo chili recipe. Originally, I tested some recipes that involved using some sort of paleo "bean replacement", but then I decided to just dive right in to the "no bean chili" camp and I haven't looked back since. I realized it's the flavor of the spices in the chili that I really love, and by using both pureed and diced tomatoes I could achieve a good texture without needing the beans.
When browning ground beef for this chili, I like use a whisk to really break it up into small pieces. Also, to cut down on prep time, while the ground beef is browning, I measure out all of the spices.
Once you've returned everything to the pot, make sure to stir it really well to get all of the ingredients and spices incorporated before you let it simmer.
I think chili is a perfect meal in and of itself (carbs plus protein plus fat) but if you're looking for something more substantial, try putting it on top of your favorite veggies--broccoli, sweet potato, cauliflower rice...the possibilities are endless!
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