Warm Up with Lean Beef Chili

Chili is one of my favorite things to have on hand when I prep food for the week because it’s warm and hearty, so you always can look forward to it for lunch or dinner, and its probably the easiest way to get a heaping serving of lean meat. There’s not too many ingredients to it so you can make sure it’s lean to hit your macros, and it’s versatile to go along with rice, a baked potato, egg noodles, pasta or your veggies of choice. Also, you really just kind of put it all together and then let it simmer for a while so you don’t have to babysit it the whole time.

1 pound lean ground beef (at least 93% fat free)
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 can (16 ounces) whole tomatoes
2-3 tablespoons chili powder, depending on your preference
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon red pepper/hot sauce
1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, drained
1/4-1/2 cup pasta – shells, elbow, your choice!

Cook and stir ground beef, onion and garlic in a large saucepan until beef is light brown, this whole recipe gets cooked in one pot so make sure you have enough room! For a finer ground meat texture, add a little water gradually to your ground meat as you continuously break apart the meat. I’ll fill a small cup of water and pour a little at a time as needed. Sometimes I just like the meat finer and it also helps you to be sure you can see it is all cooked through. Since the remaining moisture is mostly water, I don’t drain so that it will help boil the pasta later on. Stir in tomatoes (don’t drain), chili powder, salt and sauces. Heat to boiling, reduce heat. Cover and simmer for about an hour.

Heat again to boiling and stir in pasta, return to simmer until pasta is cooked thru. Add beans, since they are cooked the least amount of time to avoid breaking.

Tips: I cook 2 pounds of meat, and double everything in the recipe. For two pounds of meat I only add about 3 handfuls of pasta shells (because I really don’t measure anything). Pasta grows so if it doesn’t look like enough when you put it in your big cauldron of chili, don’t worry! I like to keep my pasta amount down so I know I’m getting a better protein to carb ratio.

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