Yield: 8 servings
1 medium green pepper
1 medium yellow onion
1 rib celery
1 pound 85 percent lean ground beef
2 (15.5-ounce) cans chili beans in sauce
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups water
1. Remove stem and seeds and chop green pepper in a small dice, about 1/4-inch, then dice onion and celery to match. Set aside.
2. Brown ground beef in a large skillet over medium high heat, turning often. Use a spatula to break up large clumps. Drain fat from cooked beef and set aside.
3. Return the skillet to the stove, reduce heat to medium and add chopped pepper, onion and celery. Stir to mix. Cover the skillet, reduce heat to low and steam vegetables until they are soft and the onions are translucent (see tester’s note).
4. As the vegetables steam, mix tomato paste, tomato sauce, chili powder, onion powder, sugar, salt and water in a medium saucepan, place over low heat and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to mix.
5. Combine drained beef, cooked sauce and beans in a 4- or 5-quart pot over medium heat. Add steamed vegetables and stir. Add the tomato sauce and stir to blend. Bring chili to a low boil, then lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook 30 to 35 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
6. Serve immediately, or portion out and freeze for later.
Tester’s note: Clemons steams the onions, celery and pepper using the moisture from the vegetables. If they began to stick, lower the heat and add a tablespoon or two of water as needed.
Per serving: 240 calories; 7g fat; 2.5g saturated fat; 35mg cholesterol; 17g protein; 28g carbohydrate; 7g sugar; 7g fiber; 740mg sodium; 40mg calcium.