Brian's Chili

Fall is officially here. The weather is cooling down here in New York and Brian is making chili. The food is great in the Fall! Brian's chili is just one example of the comforting, warming meals we eat this time of year. Peppers are still abundant at the Farmer's market and tomatoes are everywhere —  a homemade chili is the the best place to use all of these nutritious ingredients.

Brian's Chili

2 boxes Pomi tomatoes* 1.5 lbs grass-fed ground beef 1 large onion 2 large red bell peppers 2 large yellow or orange bell peppers 4 cloves garlic 2 cups cooked black or pinto beans 3 to 6 chili peppers (jalepenos or other hot chili) depending on your heat preference 1 12 oz. organic lager (alternately, use the same amount of water) 3 tbls olive oil 4 tbls chilli powder salt and pepper

Brown the beef in one tablespoon olive oil in a large stock pot. Add one tablespoon of the chili powder to the beef and a pinch or two of salt as you are browning. Once the meat is browned, remove it and drain most of the fat to a bowl. Add one tablespoon olive oil and chopped onion to the pot with one more tablespoon chili powder. Saute the onion until translucent and soft. Add all the chopped peppers and salt. Cook down until they are tender and add the garlic and saute for a few more minutes. Add the tomatoes, beer, beans, meat, and fat. Add the remaining chili powder and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer on a low temperature and stir frequently for at least one hour (the longer the better). Serve with shredded cheese.

* You can also use fresh, blanched tomatoes; you will need about 12 to 16 plum tomatoes for this.

Nutrition Nuggets

Tomatoes are packed with nutrition. They are an excellent source of vitamin C, carotenes, biotin, and vitamin K. Tomatoes are full of a type of a red carotene called lycopene. Lycopene has shown to be extremely protective against breast, colon, lung, skin, and prostate cancers. It has also been shown to lower the risk of heart disease, cataracts, and macular degeneration. Lycopene works to  prevent these diseases by neutralizing harmful oxygen free radicals before they can damage cellular structures.

Bell Peppers are one of the most nutrient-dense foods available. They are full of vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin K, thiamine, folic acid, and vitamin B6. They have excellent antioxidant activity and are a great source of phytochemicals. They also contain lycopene. Studies have shown that bell peppers are protective against cataracts. They have also been shown to prevent blood clot formation and reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke. Bell peppers should be eaten by those wishing to reduce elevated cholesterol levels.