Hearty, rib-sticking food doesn’t have to pack a day’s worth of calories. Gina Homolka, author of the wildly popular blog Skinnytaste, has a new collection of hearty slow-cooker recipes out that pump up the flavor and nutrition and cut out the fillers. Best of all, you can set it and forget it! Try this slow-cooker beef and two-bean chili on for size!
This chili pleases all palates in my house — it’s not too spicy or too mild, but it’s loaded with flavor. I love the combination of black beans and chickpeas, but you can use any type of legumes you like. What really makes the chili, in my opinion, are the toppings! Some sharp cheddar, a dollop of cumin-cilantro sour cream and diced red onions are a must. Sometimes I even add some crushed tortilla chips.
- 2 pounds 93 percent lean ground beef
- 2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped red bell peppers
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 15-ounce can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies (I like Rotel Original)
- 1 8-ounce can no-salt-added tomato sauce
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 bay leaves
Cumin-Cilantro Sour Cream
- 1/2 cup light sour cream
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 cup grated reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/3 cup chopped red onion
- Crushed tortilla chips (optional)
For the chili
Set a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef, salt, and pepper to taste. Cook, using a wooden spoon to break the meat into pieces as it browns, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain all the liquid from the pan. Add the tomato paste, onion, bell peppers, and garlic, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables have softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a slow cooker. Add 1 cup water, the black beans, chickpeas, tomatoes, tomato sauce, cumin, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, and bay leaves.
Cover and cook on high for 5 hours or on low for 8 to 10 hours.
For the cumin-cilantro sour cream: In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, cilantro, and cumin. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Discard the bay leaves. To serve, ladle the chili into 8 serving bowls. Top each with 1 tablespoon of the sour cream mixture, 1 tablespoon of the cheddar, the red onion and tortilla chips, if desired.