When I started my Everyday Food Challenge back in June of last year, my intention was to cook one recipe, in order, from issue #1 through the entire collection. Several problems arose. One, the crafty and smart editors create each issue to seasonally match what foods are available and at their peak. This can sometimes make it difficult to find copious amounts of basil when I come across an August issue in January. Second, and what brings us to today’s recipe for Lighter Beef Chili, I’ve jumped back on the weight loss bandwagon after tumbling off about a year ago. I’d kind of forgotten how great it felt to be a tad smaller and whole lot more energized. As a result, I’ve been immersing my self in all of the January issues of Everyday Food Magazine. Those are the “light” editions that come out each year when we’re all making our resolutions to get back in the gym and back to healthier meals.
Don’t worry, the great thing about Everyday Food magazine is that most of the recipes are pretty healthy. It’s those “in moderation” and “portion size” things that you need to keep an eye on. So here’s the deal, I still plan to cook at least one recipe from each of the EDF magazines I have. It’s just that I’ll probably be bouncing around and not cooking in order.
Now back to that Chili. Including this recipe, this is the second chili I’ve made with cocoa powder this year. And I’ve got to say that I’m a big fan. It adds a great depth of flavor and produces a real dark base. The chili tastes terrific. To make it lighter, you use very lean ground beef and just a tablespoon of oil. There are a lot of beans and diced tomatoes that makes it very filling. I require toppings and mix-ins when I eat my chili. Here, I’ve gone with a little reduced fat sour cream.
What recipes are you cooking that are on the light or healthy side? And how do you control portion sizes and not go back for seconds?