January 27, 2017

Crockpot Paleo Chili

Crockpot Paleo Chili

True confession #1: I used to judge people who use slow cookers. True confession #2: I’m now in love with them.

A little bit about me, in case you don’t already know, food is far more to me than just sustenance. It is an art. It is a way of life. It’s my hobby, and with every meal I slowly craft I literally feel the very depth of my heart falling into my creation. Maybe you think I’m being a bit dramatic, but hey, we all have our “thing.” Mine just happens to be food. That being said, taking short cuts in the kitchen feels like cheating to me, like I'm robbing myself of something. I feel like that precious solitude that I find while labouring over the stove is a gift stolen from me when I choose to use a slow cooker, even though yes, it's true, that the same flavor can be achieved with the push of a button, and make things, much, much easier.


Many of the recipes called for sweet potatoes which, in my opinion, are much too sweet for chili.

But, sometimes good things need to come to a pause. Not a stop, just a pause. And for me that would be RIGHT. NOW. Three kids, old home that can be a bitch to maintain, school pickups, drop-offs, a business to run, a home to manage and on and on and I’ll stop boring you. I think you get it. NOW is the time that I am ready for those shortcuts. I crave them. Despite this crazy season that I find myself in there is one thing (well, there are a few things) I refuse to let suffer, and that is the quality of food being offered in my home. And so, while I wish I currently had the freedom to spend hours in my apron carefully crafting a meal my entire family will enjoy, it’s just not where I’m at. So, hello slow cooker. Hello new best friend.

The recipe for this incredible paleo slow cooker chili came about when I was making a very sad attempt at powering through Whole30 again. I say sad because I only lasted like 2 days, but that’s beside the point. The point is that in my moment of literal starvation I crafted one heck of a healthy chili. Chili in itself can be a relatively healthy meal, but much of the dieting community frowns on legumes, so as much as I love them, we've chosen to omit them here. After searching high and low for a good paleo chili, I just wasn't feeling anything I found. Many of the recipes called for sweet potatoes which, in my opinion, are much too sweet for chili.

So, here you have it: The Modern Proper’s take on healthy chili and our first ever slow cooker recipe. We used chuck roast and slowly braised it in a bath of spices and tomatoes until it is literally falling apart, mixed it with the hearty texture of a little ground beef and balanced it all with a mixture of savory vegetables. I may have eaten two (okay, three) bowls and didn’t even miss the legumes. This dish is a delicious, incredibly easy, and healthy version of the perfect Super Bowl Sunday supper, that healthy and unhealthy eaters alike will love. Now that I've finally seen the light, and opened my kitchen to the magic of the slow cooker, this is just the first of many delicious meals to follow utilizing that amazing little contraption.

Crockpot Paleo Chili

Serves 8

Ingredients

2 lbs chuck roast, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1 lb ground beef
1 large onion or 2 medium, diced
2 bell peppers, diced
2-3 cups zucchini, diced
1 cup mushrooms, roughly chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large can tomato sauce
1 13.5 oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 4 oz can mild green chilies
2 cups beef stock
2 bayleaves
1 tbsp granulated garlic
1/3 cup chili powder
2 tbsp cumin
avocado
cilantro
jalapeños
green onions

Method

  1. In a large skillet, or in your slow cooker if it has a browning feature, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Generously season the chuck roast pieces with with salt and pepper. Brown all sides of the meat working in small batches and then setting aside. (This step can be omitted, but we feel it contributes to the wonderful texture of the meat.)
  2. Place the browned chuck roast in your slow cooker along with all other ingredients and cook for 4 hours on high, or 8 hours on low.
  3. Once finished, stir, breaking up any large pieces of ground beef and adjust the salt and pepper to your liking.
  4. Serve with slivered jalapeños, avocados, cilantro and green onions. Enjoy!

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