Sunday, November 23, 2008

Chili Cause its Chilly Dinner Date

Its COLD out there! To warm us up I made a crock pot of Chili. I almost did an "Immunity" dinner date highlighting foods that boost immunity but my friend Jen helped me realize how boring I was being so I scrapped that idea however I did think about immunity boosting foods when making my chili.

Chili Cause its Chilly
(makes 8 servings)

1 lb. 90% lean ground beef (beef is naturally high in zinc which is good for immunity)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 med/lg yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 orange pepper, diced (orange vegetables are immunity boosters)
1 large sweet potato, diced (again, orange)
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans of diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
shredded cheddar cheese (for garnish)

1. In a large saute pan brown ground beef. Drain and set aside.

2. In the same pan heat up the olive oil. Saute the onions until translucent. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute.

3. Add the ground beef back to the pan and combine with the onions and garlic. Stir in the cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper.

4. Put this mixture into a crock pot. Add the tomatoes, beans and orange pepper.

5. Cook in crock pot on low for 4 hours. Add the sweet potato and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender (about an hour and a half longer).

6. Garnish individual servings with cheese. Serve!

For some reason this ended up being too spicy for the girls. I guess I underestimated the kick to chili powder. If you are making this for your kids you might want to cut it back by half. The Mommies liked it. I actually ate the leftovers during the week and it just got better each time. Definitely a great one to have around for this cold weather! ;o)

Whole Wheat Corn Bread
(makes 8 servings)

1 cup of whole wheat flour
3/4 c. cornmeal
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 Tbsp. agave nectar (or honey)
1-1/2 c. buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
4 Tbsp. melted butter (salted)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Grease a 9" square baking pan.
3. Combine the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet in another. Add the wet to the dry and stir until just moistened.
4. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Serve!

This was a nice alternative to cornbread that has refined sugar and flour. It was not as sweet as I am used to cornbread being but it was still really good, especially with the chili. The girls had theirs with a little honey drizzled on top.

Hot (Warm) Cocoa
(serves 2)

1-1/2 c. milk
2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa
2 tsp. agave nectar (or sugar)
whipped cream

1. Combine all ingredients except whipped cream in a small sauce pan. Heat over med/high heat stirring constantly until desired temperature. I made it warm and not hot to suit the girls.
2. Divide between two mugs.
3. Top each with a dollop of whipped cream. Serve (with a straw if for toddlers)!

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