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  • Writer's pictureNina Elliot

Nourishing Chili

With a million-billion chili recipes out there, what is this one really going to do for you? Well, blow your mind I hope. Chili is one of the most approachable meals a home cook can make, and it is virtually impossible to mess up. But one can make this dish more nourishing with a few simple tweaks.

1. Use ground meat with organs. If you can't find this from your farmer, I recommend buying chicken livers from the store and separating them out to freeze them individually. This way you can throw them into your ground meat recipes without anyone noticing you are feeding them liver.

2. Pre-soak your beans. This may seem like a big step, but if you take a moment during your meal prep to soak a large bowl of beans in hot water and a pinch of baking soda for 24 hours, then boiling them till they are a soft texture, you can simply scoop them into zip-lock baggies and place them in the freezer until you are ready to use them. Beans contain two complex sugars, farrinose and stachyose, which are not easily broken down by the enzymes normally found in the intestines. This is the key reasons beans cause digestive problems, and can be easily fixed if the beans are soaked first. This breaks down the starches and releases the enzymes in the bean, making it more nutritionally beneficial as well as easier to digest.

3. Use stock instead of water. Stock will add richness to your chili as well as minerals and beneficial collagen.

Of course you don't have to any of these things. Use canned beans, plain meat, and water, and you will still love this hearty-soul warming dish!


Serves 12


2 Tablespoons avocado oil, ghee or coconut oil

1/2 large white onion, diced

2 sticks celery, sliced thin

1 bell pepper, cut into a dice

3 cloves garlic, mashed and diced

2 lbs ground beef with organ meat*

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon cumin

1/4 cup chili powder

1 cup kidney beans, soaked and boiled

45oz tomato sauce (preferably from a jar

1 1/2 cup water or stock

1. In a large cast iron skillet or soup pot on medium-high heat, add oil, celery, onion and bell pepper. Cook until translucent, about 8 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds.

2. Add liver and meat. Break up with a spoon until it is all the way cooked. If you are using liver, be sure to mash it up extra fine.

3. Add salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder and stir.

4. Add one cup of pre-cooked kidney beans, water/stock, and tomato sauce.

5. Bring to a boil, stir then turn down heat to low and allow to simmer for up to 2 hours to allow flavors to meld.

6. Serve with toppings such as grain-free tortilla chips, cheese, sour cream, cilantro, chives or as a topping on a large baked potato.

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