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Paleo Chili

Chili Con Carne is a South Western Tex Mex staple. Boasting a spicy, smoky tomato base and an all beef “stewed to all-day flavor perfection” filling, this would be an easy transition to a Paleolithically delicious diet. But what about that other kind of chili. You know… that one with those dreaded… Red KIDNEY BEANS! How can we possibly recreate those pesky kidney beans in our meat packed, slow cooked awesome sauce?

I mulled over this dilemma for a while, then thought about what Paleo-friendly foods resembles kidney beans in shape, and took on moisture and flavor well to match the taste. And it hit me. A splash of some soaked cashews ought to do the trick! I think I might have a formidable chili cook-off constant on my hands with this one. But no need to brag. They’ll be plenty of time to sing this chili’s praises once you’ve tasted it. Bon appétit!  (That’s right… this chili is so good it’ll make you speak French!)

Paleo Chili Recipe

Difficulty: Easy

 Total Time to Make: 75 minutes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean grass-fed ground beef
  • 14.5 oz (1 can) organic unsalted diced tomatoes
  • 15oz (1 can) organic unsalted tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup beef, chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee or espresso
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flake (optional)
  • 1/2 – 1 cup soaked cashews (optional)
  • 1 small zucchini or squash (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Soaked cashews in water overnight. Rinse and drain.
  2. Heat medium or large pot over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon coconut oil.
  3. Chop onion and bell pepper. Mince garlic.
  4. Add onion and pepper to pot and sauté for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add ground beef and garlic, and sauté about 5 minutes. Until beef is browned and vegetables are tender.
  6. Use a whisk if you want to break up the meat so it is finely incorporated into the sauce. Use a wooden spoon to keep the beef in a chunkier formation.
  7. Add whole can of diced tomatoes to bullet blender and process until smooth. Strain into pot. Then add tomato sauce, stock, instant coffee and spices.
  8. Bring pot to a simmer, then reduce heat and simmer about 1 hour. Stir occasionally.
  9. Half way through cooking, dice zucchini and add to pot. Taste test. Adjust spices to taste.
  10. When desired consistency is reached, remove pot from heat.  Serve chili hot solo in bowl, or over Paleo “Corn” Bread.

Feel free to add or subtract any of the filler of flavor ingredients. Sweet potato has its own subtle flavor, but takes on a lot too. Add it around the mid-way mark to prevent it from simply falling apart and dissolving in the sauce. Eggplant works wonderfully this way as well. Don’t like cashews? Although they are a softer nut, especially when soaked, and resemble the kidney beans in shape, you can really use any soaked nut. Hazelnuts and almonds will keep their firm texture, while walnuts and pine nuts will soften more. Or skip the nuts, squash and veggies all together and just go for that original Tex Mex flavor – meat and sauce. Yum!

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