RECIPE: Chocolate Chili and Homemade Wheat Crackers

You get a two-fer-one on the recipe front today!

After my disorganized food week the week before, I spent last Sunday making sure I had some good, fun, hearty lunches made for the week. Like chili. But I’m not talking any chili. I’m talking chocolate chili. Sounds gross you say? Hell no! It’s the best chili ever! For those who’ve had it, you know the chocolate disappears into the chili and leaves behind an amazingly rich flavor (and color).

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This wasn’t my first chocolate chili experience. I’d made it years ago using a different recipe and totally forgot about it. Then I ran across Mel Joulwan’s blog The Clothes Make the Girl and discovered her bean-less chili recipe (she follows Paleo rules) and I tell ya, it knocked our socks off. Every couple of bites my feller would sigh and say, Man. This is amazing. It really is the best chili ever.

A couple of things to look out for in the migraine realm. The broth. It’s getting seriously hard to find clean broth.

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Both of these look as if they’d be clean, organic on one, no MSG added on the other, but look again…broth2

Autolyzed yeast in the organic one, and flavorings and yeast extract in the other, both things to be concerned about. Want to know why? Click this link to read more. Also check your tomatoes. I had a heck of a time finding a brand without flavors added.

One other point. Chocolate is a known migraine trigger. For me, it’s not a problem. If you’re still figuring out what your triggers are, it might be best to skip this one. Everyone is different.

And now…

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THE RECIPE

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Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) fire-roasted, chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) beef broth
  • 1 cup water 

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Instructions:

1. Heat a large, deep pot over medium-high heat, then add the coconut oil. When the oil is melted, add onions, stir with a wooden spoon and cook until they’re translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and as soon as it’s fragrant, about 30 seconds, crumble the ground meat into the pan with your hands, mixing with the wooden spoon to combine. Continue to cook the meat, stirring often, until it’s no longer pink.

2. In a small bowl, crush the oregano between your palms to release its flavor, then add the chili powder, cumin, cocoa, allspice, and salt. Combine with a fork, then add to the pot, stirring like you mean it. Add tomato paste and stir until combined, about 2 minutes.

3. Add the tomatoes with their juice, beef broth, and water to the pot. Stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat so the chili enjoys a gentle simmer. Simmer for at least 2 hours. Do not skimp on the simmer!

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I also suggest you run over and buy Mel’s book WELL FED PALEO even if you’re not a paleo eater (I’m not and I bought it and loved it!). There are some great principles behind how paleos eat, like eliminating ALL processed foods, and Mel has some inspired and fantastic suggestions and ways to easily handle cooking every meal, in addition to a bunch of great recipes. I got it in the Kindle version, but really, go for the print or PDF versions because the design of the book is super fun.

For lunches, I heated some spaghetti squash and topped it in my Thermos with some chili, and Mmmm mmmmm! It was delicious.

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And now for recipe number two.  (**Side note two weeks later: You know how sometimes when you make something you really like it, then the next day, not so much? Kind of had that experience with these crackers. Not in love. Back to the drawing board…)

For some reason, I got a hankerin’ to make crackers. I don’t know why. There are plenty of good clean crackers out there, but the idea got into my head and I had to go with it.

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I wanted a cakier kind of cracker, or perhaps a pie-crust-ish cracker, something almost breadlike, yet still crisp. And I do believe I found exactly what I wanted! Feller would have preferred a more Saltine-like cracker, so that’s next on my list, but he was a mighty fine helper anyway, poking decorative holes in the crackers and sprinkling them with salt and pepper.

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And now, I present to you the Fluted Whole Wheat Biscuit (my name), otherwise known as a cracker. My market didn’t have Millet, so I instead doubled the amount of flax seed.

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 THE RECIPE:

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 cup (4.75 ounces) spelt flour or whole wheat flour (4.5 ounces) (I used whole wheat flour)
  • 1/3 cup whole, uncooked millet
  • 1/3 cup ground flax seeds (I used golden flax seed meal)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup water
  • Freshly ground pepper for sprinkling

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Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, millet, flax seed, baking powder, and salt. Then add the olive oil and mix with a fork until combined. Slowly mix in a 1/2 cup of water, working it in with your hands. If needed, add up to 1/4 cup more water until the dough holds together. Knead the dough in the bowl until it is smooth and easy to work with, about 2 minutes.
  2. Dust a clean surface with flour, dump out the dough, and press it into a flat disc. Use a rolling pin and roll out the dough until it is 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick (the thinner crackers crisp up a little more in my experience). Cut the crackers into 2-inch squares or circles, rerolling the dough as needed.
  3. Carefully transfer the cut crackers to ungreased or parchment paper lined baking sheets, and sprinkle each cracker with a little salt and pepper. (I also poked holes in mine with a chopstick, which is totally optional). Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through, until the crackers are crisp and hard to the touch. Transfer the crackers to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 7 days.

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Original Source: WHISKS AND WHIMSY

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Sadly, I didn’t get my full prep-for-the-week in today since we left our farmer’s market purchases at the Motor Palace. Oops! But I did get some eggs boiled, and of course, my lovely crackers.

Until next time when I share the details of our Townhome-farming…

Later gators!

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To read all about the weekend fun at the Motor Palace, click the pic!

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