Mel’s $10 Dollar Chili. Pot of goodness in 1 hour.

Chili is just plain ol’ awesome anytime of the year. I found that I can make a lighter version and still not miss out on any flavor. I add a little bit of everything including odds and ends in this recipe, so hang on and here we go!
I would like to also add that I do not own any fancy cook ware of any kind. Just regular “Joe” sort of stuff and it works just great.

$10 Dollar Chili

2 lbs. 90% lean Ground Beef

2 Tbls. Olive Oil

1 Large Yellow Onion

6 large cloves of chopped garlic

2 cans of Black Beans

2 cans of Red Beans

1 small can of chopped Green Chilies

4 Cups Diced Tomatoes

2 Cups Wheat Berries

Assorted spices like salt and pepper to taste. Cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, and cocoa.

Lean Ground Beef

Place 2 T. of olive oil in the pot and add 90% lean ground beef. Begin to brown. This beef was only $6.00. It was the last day the meat could be sold. Yes I bargain shop for beef.

Onion and Garlic - a match made in Heaven

While this is cooking, I chop a nice large yellow onion. Yup it was strong and I cried a little, but my tastebuds thanked me later. I also love fresh garlic. So in the pot went a few cloves, as well. Ok, so maybe there was more than just a few cloves of garlic. It’s good for you, I promise. I tossed all of this in and let it cook right along with the meat. Let the flavors marry. At this point a generous tablespoon of Kosher salt was added. Now we’re cookin’!

It's a Bean Fiesta

I don’t like to waste time either. While the beef and onion mixture is not quite cooked through, I gathered all of the rest of the team. The next steps are in no particular order, and yes, chilli should always be suited to your tastes! I like a medium heat myself.The beef was so lean that there was no draining needed, so in goes the beans, and the small can of chopped green chilies. Then at least 2 heaping tablespoons of Cumin, and 2-3 huge tables spoons of New Mexico chili powder (makes it slightly smokey and full of flavor). And give that all a good stir.

A bit unconventional!

A Bit Unconventional

Now for the weird. Cinnamon and cocoa have some wonderful antioxidant properties. In the chili they just blend into the background but there is a definite note of something outstanding hidden in your bowl. I added a huge tablespoon of cinnamon and 3 heaping tablespoons of cocoa. Now, I’ll pause for a moment while you wrap your head around that… but trust me, it’s good!

The WOW factor!

This may be a bit difficult to see, but I have added the last of my garden tomatoes that I froze from last September (Cans and fresh tomatoes work great too), along with some wheat berries I froze from another meal. What are wheat berries? They are perfect little powerhouses of whole grain consisting of the entire wheat kernel except for the hull. Wheat berries have a tan to reddish brown color and are high in fiber and protein. You can buy wheat berries at most health food stores, called “hard dried wheat.” Here I added 4 cups tomatoes and 2 cups wheat berries.

I wish you could smell this!

I put the lid on and simmered on meduim-low for almost 1 hour, stirring occasionally so the frozen tomatoes would break up. Then here is the finished product. So fast, so easy.

The rest of the $10 dollar cost lies in the beans as they were .59 cents a can. I buy them on sale once a year and stock up. The little green chilies were .77 cents. The rest of the cost were the seasonings I had in the pantry. The real bonus was that this recipe made a lot and the next day, the leftover chili was, well, I almost can’t talk about it. It was outstanding! Try it. Tweak it. But enjoy it.

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5 thoughts on “Mel’s $10 Dollar Chili. Pot of goodness in 1 hour.

  1. Sounds wonderful Mel!! I would never have thought to add Cinnamon & Cocoa powder! I will try that next time! I also add a good squirt of mustard, just the plain ol’ cheapy kind to my chili…it seems to take some of that tomato tang out. I love this page & wish I had thought of it!

  2. Definitely a chili day! I have some simmering away in my crock pot as we ‘speak’. And it’s funny…I added cinnamon and cocoa for the first time today before even reading your post. I’ve been sampling as it’s been simmering and WOW does it make a difference. Just a “hmmm, what is that wonderful flavor in the background?” It’s just meant to be I tell ya!

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