But I have a love/hate relationship with winter. It’s colder out, so we tend to stay inside snuggled up with a good book, watching television or simply crocheting, which means we have to make an effort to exercise. Winter also implies comfort food: soups, stews, chilis, pastas, etc. And with that sort of comfort food comes the weight gain.
And none of us want to gain back the weight we have lost, do we?
So, I’ll share my comfort food recipes with you only if you promise to remember portion control and to keep exercising this winter. I know I’ll be walking daily--probably in the afternoons instead of early mornings--unless the weather is so bad that it is detrimental to my health (ice, snow, storms, bitterly cold wind chills). It’s been known to happen, but I have a portable stair climber . . . and a set of normal stairs I could go up and down, up and down, etc., a Wii, and a pesky gym membership that I haven’t used in almost a year.
Anyhoo, here’s my take on a chili recipe. I happened to have a pound of smoked brisket in the freezer, so I tossed it into the mix and decreased the ground beef to @ 2 lbs. The kidlet and I liked the added smokiness, the hubster not so much. Everything is to your personal taste and heat tolerance.
2 Tbls. olive oil
1 ½ cups chopped onions (2 small)
8 large garlic cloves, smashed and minced
3 lbs ground beef (substitute 1 lb of smoked chopped brisket for 1 lb. ground beef)
5-6 heaping Tbls. chili powder
1 Tbls. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried basil
½ tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. dried thyme
2 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, puree slightly with hand blender
2 cups beef broth
1 12-ounce bottle beer (I used Corona)
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 15-ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
Salt (@ 1 Tbls.) to taste (under season chili until it cooks down, then adjust)
Pepper (@ ½ tsp)
Heat oil in large heavy Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions, sautéing for @ 4 minutes, then add garlic. Saute until onions translucent, @ 4 more minutes. Add meat and sauté until brown, breaking up meat with spoon, @ 5 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, basil, oregano, and thyme. Stir 2 minutes. Mix in pureed tomatoes, broth, beer and tomato paste. Add salt and pepper (UNDER SEASON MIXTURE AT THIS POINT). Simmer until thickened to desired consistency, stirring occasionally, @ 1-1 ½ hours. Mix in beans. Simmer 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning.