I promise not all posts will have the word ‘bacon’ in the title. It’s just not befitting someone of my profession. I am a dietitian, after all Perhaps I shouldn’t so publicly and candidly declare my love for all things bacon?
The good news is, I’ve got the big guns on my side. According to the American Dietetic Association, all foods can fit into a healthy diet. I happen to agree. If you really like something, make it fit. Food is so much more than the nutrients it provides. It’s an experience, an expression, an art, all meant to be enjoyed. And, so, bacon, you are welcome here.
Let’s talk chili. I don’t know anybody, except my mom, who doesn’t love a good chili. You’ve got to have at least one great chili recipe in your arsenal and here’s why: It’s versatile and flavorful. Any protein will do — beef, pork, chicken, turkey, vegetarian crumbles — it all works! It can be spicy, sweet, or savory. Vegetarian or chock full of meat. Don’t like kidney beans? No problem! There’s pinto, navy, black and Great Northern beans to choose from as well. And, most importantly, it’s crock pot friendly — a must for those, like me, who want to be a rock star at meal time without spending the entire afternoon over the stove.
I’ve tried, and regularly make, a variety of different chili dishes that will eventually make it to this blog. But this recipe for Smoky Chili with Bacon, adapted from MyRecipes, is my current favorite. If you don’t have smoked Spanish paprika, regular paprika works pretty well too. Make it a day ahead and the flavors really settle in. Serve with lowfat sour cream, cornbread, and an icy cold beverage — perfect for a beautiful Spring evening!
Smoky Chili with Bacon
2 slices thick-cut bacon, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1.5 pounds pork tenderloin, cut into 1″ chunks
1 T. chili powder
1 1/2 t. ground cumin
1 1/2 t. smoked Spanish paprika
1 tsp. salt
1 can (14.5 oz) diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 can (14.5 oz) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
14 oz. beef broth
1) In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat until it begins to brown (about 4 minutes). Add onion, lower heat to medium, cover and cook until translucent (about 5 minutes). Add garlic and cook one minute more.
2) Add pork and gently stir until all sides are browned slightly. Remove pan from heat.
3) Transfer meat mixture to crock pot. Add spices and rest of the ingredients (chili powder through beef broth) to crock pot and stir.
4) Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours or high 3-4 hours.