I love chili and I’ve been trying to come up with a good chili recipe for a while now that won’t add an extra layer of belly blubber. After some experimentation I came up with adding more veggies/legumes (that’s a stuck-up way of saying beans), and leaner ground meat. Why the hell would I want to use leaner ground meat you ask? Am I crazy? Do I hate deliciousness? No, but thank you for asking. I use a leaner ground meat for two reasons: The first is that it cuts down a bit on calories (anywhere from 10 to 50 calories per serving) and the second is that chili can have a lot of liquid, so a fatty meat will leave it with an unwanted greasy texture. Plus it’s kind of gross when you refrigerate it and there’s that white congealed fat on the top the next time you want some leftover chili.
Moving on… I decided to use ground 93/7 ground beef, which actually tastes great for chili despite the fact that it has such little fat. I’ll just get to it and list the ingredients as well as substitutions you can make depending on your preferences.
Whole pot of chili = about 72 oz. = about 1880 calories
Makes six servings of 12 oz. each = 313 calories /serving
+ 1/8 Cup Cheese = 40 Cal.
+ 1 Tablespoon Sour Cream = 30 Cal.
+ Scallions and Cilantro = 5 Cal.
+ White Rice = 150 Cal.
= 538 Calories for a Meal
Lean Beef Chili with Corn and Beans
Chili made with lean ground beef and vegetables.
- 1 pound of 90/10 Lean Ground Beef (800 calories) Note: You can substitue ground buffalo, ground turkey, or if you want to get really fancy use half stew meat and half ground beef.
- 1/2 – Large Vidalia Onion chopped into 1/4 inch pieces (about 30 calories) Note: You can use any other onion (white or yellow, but not red! I’m kidding, of course you can use red.)
- Two, 14oz Cans of Diced Tomatoes (175 calories)
- One, 15.5 oz. Can of Rinsed Red Kidney Beans (315 calories)
- One, 15.5 oz. Can of Rinsed Cannellini Beans (280 calories)
- 1 and 1/3 cups – Frozen Sweet Corn (200 calories) Note: You can substitute fresh corn off the cob canned corn, or even grilled/roasted corn.
- Optional: 1 finely diced and de-seeded Thai Chili or Jalepeño (optional, but adds nice heat and negligible calories)
- Optional: 1 tablespoon – Vegetable Oil (about 120 Cal.) if you don’t have non-stick pans.
- 1/2 Cup – Water
- 2 teaspoons of onion powder (16 calories)
- 2 teaspoons of garlic powder (20 calories)
- 2 teaspoons of chili powder (16 calories)
- 2 teaspoons of cumin powder (16 calories)
- 2 teaspoons of paprika (12 calories)
- 2 and 1/2 teaspoons of salt
- Optional: 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper for spicy heat Note for Lazy People: You can substitute all of the spices with one McCormick Chili Spice Packet (about 120 Cal. / packet). They get the job done in a pinch, but have a more calories.
- Optional Toppings / Additions:
- Fresh Cilantro – Finely Chopped (about 5 calories per cup or oz)
- Scallions – Finely Chopped (about 30 calories per cup or about 5 calories per sprig)
- Shredded Monterey Jack/Cheddar Cheese (about 80 – 100 calories per 1/4 cup)
- Sour Cream (about 30 calories per tablespoon)
- White Rice (about 150 calories per 1/4 cup uncooked)
- Hard Corn Tacos (about 60 calories shell)
- Large Frying Pan / Skillet
- Large Pot with Lid
- Wooden Spoon
- Teaspoon measurement
- Measuring Cup
- Fine Grate Colander
- Cutting Board
- Sharp Knife