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January 24, 2013 / amberwoodterracechiro

Only Good Thing About Snow: Perfect Weather for Chili


I was hoping that we would make it through the winter without actually getting much snow.  I was wrong….and it’s freezing.  I hate being cold.  And…I hate working out cold.  So, next time you see me at the gym in sweats, long sleeves, a hoodie, and ear muffs while I’m back squatting, just don’t ask. Surely I am not the only one that stands on the tallest stack of weights hoping to get as close to the heater as possible?!  Can I just insert a side note here?  I have been going to Ray of Light to use their infrared sauna.  I love it!  I feel like I go all winter without sweating (yes, even when I work out), and you need to sweat!  Sweat helps cleanse your body, increase lymphatic drainage, clear your pores, and flush toxins.  So, I literally go sit in the sauna every week just to get my sweat on.  Hopefully summer will bring the heat.

Back to the original reason for the post.  Warm food warms your insides.  That’s why chili is perfect for cold, snowy days.  Speaking of, I wonder when this year’s chili cook off is?  Hmm…last year, the first table I went to blurted out “This isn’t paleo.”  I didn’t know the lady…..I must just have a tattoo on my forehead at this point?!  Who knows…  I think every Paleo cookbook I have has a chili recipe in it; however, this one comes from the Primal Blueprint, and it’s my favorite.  It takes just a little bit of time, but it’s worth the wait, and you will have plenty to freeze or eat as leftovers! If someone made this one for the cook off, I’m sure they would win!!!

Paleo Chili

2-3 slices uncooked bacon, chopped (use pastured from Hopeful Farms!)

1 onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

2lbs ground meat (make it grassfed…I’ve used everything from beef to turkey)

2 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp paprika

1 1/2-2 cups broth or water (I always use homemade chicken stock)

1 14.5 oz can chopped tomatoes w/liquid (I get to use those I froze from the CSA this year!)

1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (I use Bragg’s)

1-2 carrots, diced (I often sub bell pepper)

Optional: some chopped jalapeno if you like it spicy!


In a dutch oven (or large saucepan), cook bacon over medium-low heat until brown and some fat has rendered.  (This is where I add the jalapeno if I’m using it)

Add chopped onion to the pan and stir into bacon until the onion is semi-translucent.  Then add the garlic, and cook for a few more minutes.

Add ground meat and cook until browned. (If you use grassfed or lean meat, you should be golden, but if you use conventional meat, you may have to drain some fat here)

Add spices, broth, tomatoes, and carrots/peppers and stir well.  Cover and simmer over low heat for one hour.  I put that in bold because while the recipe is simple, give yourself time…don’t start it when you are starving!  Stir about every 20 min to keep it from sticking.

Add vinegar and cocoa powder and stir well.  Simmer uncovered for another 20 min.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

I often top this chili with fresh avocado, or jalapenos that I have pickled from my summer harvest, or homemade cream fraiche for those enjoying raw, grassfed dairy, or fresh cilantro in the summer.  Possibilities are endless.

One good thing about this recipe, besides how amazing it tastes, is that it makes a ton (leftovers, check).  If you have a big family, double it!  Also, it is a one pot wonder, so less dishes (easy clean up, check).

Now that I have you salivating, I have to remind you that if you want tickets to the Paleo Dinner at Uptown, you’ve got to get the money ($50 per person) to your Crossfit owner or call the office 574-522-2255 so we can direct you!  We will be finalizing a head count by February 6th in order for the grassfed beef order to get here in time. 😉  Yup…grassfed beef baby.  I’ll start hounding you harder next week, but make my job easy and just get signed up so we can have amazing food, completely Paleo, and no dishes!


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