Gluttony Minus Guilt

Winter has officially arrived in the northeast. Although the lack of snow is certainly appreciated, the wind and temperature combine to make me HUNGRY. I always have a heartier appetite in the cold months than in the summertime. When I factor in the reality of being less active during the hibernation months, I experience a sense of trepidation. My challenge is to eat heartily but healthfully, as I am committed to my pants size.

Happily, the local Mrs Green’s Market has just begun selling packaged specialty meats. I’m excited to try them all, but ground venison grabbed my attention first. Venison is lean meat; low in fat and calories, but big in flavor. Although it seems expensive on the shelf, make it into a chili and the result is food for a small army at $2 a head.

Venison Chili

9 servings- $2/serving
15 minutes prep time/75 minutes total cooking time
2 strips bacon, finely chopped
½ Tbsp olive oil
½ med onion (3/4 c), chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium jalapeño, seeded and chopped
1/3 c red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 pound ground venison
2 cups black beans (if canned, well rinsed)
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp cocoa
1 tsp chipotle powder
A pinch of Cayenne
2-3 cups chicken stock
1 can peeled tomatoes, chopped with juices
1 large sweetie (1 pound), peeled and cubed
1 tsp salt
Lots of fresh ground pepper

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add bacon and cook until slightly brown, about 4 minutes. Add onion and coat well with oil. Cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic, jalapeno, and red pepper. Cook for 2 minutes. Raise heat to high and add venison. Cook until meat is pink, constantly stirring. Bring heat to medium and add black beans, incorporate well. Add tomato paste, cocoa, chipotle and cayenne. Add stock, tomatoes, and tomato juices. When the chili comes to a boil, lower heat to simmer, add sweet potatoes. Simmer for an hour, add salt and pepper.

Check out the nutritional breakdown, you’ll feel like having seconds!
Venison Chili Nutritional Chart
Venison chili Caloric_Ratio_Pyramid

Nutritional data and images courtesy of www.NutritionData.com

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