Healthy Beef, Chicken or Turkey Chili
I'm not a big proponent of "traditional" meal prep. You know, the type where you make 5 portions of the same meal for Monday-Friday for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I have my reasons.
I get so bored of eating the same thing over and over
I don't love the way leftovers hold up in the refrigerator
I never know what I might be in the mood for and because I like to give my body what it asks for, pre-planning 5 days of meals so strictly isn't a good strategy, FOR ME
I never know what my week is going to look like that far in advance. What if I decide I want to go out for dinner one night? Or order take out? You know?
What I DO like to do is prepare one recipe each week that can be stored in the freezer. So this is what it looks like.
I pick the recipe I want to use (or I make it up)
I analyze the nutrition (this is mostly because I share them with clients) but this allows me to figure out how I want to portion the meal out. I tend to be hungrier at dinner so I might even portion out a few different sizes.
I make my shopping list and get whatever ingredients I need for the recipe
I make the recipe, duh
I portion the recipe out appropriately. For this recipe, I used 1 lb of meat so the way I thought about it was, given that I usually aim for ~4 oz of protein at dinner (I know that's what satisfies me), this would typically make 4 servings (1 pound=16 ounces) but because I used beans here, which also provide protein, I can get another portion out of this. When I plugged it in to my recipe analyzer, the macronutrients looked good so I went with 5 equal portions.
I don't get crazy here but I just try to eyeball what 5 equal portions looks like as I put it in my Tupperware. Of course, if you like to be more exact, you can absolutely measure it out!
Anyway, this chili recipe is great because you can freeze the individual portions and they'll keep in freezer for a few months! I like to take a portion out when I know I'm going to be home late, or if I'm in the mood to have it for lunch.
It's sort of like making your own healthy frozen meals!
This time I used 96% Lean Ground Beef from Trader Joe's but feel free to substitute any protein you want (lean ground chicken and turkey work really well but you can also make this vegetarian by adding an extra can of beans or soy "beef" crumbles)
Top with shredded cheddar cheese, salsa, jalapenos, light sour cream or greek yogurt, guacamole or all of the above!
Healthy Beef, Chicken or Turkey Chili
Nonstick Spray (enough to coat the pan) or 1 tsp Olive oil
¾ Cup Bell Pepper, diced
1.5 Onions, Diced
3 Medium Carrots, Diced
1 lb 96% Lean Ground beef (or protein of choice)
28 oz Can Crushed Tomatoes
15.5 oz Can Red Kidney Beans (not drained)
¼ tsp Garlic Powder
½ tsp Onion Powder
½ tsp Chili Powder
¼ tsp Paprika
½ tsp Cumin
¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper
½ tsp Salt
¼ tsp Black Pepper
¾ cup water
Heat sauce pot over medium heat, spray with non-stick spray
Add bell pepper, onions and carrots to pot and allow to cook for ~3 minutes. Stir to combine
Add ground beef (or protein of choice) and break up into small pieces with spoon, allow to brown ~5 minutes.
Add crushed tomatoes and red kidney beans to mixture. Stir.
Add spices and water, stir to combine. Feel free to add more cayenne pepper or chili powder if you like your chili very spicy.
Bring chili to a boil for 30 seconds and then reduce heat to medium and allow it to simmer for 30 minutes-45 minutes
You can substitute any lean protein instead of ground beef (just adjust the nutrition facts)
If you prefer to make a vegetarian chili, omit the beef and add another 16 oz can of beans
If you don't like kidney beans, feel free to use any bean you prefer!
If you don't have lots of spices, you can buy a chili seasoning packet from the supermarket and use one instead of the mentioned seasonings!
This recipes freezes really well! It makes 5 dinner size servings and I like to portion each out into an individual tupperware and freeze them so I have healthy frozen options on hand whenever I need them. I prefer this to prepping one meal and eating is multiple times through the week.