September 12, 2017

Instant Pot Chili - Whole 30, Paleo, Low Carb

I can eat chili no matter what season. Who is with me?
But you better believe the first chance I get as the season turns from summer to fall, chili is on.

About five years ago, I really started paying attention to how food is either helping my body or hurting it. A dear friend shared this protein packed, low carb chili recipe with me. She is such a brilliant cook and made it up herself! And when my husband tasted chili with smoked sausage, it was a game changer!

Fast forward a few more years, and I paired that new food knowledge with portion control and balanced nutrition to lose weight. During that time, I learned that you have a darn good bowl of chili without the beans. Yes, there are nutrients in beans. However, eating beans on the regular doesn't settle well with my tummy.

Here is an article with a view from the Paleo diet that goes into detail on various beans. I do eat beans occasionally. However, I found my chili tastes as delicious without them, so why bother adding them.
Of course, if you think life will turn upside without beans in your chili, by all means - add them to this recipe.

So you know, I can't handle a lot of heat. If you love extra heat, increase the chili powder, add 1 tsp of cayenne pepper, and maybe serve with jalapeño.

These instructions include cooking the recipe in the Instant Pot or on the stovetop.
Instant Pot is not only quicker but makes a thicker chili, which I love!!

1.5 lbs lean ground beef
1.5 lb smoked sausage
1 lb choice of beef (sirloin filet, left over roast, etc.)-OPTIONAL
1 medium to large white onion
1 28 oz can whole or crushed tomatoes
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes (fire roasted for extra heat)
8 - 15 oz can of tomato sauce
2 tsp chipotle smoked chili powder
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp paprika
4 tsp garlic powder, divided
Himalayan salt and pepper to taste

- Cook ground beef with 1/2 chopped onion, 1 tsp garlic powder, salt & pepper to taste. If cooking chili in the Instant Pot (IP), brown ground beef in the IP on sauté setting.

- If using fresh sirloin or another cut of beef, but into small pieces, cook with 1 tsp garlic powder, salt & pepper to taste, just until browned on the outside and rare in the center. If using leftover beef from earlier in the week, that is a bonus of one less protein to cook at this time!

- Slice sausage in small circles. Add sausage and 1/2 onion to cast iron skillet and cook on medium-high heat until sausage is crisp on the outside.

- Combine all cooked meat, onion, tomatoes, and remaining seasonings. Stir until mixed well. Take a quick taste to see if you think the flavors will meld to your preferred heat for chili. You can always adjust the amount of seasonings.

- If cooking in the Instant Pot, press the Stew/Meat button instead of Chili/Bean button. The difference is Stew/Meat cooks at High Pressure for 35 minutes instead of 30 minutes with Chili/Bean setting. Since you used the sauté setting for the ground beef, the IP usually takes around 10 minutes to get to High Pressure.

- When the IP beeps and is finished cooking, leave on Warm setting for 10 - 20 minutes letting it depressurize naturally.

- If cooking on the stove, I use a large stock pot. Bring to low boil.

- Simmer for at least 1 1/2 hours covered, maybe even 2 hours to let the chili thicken. Stir occasionally.

I even tossed in some roasted purple cabbage steaks that I diced up fresh out of the oven. This added texture instead of using crackers, added to my veggie intake for the day, and introduced a whole new flavor. Another idea to add veggies and texture is putting a base of riced cauliflower in the bottom of your bowl, then topping with the chili. What other veggies do you pair with chili?

Let me know what you think and if you adjust the recipe to make it your own!

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