There's something deeply satisfying about eating chili on cold days. Between the richness of the fat (which provides thermogenic calories), the heat of the bowl in your hands or the heat of the spice as you savor it, for me it's one of the most perfect things to eat on a cold, damp day.

I taught a class at Merchants Bank a couple of weeks ago, and found myself talking about chili. One of the participants said she always makes her chili with McCormick spices, to which I said, "No!" Using pre-packaged spices is a sure way to get MSG in your food.

They asked me to share my chili recipe. I've tried a number of recipes over the years, but here's the one I made just a few weeks ago.


  • 1-2 tablespoon oil (I use avocado oil. If not avocado, then use coconut oil. I do not recommend cooking with olive oil as it oxidizes when you heat it)

  • 2 large onions chopped

  • 5 TBSP chopped jalapeños with seeds

  • 8 garlic cloves chopped or pressed through a garlic press

  • 2 1/3 lb ground meat (beef or turkey)

  • 1/4 cup chili powder (I love the Williams Sonoma chili powder)

  • 2 TBSP ground cumin

  • 1 tsp paprika

  • One 28 oz can diced organic tomatoes in juice (I typically use Muir Glen)

  • Two 15 oz can kidney beans drained (also organic and preferably no BPA plastic lining)

  • 14-oz beef/chicken/vegetable broth (I use organic)


  • In a heavy pot, sauté the onions in the oil for about 6 minutes until soft

  • Add the jalapeños and garlic; sauté 1 minute

  • Add ground meat, breaking up with a wooden spatula; about 5 minutes until browning

  • Add cili powder, cumin and paprika, toss well and sauté with meat for 1-2 minutes

  • Add tomatoes with juices, beans and broth and bring to a boil

  • Reduce heat and simmer until chili thickens and flavors blend, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes

I have discovered that I love chili with sweet potatoes as a side. It's such a good flavor combination. And if your body handles dairy well, then go ahead and top with sour cream and grated cheese.