Thursday, November 10, 2011

Low Sodium Chili

You don't need to add more salt to a dish to add flavor, just add  flavor. To make chili less complicated, canned tomatoes, sauce, and beans are a great option. However, this usually packs your chili with sodium. It's unnecessary. Opt for "no salt added" canned goods instead and you will create a much healthier meal. Here is a great chili recipe that replaces all added sodium with a couple teaspoons of sea salt, and adds a pinch of sugar and spices to bring out a flavorful meal for cold nights.

You can make this quickly in a large pot on the stove top--it will take about 30 minutes to be ready. Or, you could simmer it for four to six hours in the Crockpot, whatever method suits your time and energy level. The taste is great either way. Use lean ground beef to make this recipe even healthier. It's more expensive, but worth it when it comes to eliminating excess fat from your diet.


1 pound 93% or higher lean ground beef
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
2 cans no salt added diced tomatoes
1 can unsalted tomato paste
2 cans no salt added kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon
1/2 cup water or low sodium beef broth
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 large yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
*add a diced serrano chili or two to make it hot! (optional)


1. In a large pan, sprinkle the black pepper onto the ground beef and cook until browned.

2. While the beef is cooking, combine the tomatoes, drained and rinsed kidney beans, tomato paste, wine, water, sugar, and spices, into a large pot. Set on medium high heat to start the boiling process.

3. Drain the beef of the excess fat and add your cooked ground beef to the pot.

4. While the mixture is heating, dice the yellow onion and add it to the large pan (lightly coat with olive oil spray to prevent sticking), cooking on medium high heat. Let the onion cook for two minutes, while dicing the peppers.  *(If making in the crock pot, skip pre-cooking the onions, peppers, and garlic. Just dice them and throw them in the crock pot!)

5. Add the peppers to the pan and cook for one minute, then add minced garlic. I used a garlic press. Cook for no more than 30 seconds, then add cooked vegetables to the big pot. 

6. Once the mixture starts to bubble, reduce to medium to medium low heat and cover. Cook for thirty minutes, stirring occasionally. If you make it in the crock pot, cook on low for six hours or high for four hours. Cuddle up with your loved one in a warm blanket and enjoy!