Day 17: Cooking Chili for Four

Last night’s blog post didn’t happen for a good reason — my parents came to town! They’re counting down the days (99 to be exact) until they can move back to Georgia from (Stupid) Ohio. Our house basically looks like a tornado blew through it after moving all of Chad’s things in (but let’s be honest, most of the time the house is a mess), and thankfully my folks don’t care one bit. I care, but they don’t. I’m trying not to let it stress me out. But I digress…

prep
Chili stuff.

After talking to my mom the other day about food preferences, I decided to do a Whole 30 Chili recipe and baked potatoes for dinner. So I left the office early in the afternoon to start chopping up veggies, since I figured (correctly) that the chopping process would take me more than an hour. I’m not a quick chopper. And since I was doubling the recipe, it meant double the veggies: 2 whole onions, 2 green bell peppers, & 2 red bell peppers all finely chopped, and 6 cloves of garlic through the press. Two pounds of lean ground beef went into the pot first, and browned for about 10 minutes. I removed the beef and put to the side, then added the onions and garlic until the onions were translucent (about 5 minutes), then added in the peppers, 2 cans of chopped tomatoes, 4 cups of vegetable broth (because despite my best efforts I CANNOT find a Whole 30-compliant beef broth/stock/bone broth to save my life), some chili powder, cumin, mustard powder, and salt. Then the beef went back and the pot was really, really full, so it took a while for it to come to a boil, but one it did I set it to simmer for an hour. veggies

Once the chili was simmering, I poked three sweet potato and one regular potato (for dad, who is not a fan of the sweet) with a fork & rubbed them in olive oil & wrapped in aluminum foil and put those suckers on a baking sheet in a 375 oven for an hour. Even after the hour, they didn’t feel done to me, so I kicked it up to 400 and put them in for another 15 minutes. Perfection! From now on I’m doing potatoes at 400.

For the third time this week, my food was runny/soupy (see day 15’s zoodles and day 16’s shepherd’s pie). Even after an hour of simmering uncovered, the chili basically looked like soup. I was pissed, er… unhappy with that outcome YET AGAIN (sorry, Chad), but my knight in shining apron stepped in with some almond flour to thicken it up. Since the potatoes took longer than anticipated, we let the flour thicken the chili chilifor another 15 or so, and then it looked like actual chili. I was concerned that the almond flour (basically the only kind of flour allowed on Whole 30) would change the taste, but it tasted fine to me!

If my parents weren’t here I would have thrown in some jalapenos or something to add a bit of a kick. But we had just ordered these awesome jalapeno, habanero, and ghost pepper (for Chad’s use only) flakes online from Sonoran Spice Company, so I threw those on the table for anyone who felt so moved. Chad and I put a pat or two of ghee on our sweet potatoes, and mom and dad used up the leftover butter, and everyone was happy.

It was so, so nice to sit at the “new” kitchen table with my folks and just relax and chat over an easy-peasy dinner. (And because I was so excited that they were here, I forgot to take a picture of my plate before I started chowing down. So the picture below is courtesy of Chad.) Everyone enjoyed the food and the company. And we celebrated that dad only had 100 DAYS UNTIL HE RETIRES! And then I get my parents back from Stupid Ohio!

dinner 16

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