Sunday, July 11, 2010

Crock Pot Chili

Sunday. Sometimes the busiest day of the week for me. Weekends are supposed to be relaxing. On Sunday night (or Saturday for that matter) the last thing I want to do is brood over dinner. This morning I had some time at home so I decided to throw some things in the crock pot so the accountant and I and the baby could spend sometime doing something fun. Namely go to a friend's baby's first birthday party! So I opened the fridge to see what I had. "Hmm, grass fed ground beef. What can I make with that? Oh, chili will work." I must admit most of my dinners are made with ingredients I just happen to find in the pantry or fridge. I find it cheaper than running up to the store every time a recipe calls for something I don't have. So I improvise. Today I made up my own recipe and I think it turned out pretty good. You might have noticed by now I like a little spice so chili was the obvious choice for me.
Here is what I found in the pantry and fridge:

 Here is what I placed in the crock pot:

1lb of grass fed ground beef ($3.30 per pound at the Snohomish Farmers Market)
1/2 of a yellow onion
1/2 of a red onion
8 cloves of garlic (from Klesick Family Farm box of good)
1 cup of fresh cilantro (grown from seed in my garden)
1 jalapeno ($0.25 at the farmers market)
1 Tb of coconut oil ( 30 ounces for 11.50 with subscribe and save on
1/2 ounce of dark chocolate (Trader Joe's, they have great prices on chocolate)
1/4 teaspoon of chopped, not crushed red chile pepper (spice from Trader Joe's, also good prices)
1 tsp of black pepper ( I use a lot so I buy it from Costco)
1 cup of organic beef broth (Trader Joe's)
30 oz of canned black beans (Trader Joe's) if you want to use dry use 20 ounces of dry
15 ounces of canned kidney beans (Trader Joe's) if you want to use dry use 10 ounces of dry
1/2 cup of dry red wine (Charles Shaw 2.99 at Trader Joe's)
1 can of organic diced tomatoes (8 for $8 dollars at Costco)

For later you will need organic long grain brown rice (large bag is about 7 dollars at Costco) and an avocado ( I bought mine organic at Trader Joe's)

 First place baby in the high chair

Then place crock pot on counter

Then break up grass fed beef and place it in crock pot

Then chop both onion halves

Place onion in crock pot 

Chop up cilantro and place in crock pot, along with garlic, jalapeno, chopped red pepper, black pepper and the chocolate

Rinse beans in colander (these are canned beans, dry beans require overnight soaking or cooking)

Place beans, red wine and beef broth in crock pot. Stir together, place lid on crock pot. Cook on high for 6-8 hours until meat is done. Mine was done after 6 hours but I left it on high for another two. The liquid you put in the crock pot prevents food from burning.

Time to go to the birthday party!

When I came home I made brown rice to put the chili on top of

The finished product garnished with avocado and surrounded by tortilla chips ( you can buy organic at Costco for 4 something dollars or a smaller bag for $2.50 at Trader Joe's)

Yeah! Dinner is served.


  1. I think I am going to print these off and make a cook book out of them. Love reading these Jessica.

  2. Jessica - you are amazing! This reads like a good magazine! You must be related to the writer Mrs. Julia Livingston - oh yeah, your auntie!! Seriously, you are a natural and should have a website with ads or something to support your talent.
    I like the first step of the recipe: Put baby in high chair. ha! Now I would have eaten the chocolate and drunk the wine before they made them into the crockpot, and I love that you grow your own cilantro. Here in San Diego, that is a must in our burritos, which we also make with black beans like you use in your recipe along with chile hot salsa!
    Bon Appetit! Alyse

  3. thank you Alyse for your lovely comments. They are encouraging!

  4. This is great Jess! I will definitely look here for ideas, I love things that make it easier for me to stay updated about organic products and food, this is just what I need! Really impressive! Elizabeth

  5. If you want to start even cheaper you really must switch to dried beans. I have started using them all the time now, made great refried beans in the Crockpot, and discovered just good old rice and beans and cornbread is a good supper and super cheap. Anyway if you cook it in the crock pot you can soak for only and hour and toss them in and be just fine! I was amazed. If you look it up some of what you think for dried beans is not true. Most of the time if you use the crock pot you can skip soaking all together. Grocery Outlet has dried beans really cheap. Sadly Trader Joe's does not carry them. But any time I do a stew now in the crock pot I add all kinds of dried things right in, if its cooking all day anyway you don't have to worry, split peas, lentils, beans etc.

  6. Thanks Rochelle! I plan on switching to dried beans...I happen to have a lot of canned ones in the cupboard right now. When I was pregnant I went through the nesting stage and what did I buy?? Canned beans. Strange craving but who wants to argue with a pregnant girl right? (0: I can't wait to try putting them in the crockpot. Have you been to Winco to compare their dried bean prices? I am also going to check the price on organic ones through Azure Standard.

  7. Jessica, I would like to know what prompted you to add the chocolate? Does it create a taste I am lacking in my chili or just a childhood favorite?

  8. The chocolate slightly changes the taste of the chili. Bringing out a different side of the other spices. I remember using it in a Bon Apetite Chili recipe I used in college.



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