The Romancing The Bee Diet – Day 12 – Chili Con Carne

chili

This dish is affectionately known at my house as “Meat Chili.” It’s been an integral part of every successful diet I’ve ever been on.

In my opinion, it’s close to the perfect diet meal.  It’s satisfying, it’s healthy, it’s tasty, it’s even better the next day, and, best of all, when I eat it I don’t feel like I’m dieting!

The most important thing to remember is DON’T ADD BEANS!  It won’t be a diet meal anymore.

Yield:  6-8 servings

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 large yellow onion, small diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 red pepper, diced

1 green pepper, diced

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons cumin

1 teaspoon Mexican oregano

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper

1 tablespoon honey

1 pound lean ground beef

1 28 ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes

Shredded cheddar cheese for garnish only

Directions:

Preheat a 8-quart sauce pan or Dutch Oven over medium-high heat. Saute ground beef, onion, garlic, and peppers in canola oil with salt until beef is browned and vegetables are tender (about 10 minutes). Add spices and cook for 1 more minute. Add honey and canned tomatoes, including juice, and reduce the heat to low.  Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking and to break up the tomatoes. Adjust seasonings. It may need additional salt.

Serve in soup bowls and top with no more than 2 tablespoons of cheddar cheese for garnish.

Braised Winter Greens

Braised greens

Kale, Swiss chard and collard greens are in season virtually everywhere. They are so good for you, and especially tasty when prepared southern-style with honey.  Try some from your local farmers’ market.

Yield:  8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 pound bacon slices, roughly chopped

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 cups chicken stock

1/3 cup cider vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

1 bunch collard greens, ribs removed

1 bunch kale, ribs removed

1 bunch Swiss chard, ribs removed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

In a large pot heat oil and bacon over high heat until bacon is well browned. Stir in garlic and cook 45 seconds. Deglaze with chicken stock and vinegar. Add honey and greens and partially cover. Lower heat to medium and cook for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Popeye’s Favorite Spinach Bread

Spinach, honey and feta cheese make homemade bread extraordinary! This is a wonderful recipe!!

3/4 cup warm water (110 to 115)
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup olive oil (1 12 teaspoons)
3 1/2 cups wheat flour
2 lbs. spinach (fresh, weighed before cleaning please remove stem and clean thoroughly then thinly slice the leaves)
2 cups finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup feta cheese (crumbled)

 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl combine water, honey, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and sprinkle the yeast over the top. Set aside to foam. Then whisk in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then sift 1 cup of flour and mix well. Set aside for 1 hour, or until it has a sponge-like texture.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and saute onions until tender, about 5 minutes. Then add the garlic, cumin, and remaining salt to the onions. Stir in the spinach, in small batches, and cook until the spinach is soft. Pour on the lemon juice. Drain spinach in a colander and reserve the cooking liquid. In a large bowl, place 2 cups of the remaining flour, making a well in the center of the flour. Pour the spongy mixture into the well.

Knead for 10 minutes, adding enough of the cooking liquid to make it pliable yet firm. Transfer to a oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 2 hours. Then add the feta cheese to the dough and knead for 1 minute. Add the spinach mixture, sprinkle with the remaining flour, and mix together quickly. The dough is supposed to be moist and loose, don’t knead again. Form into a oblong loaf and place the dough on a well oiled baking sheet. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let proof for 1 hour. Bake the bread for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and cook for another 30 minutes.