This Slow Cooker Clean Cuisine Chili is a deliciously hearty and warm recipe for fall. Clean Cuisine’s slow cooker recipes are my favorite and using a slow cooker like VitaClay’s Slow Cooker (you can read more about it here) because I can just throw the ingredients in a slow cooker and go back to work.
Now, some of the lesser-known ingredients in the recipe are:
- canned chipolte chilies in adobo sauce
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
The trick to using the recipes in the Clean Cuisine book or on the Clean Cuisine website is to use your own cooking experience and knowledge to guide you through a clean cuisine recipe that seems complicated because of some lesser known ingredients.
For instance, last night I made the Spiced Turmeric-Charged Creamy Cauliflower Soup (p.333 in Clean Cuisine). I didn’t have pine nuts, so I didn’t add them, and I also added a red pepper and an apple because I had them in my fridge. I knew that I didn’t need to call Ivy because I knew that both whole foods would be fine to add, and I also knew that adding something sweet like the apple would probably be fine because the recipe called for raisins, and I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about how food should taste. As a mom with four kids, I’m sure you are, too (it turned out delicious, by the way)!
But that is a simple recipe. Let’s try something a little more complicated and a nice and EASY dish to make for a big family.
Clean Cuisine Slow Cooker Chili
My mom used to make chili with that packet of spices that says “CHILI” on the front. But, I know very well that anything that comes pre-packaged in the store deserves to be investigated. And…sure enough, many unhealthful ingredients like “enriched wheat flour,” anti-coagulants, and anti-stick chemicals are added to those packets that are supposedly making everything soooo easy for us. But, the truth is, the ingredients that make that package flavorful (Cumin, chili powder, garlic, and salt) are probably already in our spice cupboard…sans the harmful ingredients.
- 2 Tablespoons cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Spanish onion, finely chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
- 3 celery ribs, chopped
- 1 red or orange bell pepper, chopped (or green pepper..like the picture below)
- 2 Tablespoons minced canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, plus 1 to 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
- Unrefined sea salt (or Real Salt) to taste
- 3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 cans (15 ounces each) BPA-free organic small red beans, rinsed and drained (you can also use black beans like the picture below)
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 2 ½ Cups organic vegetable broth
- 2teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 16 ounces of ground, pastured turkey
- 6 ounces beer
- 1 Tablespoon raw honey
- Heat 1 Tablespoon of the oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots and 1 Tablespoon of the garlic; sauté until the onion is soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the celery, bell pepper, chipotle chilies, and adobo sauce; sauté until the bell pepper is crisp-tender, 4 to 4 minutes. Season with salt to taste.
- Transfer the vegetable mixture to a 5-6 qt slow cooker. Add the nutritional yeast, beans, tomatoes, broth cumin, and chili powder. Use a wooden spoon to stir the ingredients together.
- Pour the remaining 1 Tablespoon of oil into the skillet used to sauté the vegetables; heat the oil over medium heat. Add the remaining 1 Tablespoon of garlic and ground, pastured turkey and sauté until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Add the beer and honey and stir to scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Let the beer reduce by half.
- Transfer the turkey mixture to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low heat for two hours. Let chili sit for at least 20 minutes before serving. Serve warm.
Swap This for That
This can be a little complicated if you’re in a hurry nor don’t have access to some of these ingredients. BUT….this is what I see when I look at this recipe:
Fresh, organic veggies (whichever veggies I think would work well with chili. Think corn, jalepenos, green peppers, etc.)
Garlic, onion, extra virgin olive oil (start buying cold-pressed…always)
Organic broth (any kind…beef, chicken, veg….just make sure it’s organic)
Canned tomatoes and beans (BPA-free cans are more expensive, but sometimes they have good deals at whole foods and other stores….take advantage of them! BPA-lined cans can leak toxins into our foods)
Spices (that I probably already have)
BEER (Woo HOO!!)
Raw Honey (I probably wouldn’t add this because I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, especially when it comes to chili)
I would also add some lime, as I always add citrus to soups, sauces, and salad dressings (it cuts the amount of salt you need to add!)
I would brown my pastured turkey in a pan with some garlic and onions, but I would probably just throw all of the other ingredients in the slow cooker (HA!). As a mom of four, I bet slow cooker recipes are right up your alley! I would, however, look at the recipe for instructions on what to do with the beer (which I would reduce in the same pan in which I browned the turkey), as I would probably have that on hand and have never added it to my chili before. And…voila! I have a healthy, hearty, delicious chili to serve!
As consumers, we are so immersed in the idea that packaged products on our grocery stores shelves are safe and easy for us that we forget that real, whole foods are the safest and sometimes the easiest to cook. We just have to become better consumers.
With the Clean Cuisine book I’ve learned which foods I should buy and, most importantly, which foods I shouldn’t. Having things on hand like organic broths, lemons and limes, cold expeller-pressed extra virgin oils, BPA-free canned beans (I probably have 25 cans of all sorts of beans in my cupboard right now), organic fruits and veggies, grains (like brown and black rice–make it with broth instead of water..DELISH!) and sprouted breads will provide you with the nuts and bolts of eating Clean Cuisine. You can’t mess up a recipe by adding healthy ingredients, and just use your judgment when subtracting. Also…make sure to use a slow cooker with a ceramic insert if you can (click HERE for a good one) to prevent harmful toxins from leaching into your food.