Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bison & Black Bean Chili

One of my favorite things about going skiing happens after I get off the mountain: getting to a ski lodge, unloosening my ski boots and filling my stomach with chili. At that point, I'm usually too cold and my quads hurt too much to care what the chili is actually made of (in ski lodges, it's usually not pretty). All I really care about is the warmth, both from the temperature and the spiciness to heat up my usually frozen core. But now that I have to really investigate the foods I eat away from home, I find it easier to just cook it myself. And while I'm at it, I might as well make it a bit healthier too.

My mother was making a kasha chili when I was home last, and approached me with what beans I would rather have in it: red or black. After comparing the cans' sodium and fiber content, I decided the black beans were a better choice: more fiber, less salt. Also, bison has been my choice of meat in many recipes that normally call for beef. A few reasons why can be found here:

- Bison is the only red meat that is non-allergenic.
- Bison has 40% more protein than beef so you can eat 1/3 less volume and still come away satisfied.
- Bison meat has fewer calories and less cholesterol than chicken, fish, or ostrich.

And apparently they're the only mammal that doesn't contract cancer.

Bison & Black Bean Chili (gluten-free, dairy-free)

serves 4 for dinner

1 medium onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 lb ground bison
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 cup of water (or stock)
5 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1-2 tablespoons of chili powder
1 teaspoon Thai red chili paste (optional -- use more chili powder if omitting)

In a pot on medium heat, add the olive oil and then the onion. Cook for about five minutes until fragrant. Add the yellow pepper and garlic and saute for at least one minute. If using, here is where I added the Thai red chili paste, if not, season with about a teaspoon of the chili powder. Then add the ground bison and cook until almost cooked through, about another five minutes. Add another teaspoon of chili powder. Then, add the crushed tomatoes, one cup of water, and beans and season again with chili powder. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat and let simmer for at least twenty minutes until serving.


Vittoria said...

That looks great. I always think bison is more appropriate for Southwest inspired dishes, historically speaking. And the benefits aren't too bad either :)

jill elise said...

oh yum. I love bison, I use it in place of ground meat a lot of the time, in chili or meatloaf or whatever. I didn't know it was non-allergenic!!

Marlow said...

Yum! That looks so good! Funnily enough I ate bison for the first time tonight!! It was great, I never knew it was non-allergenic, even better!

Jenny said...

That looks sooooo good. Thanks for the facts about Bison, I knew it was healthier but the facts about protein, non-allergenic and non-cancerous, that is so awesome!

Emilia said...

Oh, now I have a horrible craving for chili, it looks really good!

I didn't know those things about bison meat. I did like it though when I tried it; the taste was very different from anything I have eaten before.

Ricki said...

For a brief second when I first started reading, I thought you'd just been skiing!! I guess the snow hasn't quite arrived there either, yet. :)

Looks wonderful--the HH loves bison and I have to buy special bison meatloaf for him at our local Whole Foods-type store. Love the black bean choice.

Liz said...

Good point Vittoria!

I was happy to hear it also, Jill!

Yay! I'm glad you liked it Marlow.

It totally hit the spot Jenny -- good stuff.

Emilia, I remember the first time I ate it I thought it tasted a lot different, but now I think it tastes just like beef -- weird!

Haha! No show yet, but this is New England Ricki :)

MariaTeresa.Faith said...

Liz, Thank you so much for posting this recipe! If it weren't for you, my husband and I would have never tried bison meat. I was afraid to try it, but then I found your recipe. It was absolutely delicious! Thank you so much!