When Fall comes around, I always start to crave old- fashioned “comfort food.” The only problem is that much of the comfort food I love is filled with fat and/or simple carbs. So I am trying to think of some great comfort dishes I can make that warm up my insides without all the bad stuff!
One of my favorite fall/winter dishes is slow-cooked chili from scratch, using dried beans! This dish has tons of protein and fiber, with no cholesterol!
1. Start with 3 cups of Dried Beans. I use 1 cup each of Red Beans, Kidney Beans, and Pintos. If you’ve never cooked dried, beans, you are missing out! (You CAN use canned beans if you’re in a hurry)
- Soak beans for 8 hours, or use quick-soak method:
- a. Put the beans in a bowl, cover with water, leave out on the counter all night.
- b. Quick-soak method: In a large pot, combine 1 lb beans and 8 cups cold water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer for 2 minutes. Remove pot from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour.
- Cook beans in a crockpot on high for at least 8 hours.
- There are several things you can add to give it wonderful flavor! I usually use a ham bone or beef soup bone, or chicken bullion.
2. I usually cook the beans overnight, then rinse them in a colander in the morning. Put them back into the crock pot, and ad some cooked ground beef (you can cook up a large batch of lean ground beef and keep it in the freezer so you just have to pop it out for this chili!)
3. Add 8 oz of plain tomato sauce, 2 cans of diced tomatoes, without draining, and stir. Sometimes we add corn when we have it, or sauteed green peppers and onions.
4. Add spices to taste. I usually add 1/4 cup of chili powder, a couple teaspoons of cumin, black pepper and a little salt. You could also add red pepper flakes or hot sauce.
5. Cook on low for the rest of the day, and eat with homemade cornbread!
After cooking this chili, you can freeze it in individual portions and take one out for lunch or dinner!
I’ll be updating this post later on why I use local beef and how to get it! It’s more healthy, NO fat, no hormones, and supports local farmers. You could also use venison, which is VERY healthy and low-fat!