Chocolate Chili | Whole Green Love

18 Oct

Chili is one of those Fall and Winter meals that warms you from the inside out. You could have had a super busy or stressful day, but when you sit down to a bowl of steamy and hearty chili, you can’t help but feel better. Chili is also fun because there are so many different ways to make it and unique ingredients you can add. You could make a different pot every week!  I tend to make chili that sticks to a more traditional flavor, but you’ll find this recipe has a few hidden ingredients that make it both rich and zippy. You’ll love how flavorful this pot of chili turns out!

Chocolate Chili

-1-2 lbs. lean ground beef (I like using local, grass-fed beef when possible)

-2 medium sized sweet onions, chopped

– 5 cloves of garlic, minced

-2 poblano peppers, chopped into bite-sized pieces

-1 green bell pepper, chopped into bite-sized pieces

-2 serrano peppers, diced

-1 jalapeno pepper, diced

-2 (28oz.) cans of diced tomatoes. Use tomatoes and juice (I like using Muir Glen’s fire-roasted whole tomatoes.)

-1 (15oz.) can black beans (feel free to used dried beans that have been soaked for this recipe too!)

-1 (15oz.) can kidney beans (Make sure you wash and drain your beans if you use a canned variety)

-1 (6oz.) can tomato paste

-2 Tbsp. hot sauce (Cholula is the “go to” hot sauce in our house.)

-2 Tbsp. paprika

-2 ½ Tbsp. chili powder

-2 tsp. ground cumin

-1 ½ tsp. unsweetened dark cocoa powder

– ½ tsp. cinnamon

-1 tsp. thyme

-1 tsp. oregano

– sea salt & cracked black pepper, to taste (Be careful since many canned tomatoes can be loaded with sodium!)

The most work in the recipe comes from having to cut and dice all of your “cut” ingredients. I recommend having all of your peppers, onion, and garlic cut and ready to go. You can have all of your spices pre-measured and mixed into a dish, so you can easily grab and pour into your pot when ready.

You’ll first want to get a nice big pot or Dutch oven on the stove. Brown your beef over medium heat and then add all of your peppers, onion, and garlic. Cook and stir for about 5-8 minutes or until the peppers soften up a bit. I don’t drain my beef after I brown it, because I purchase such lean ground beef, but feel free to drain if you’d like.

Stir in the rest of your ingredients except your beans. Bring to a boil and then reduce your heat to a simmer and cover for 15 minutes.  Add your beans and then cover and simmer for about 1 hour. Be sure to continue to stir, so nothing gets stuck to the bottom of your pot. As I stirred, I mashed my tomatoes so they made the chili thick and chunky.

I found that this chili tasted better the next day. That extra day gave all of the flavors time to marry and mix together. Don’t let that suggestion keep you from eating it the same night though! I like to serve mine with a bunch of toppings. The more the better, but my faves are diced raw onion, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, avocado chunks, and sour cream. You can’t beat that!

Feel free to explore with different pepper options in this recipe. This one has a small bite, but it’s cut with the cool avocado and sour cream. I think I’ll go out on a limb and make my next pot nice and spicy! This makes a large pot of chili perfect for a crowd, or you can freeze smaller portions for meals down the road.

Enjoy!

You can also view our recipe on Fill Those Jars Friday, Fat Tuesday, and Whole Foods Wednesday.

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