With Halloween right around the corner, I thought my first post should be something related to Fall — chili!

Y’all have no idea how badly I wanted to make super chunky, super fattening chili. I’d been craving it for over a week but I talked myself off the ledge. I compromised with my inner-demons and made a semi-healthy version. (I say “semi” because I opted to use ground chuck rather than lean beef or ground turkey.)

This recipe comes with a warning, though. If you have gallstones or gallbladder issues, you will need to tweak the ingredients depending on what makes your gallbladder angry. If it’s spices, tone those down. Fat, use leaner meat. You get the idea. I will also be adding the tweaked recipe that worked for me after the original ended up being too much for mine to handle.

Let’s dig in.

Grocery list:

Ground beef – 1 pound
Tomato paste – 14oz canned
Diced tomatoes – 12oz canned
Chili powder – 3.5 tbs
Salt – 1 tsp
Cumin – 1/2 tsp
Onion powder – 1/2 tsp
Black pepper – 1/4 tsp
Cayenne pepper – 1/8 tsp
Garlic salt – 1/8 tsp
First, brown your hamburger meat. While your meat is cooking, make your chili seasoning. (You can buy pre-made seasoning but I prefer to make my own.)

Grab a container — I use a coffee cup — and get your ingredients. Mix together:

3.5 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon garlic salt

Sit aside.

When your meat is browned, drain the grease and transfer the meat into an appropriate pan — aka for me, whatever’s clean.

Add in a 14 oz can of tomato paste and a 12 oz can of diced tomatoes. Some people like to add an onion, celery, and beans or rice but I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life right now.

Once mixed, stir in your chili seasoning. Bring your concoction to a boil and let it simmer for at least 45 minutes.

That’s it! Seriously the easiest pot of chili you can make that doesn’t have the extra carbs.

Side note, if you’d like to see how I did those countertops and gave my kitchen an inexpensive upgrade, stay tuned this week!

Now, for those of you dealing with gallbladder goblins..

I was not prepared for the wrath of my gallbladder when I ate this chili. At first I thought maybe it was the beef since I didn’t use lean or turkey. But I finally figured out it was the heat! I packed this baby full of spices and never thought twice about it until someone mentioned their lips were burning off. (After 8 years in Louisiana, I think my tongue can handle anything.) I wasn’t sure if this would work but I refused to let the leftovers go to waste.

The next day I grabbed a small pan and added ~2 cups of leftover chili, 1/2 cup of milk, and an 8oz can of tomato sauce. Bring this to a boil and let it simmer for ~20 minutes. You can also add more meat if you’re feeling frisky but I didn’t want to deal with it.

This tweak worked for me! No wasted chili and no fights with my gallbladder.

I always stick to the usual cheese, sour cream, and Fritos but I need to branch out and try something new. What are your favorite chili toppings? What toppings would be your must-haves for a self-serve chili bar?

If you have any chili recipe suggestions I would love to hear them. Thank you for hanging out with me for a bit!

-B

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