It’s 2016! It’s a new year! Alright, alright – so it’s already the second quarter of the new year, but since I haven’t put up a single post since 2015, me talking about how it’s a new year is sort of fitting, no?
I’m not sure how you feel about resolutions, but I don’t put a lot of stock into them. Every year I make a conscious decision to somehow better my life, but who doesn’t do that? I don’t think any of us sit around thinking, “Yeah, I’m good. Not much to improve over here.” Well, I hope that there aren’t a lot of people with that kind of attitude. For me, bettering myself is a constant. I’m always trying to live the best life that I can live.
Having said all that, I do choose one or two things a year to “concentrate” on getting better at. Last year, I wanted to get better at meal planning, and I did. That carried over into this year. I can’t tell you how much better it’s made things for our household. It’s not very often we have the “dinner time panic” anymore. We’ve always got something in mind for dinner. It’s fantastic.
This year, I’m concentrating a bit more on making our meals healthier, incorporating lots of fruits and veggies, lean meats, and making sure we have a well-rounded diet. This is partially a selfish choice – I’m trying to lose some weight this year. I’m also seeing how important it is to set a good example for my little girl – she needs a healthy mama, a good example, and good eating habits. Besides that, I need the energy to keep up with her – she’s a goin’ concern! So far, I’ve got about 15 pounds off in 2016. Things are happening.
Something that is helping me stay on a healthy track is planning and cooking on the weekend. A couple of weekends ago, I made a healthy oatmeal banana bread and this chili – a variation of a recipe I’ve used for years. My chili is generally a healthy go-to, packed with veggies, beans, and lean ground beef.
This chili is great as a packed lunch for the week, or baked on tortilla chips with cheese, or in a burrito. I didn’t add much in the way of heat to this chili, so please add your favourite source of heat to suit your taste.
[Recipe] Beef Chili
Makes about 8 cups
1 lb lean or extra lean ground beef
1 green pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 large can diced tomatoes (796 ml)
1 small can tomato paste
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup frozen corn (optional)
In a large pot or dutch oven, brown the ground beef over medium heat. Once cooked, drain any excess fat from the beef and return it to the pot.
Add the chopped veggies to the pot. Cook with the beef for 5 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables start to soften.
Add the canned tomatoes, kidney beans, and tomato paste. Stir well.
Add the spices to the pot. Stir well again.
Add the corn. Stir.
Simmer, covered, over medium-low heat for 1 hour, stirring 2-3 times during the cooking.