Sunday, March 25, 2012


With the change in weather, it just felt like a day for chili.  So as I keep experimenting with different recipes, this one is the best to date.

Serves - 6 to 7
Preparation Time: 10
Cooking Time: 30-45 minutes

1 pound ground beef [used the 80/20 ground beef]
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (16 oz) Bush's Chili Beans, undrained [used the chili beans in mild sauce]
2 cups water
1 tsp chili powder (or to taste)
1/2 cup ketchup [used 1 can tomato paste]
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or hot pepper sauce

1.  In a large non-stick skillet, cook beef until lightly browned.  Drain meat on paper towels to remove excess grease.  In the same skillet, add the onion and garlic and cook until soft.  Add the meat to the onion and garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

2.  In a large pot, add the meat and the rest of the ingredients.  Mix well, simmer for 30 to 45 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

From the Nutrition Analysis I ran, here are the Nutrition Facts:
Calories - 221                           Sodium - 579mg
   Calories from Fat - 70            Total Carbs - 14.6g   w/net Carbs - 11.2g
Total Fat - 7.7g                             Dietary Fiber - 3.4g
   Saturated Fat - 3.1g                   Sugar - 5.6g
Cholesterol - 69mg                    Protein - 24g

Source:  Recipe on the label of the Bush's Chili Beans


  • Because of different levels of spicy/heat tolerance, I went with the mild sauce chili beans.  Bush's also has chili beans in medium and hot sauce.
  • Even with the mild sauce, I could tell it was going to be too spicy for everyone.  So I added 1 can of tomato paste which really took the spice level down - so much so that I did use the 1 teaspoon of chili powder and cayenne pepper.
  • Sorry, but I didn't grow up with celery in my chili (which the original recipe called for) so needless to say, I omitted it.
  • Even though the directions say you only need to let it simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, most cooks agree that the longer you let it simmer, the better the flavor.  I left mine on low simmer for at least 2 hours.
  • Now as for nutrition, the net carbs isn't bad at all.  But, and yes there's always a flip side, the cholesterol and sodium are high.  Again using the leanest ground beef will help decrease this.  Even better, use textured vegetable protein.  You can find this at Whole Foods and I've even seen it at Kroger.  I haven't checked Giant Eagle or Meijer, but I'm thinking they would carry it was well.  Believe me, unless you knew ahead of time that it was used in place of ground beef, you would not taste any difference.
  • Now I did see a different brand of chili beans with lower sodium, which I'll probably consider using next time.  

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