Ground Beef Chili over Stir-Fried Vegetables

Ground Beef Chili over Stir-Fried Vegetables (Serves 6)

Dozens of people kept saying how much they loved Austin, Texas-based Melissa Joulwan’s chili. I was not quick to try it because my only adult, chili-experience was the canned stuff from Hormel. Finally I tried it and now I want “Mel’s Favorite Chili” all the time! What I am sharing here changes Mel’s recipe slightly to suit my tastes and laziness; I used one tablespoon of garlic powder instead of four cloves of fresh garlic and two teaspoons of salt instead of one. And I used chicken broth instead of beef because that is what I had opened in my refrigerator. And I changed the tomatoes a bit, but it’s pretty similar. Either way, this is good stuff that I hope you will try. Just remember: If you like it, give Melissa the credit. If you don’t like it, blame it on my changes.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 120 minutes

Ingredient list:

2 pounds of ground beef
2 sweet yellow onions
6-8 zucchini
6-8 yellow squash
1 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes (fire-roasted Muir Glen tomatoes are fabulous)
1 6-ounce can of tomato paste
Low sodium chicken broth (Imagine Organic includes no sugar or soy)
Extra virgin olive oil
Chili powder
Ground cumin
Unsweetened cocoa
Dried oregano
Garlic powder
Black pepper


Chop onion into bite-sized pieces. Add one to two tablespoons of olive oil to a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and let cook until soft, stirring occasionally. Add meat. Stir with a wood spoon or spatula until browned evenly and in small crumbles. Mix spices in a small bowl – 1 tablespoon of garlic powder, 2 tablespoons of chili powder, 2 tablespoons of ground cumin, 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, 1 teaspoon of allspice, 2 teaspoons of salt. Add spices to the pot and mix everything well. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste and a few ounces of chicken (or beef) broth. Stir well and bring pot to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 2 hours. About 15 minutes before the chili finishes cooking, Chop zucchini and squash into bite-sized pieces. Add one to two tablespoons of olive oil to a wok over medium heat. Add vegetables and a light dusting of salt and garlic powder. Stir ingredients well, cover, and let cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a splash of water to the wok if vegetables become too dry. When everything is done, arrange a bed of vegetables on a plate, ladle chili over the vegetables, and eat!

Note: As soon as I finished this batch of chili, I made it again with mock tender steak in a pressure cooker. And I just bought ground turkey to make chili a third time. More recipes are coming!

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One Response to “Ground Beef Chili over Stir-Fried Vegetables”

  1. Howdy from Texas! Glad you like the chili — and glad you played with it. Recipes are so much more fun when you make them your own!


  1. Pressure Cooker Ground Beef Chili with Carrots and Red and Orange Bell Pepper | Whole Life Eating - [...] liquid from stewed tomatoes, tomato paste, or broth and letting it simmer for two hours. Check out my first…

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