Friday, October 11, 2013

Vegetable, Beef, and Bean Chili

 When I think of fall and football season, I think of chili!  This has all the flavorings of a classic chili but with the added nutrition of fresh veggies and veggie juice that no one will even detect!  Its the perfect way to get your kids (or husband in my case) to eat more veggies.  Again, I was able to hide some zucchini (hated by both my husband and kids) into this recipe with no one the wiser.  Score!!!  Plus it tastes great!  Perfect for a party or gathering, or you can just make it for a week night meal like I did and use some of the leftovers for a chili-cheese dip or some nachos on game day.  Yummy!!!  This is definitely a keeper and I'm confident that this will be my go-to chili recipe for now on.  Enjoy!

Happy Cooking!

Vegetable, Beef, and Bean Chili
original recipe by Sarah
1 cup each diced onion and diced green pepper
1 cup each shredded carrot and shredded zucchini
1 - 28oz diced tomatoes in juice
1 - 6oz can tomato paste
2 1/2 cups of low sodium vegetable juice (I used low-sodium V8)
1 can each low sodium black beans and kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 pkg of trader Joe's taco seasoning (yes, taco seasoning - it's essentially the same seasonings as chili seasoning.  This pack has enough for 2 taco recipes with none of the weird ingredients of other packaged seasonings)
salt to taste
Toppings such as crushed taco chips, shredded reduced fat cheese, light sour cream, diced avocado, scallions and/or sliced black olives

First, gather all of your ingredients together and get chopping.  This thing comes together quickly.

While you chop and shred, brown the ground beef in a large pot over medium-high heat. 
Be sure to break it up as it cooks.  Once it is cooked through, pour the beef onto a plate lined with paper towels to allow any access grease to drain away.
Set the beef aside and start to cook the veggies.  Add 1 T of olive oil to the pan, over medium heat, and add the onions and peppers.   Cook for about 5-7 minutes or until the onions become translucent.

Now add the shredded carrots and zucchini and continue to cook until the carrots are soft. 
This is what the veggies look like when they are done:
Now its time to add our other ingredients!  Add the beef back in along with the tomatoes, tomato paste, vegetable juice, taco seasoning, black beans, and kidney beans.  Stir until well combined.  Place a lid on top and cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

And that's it!   Your chili is ready to go!  You can allow it to continue to cook for up to an additional 30 minutes, but not necessary.  It's deliciously thick, chock full of vitamins and minerals, and a guaranteed crowd pleaser!

We ate about half the pot for dinner alone!  I told the kids it was taco soup, since they love tacos but are skeptical of new things.  Plus they loved being able to eat their soup with chips and "sprinkle cheese" (their name for shredded cheese, since they sprinkle it on). 
Serve yours with your favorite toppings and enjoy!!!

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