Chili may be a perfect winter meal! It has loads of veggies and protein, can be made in advance and you can customize it to fit your family’s tastes. My family loves loaded chili – a variety of beans, big chunks of veggies and they love to load on the toppings. (Not to mention, it’s a great way to sneak veggies into picky kids! Try adding diced zucchini or eggplant. They’ll never know!)
We have a secret to amazing chili… WINE! Many chili recipes use a beer, water or tomato sauce as a base. But adding wine really turns up the volume on what is normally a pretty mundane dish!
Red Wine Chili
1 1⁄2 lbs ground beef (15% fat) 1 chopped bell pepper (green, red or a mix) 1 chopped small white onion 3 cloves minced garlic 2 tablespoons chili powder 1-2 teaspoons cumin (less if you like less spice) pinch of cinnamon crushed red paper flakes to taste 1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes, with juice 3 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained 2 (15 oz) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained 1 cup red wine
Saute onions and bell peppers (and any other veggies you want to add) in olive oil until just tender. Add ground beef and brown slowly over low heat, stirring often. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, crushed red pepper, tomatoes, both beans and red wine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 3 hours. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve with your favorite toppings.