Perhaps the best kitchen appliance I have ever bought is my Vitamix. You can turn heaps of veggies into soup or sauce and feed it happily to unsuspecting family members. YAY! I used a veggie combo that was growing in my garden to create the sauce for this chili. Often we hear that we need more protein in our diets. But, honestly we really need more vegetables. Soups, sauces and smoothies are excellent places to deliver these fresh veggies.
One of the most important parts of this fabulous recipe is enlisting the assistance of your littles…here is Madelyn and Annabelle helping me amass my veggie lot…
The Paleo Mom has written extensively on the role of fresh vegetables in the diet. Here is an excerpt from her article on The Importance of Vegetables:
Study after study shows that higher vegetable consumption (at least five to eight servings a day) reduces the risk of disease, everything from diabetes to osteoporosis to diseases of the gastrointestinal tract to cardiovascular disease to autoimmune diseases to cancer. There are three likely reasons. First, vegetables tend to be rich in very important vitamins and minerals, including the most absorbable form of calcium (see Why Don’t I Need to Worry About Calcium?). Second, vegetables contain plenty of fiber to support a healthy diversity of gut microorganisms (see The Fiber Manifesto Part 1 of 5: What Is Fiber and Why Is it Good?). Third, vegetables are rich in thousands of different beneficial plant phytochemicals. Recall that phytochemicals abound in antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and other health-promoting properties (see The Amazing World of Plant Phytochemicals: Why a diet rich in veggies is so important!). All of these components add up to serious benefits for people who include abundant vegetables in their diets.
Warning: if you check out her site…it is an information rabbit hole! She is an amazing wealth of information including article citations and resources that offer evidence based support! LOVE IT!
Organ meat is another amazing source of vitamins and minerals along with high quality protein that cannot be matched by any other food source. Chris Kresser’s site is another great resource when it comes to articles supported by research. Here he offers support against one of the common criticisms when it comes to organ meat:
A popular objection to eating liver is the belief that the liver is a storage organ for toxins in the body. While it is true that one of the liver’s role is to neutralize toxins (such as drugs, chemical agents and poisons), it does not store these toxins. Toxins the body cannot eliminate are likely to accumulate in the body’s fatty tissues and nervous systems. On the other hand, the liver is a is a storage organ for many important nutrients (vitamins A, D, E, K, B12 and folic acid, and minerals such as copper and iron). These nutrients provide the body with some of the tools it needs to get rid of toxins.
I source my grass finished beef and pork, whole organ meat and bones from a local farmer, South Chestnut Farm. I often buy it in bulk for the best pricing. For the organ meat grind I asked my local Whole Foods Market to grind together beef and organs for me a couple times a year. I use the following ratio and have them divide it into ten, two pound packs. I store them in the chest freezer.
100% Grass Fed Organ Meat Grind
5 pounds beef heart
5 pounds beef liver
2 pounds beef kidney
3 pounds 80/20 ground beef
When you mix it in with another meat like pork or plain ground beef…you cannot detect the flavor. PERFECT!!
Here is the chili combo I used:
I used lots of fresh vegetables
2 heads of garlic (my view is more is better)
2 cans of organic fire roasted tomatoes (Check Trader Joe’s for BPA free cans, free of added chemicals)
1 medium butternut squash, cubed
Rough chop the veggies and saute them in batches in a large skillet. Puree all in your Vitamix or other high speed blender in batches. Add one can of tomatoes to each batch.
Pour sauce into a large stock pot and bring to a low simmer. Add in the raw butternut to cook gently.
2 pounds of organ meat grind from above
1 pound pastured ground pork
1 pound 100% grass fed ground water buffalo, bison or ground beef
7 Tbsp chili powder
3 Tbsp oregano
3 Tbsp cinnamon
Brown each meat separately in coconut oil adding 1 Tbsp of each spice per pound of meat as you saute. Add the meat to the sauce as you finish.
Allow the chili to gently simmer for 30 minutes…DONE!!
This batch served three dinners plus leftovers for our family of six. Serve the chili over mixed greens, steamed cauliflower (I don’t have time to rice it, but that would be awesome too). If you are transitioning to a real food diet or have kids that fear new foods…serve over steamed rice or rice noodles.