Chilli con carne is great for those looking to stay in shape as long as you do keep it low fat (by choosing the right meat and using almost no oil) and have it solo (leave rice for guests or other family members). The combination of meat + beans makes it a great source of protein, peppers and paprika will give your metabolism a boost, its low in sodium, salt and sugar; and, of course, it just tastes amazing.
- 500g lean beef mince (5% fat or less). *Can be substituted by turkey mince or any other that contains less fat.
- 400g tin of red kidney beans, washed and drained.
- Olive oil or low calorie cooking spray
- 1 large onion, 2 garlic cloves, 2 fresh bell peppers (green or yellow if available), 1 stick celery, 4 ripe plum tomatoes (or a can of chopped tomatoes if you are feeling lazy, although natural is always best), all finely chopped.
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste.
- Meat broth, ground cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, chilli powder and/or chilli flakes, tabasco sauce, ground black pepper.
- A pinch of cinnamon.
- One small bunch fresh coriander
*You can make cook chilli using a slow cooker, in which case all you have to do is put all ingredients at once (with the exception of oil, as you don’t need it at all) and let it simmer while mixing it every now and then . It ussually turns pretty good.
Spray a large pot with low calorie cooking spray (or use 1 tsp olive oil) and fry onion, bell peppers, celery and garlic gently over a low heat until softened and golden. Add the minced beef, meat broth and all spices but cinnamon and cook until browned, splitting the bigger meat chunks with a wooden spoon.
An important tip: Use small amounts of “hot” spices such as chilli powder, paprika and cayenne pepper, and only 2 or 3 drops of tabasco; it’s better to start just by giving flavor, will get back to spices at the end of the recipe.
Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, kidney beans and half a cup water, gently stir so beans don´t break in half. Bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the pinch of cinnamon, taste and add more of the “hot” spices if necessary. Leave another 5 minutes.
At this point, your chilli is ready to be enjoyed; nevertheless, the longer you let it simmer, the best it tastes (not to mention the left overs!!). If you want to let it simmer for more than 30 minutes, make sure you put the lid on so it doesn’t completely dry.
Serve topped with chopped fresh coriander.