According to Livestrong.com, scientist say the recent “Chili and Soup” diet has some merit. Most of us don’t get enough vegetables in our day which help us feel full and feed our body the nutrients it needs to stave off hunger. Eating chili can get 2-5 servings of vegetables in just one bowl,
In addition, chili peppers have been shown to raise our metabolism helping us burn more calories all day. They also help you burn fat and lose weight according to studies done by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and others. In a well-published study where people took the supplement Capsicum, the active ingredient in chili peppers, people lost more abdominal fat than those who took a placebo.
If you add onion or garlic to your chili, you are also adding some of the 10 “Super foods” according to Dr. Oz.. Foods in the allium category, like these, lower total cholesterol, raise good cholesterol and even fight the growth of cancer cells plus reduce your risk of getting cancer in the future.. Capsicum has all of these benefits, as well, plus it fights sinus congestion, head and stomach aches. As capsicum provides the heat in the peppers, it also signals a built-in portion control as humans can only eat so much of it comfortably.
We haven’t even gotten to the beans. If you add beans to your chili, you get the added benefit of fiber which makes you feel full faster and stay that way longer. After 4 requests to make chili in the last month, I have noticed that I am never hungry after dinner. The beans, protein and complex carbs make one bowl go a long way in keeping hunger at bay.
Chili is big in my house when the weather turns, well, chilly. My family swears that I make the “BEST chili in the WORLD!” You probably think your mom does, too. Just in case mine are right, I will include my own secret recipe which has changed substantially over the years as I have added many people’s tips along the way:
2 pounds of 90% lean ground beef
1 small can of Trader Joe’s Organic Black Beans
1 small can of Brook’s Mild Chili Beans
1 can Rotelle with Green Chilis
2 small cans of Hunts Tomato Sauce
2 small cans of Hunts Whole Tomatoes (if it’s summer, use fresh to skip the sodium)
1 Red Bell Pepper (for my kids to pick out and my husband and I to eat) or 1/2 bag frozen yellow corn
1/4 regular spice jar of Penzi’s Medium Hot Chili Powder
1/8 regular spice jar of Penzi’s Cumin Seed Powder (Steak and Shake’s secret)
1/8 regular spice jar of Penzi’s Smoked Paprika
3 Tablespoons minced garlic (or one medium yellow onion)
3-5 Tablespoons of Penzi’s Black Peppercorns, smashed with a roller in a baggie for a “course grind”
3-5 Tablespoons Garlic Salt
1 T Cayenne (optional)
1 Bay Leaf
1 Tablespoon “Better Than Bullion” Vegetable Soup Starter
1 Beef Bullion cube
1 T Trader Joe’s Smoked Sea Salt (for serving, smells heavenly)
Fresh Cilantro to garnish
Shredded colby/monteray jack cheese to garnish
Light Sour Cream to garnish (optional)
I will assume you know how to brown beef and open cans. The rest is all in the wrist and you may like more or less of some of the spices. Many people don’t realize that spices are often dried vegetables. For instance, paprika is from the Capsicum family, as well. Not only will it make your chili look prettier, it has the same benefits as adding bell peppers. This is a great find if your kids like to pick the peppers out of their dishes like mine do.
I make the double batch so we have options with the leftovers. Here are a few ideas that you may help you add more chili to your meal plans:
- Dress up your scrambled eggs with a half cup of chili and a little cheese on top the next morning.
- Try a cup of chili over steamed green vegetables or cauliflower instead of pasta. I often do this with meat sauce, as well. You won’t taste the vegetables, but will get the added servings of them into your day.
- Make a quick chili burrito on the night you get home too late to cook. It’s much healthier than going through a drive-through and the kids never complain.
- Your homemade “Chili Mac” will be even better with whole wheat noodles. If these aren’t your favorite, this is the way to try them. If chili drowns out the taste of cauliflower, it can do wonders for whole wheat!
- Mexican “red beans and rice”. Pour your chili over nice, fluffy white rice for a new take on an old favorite.
Do you have some chili tricks up your long sleeves? We would love to hear about them. Happy, healthy, cooking!