Jen’s Quick & Easy Paleo Beef Chili


We interrupt your regularly scheduled Wine Wednesday programming for …. a recipe!

I’m in my final week of marathon taper and, out of the blue, I’m pretty sure I’m trying to get sick.

I felt like I got run over by a truck yesterday.

Tired, feverish, sneezy, achy – blech!

Well, with Flying Pig coming up on Sunday (EEEP!), I definitely don’t want to be sick.


So, I actively engaged my sickness in a battle!

I drank some tea


I put on my sweat pants  after work and enjoyed some cat cuddles


Molly is my lap cat. 🙂

and I made some spicy beef chili to help chase the ick out of my system!

I’m feeling a whole lot better today, but I’m still being cautious and loading up on Emergen-C and making sure I’m well hydrated.


You know you’re really well hydrated when you want to move your desk into the restroom. #justsayin

I decided on chili instead of chicken soup because 1. I had farmer’s market ground beef defrosted, 2. I didn’t have any chicken defrosted, and 3. I wanted chili.

I just kinda threw some things into a pot, simmered it for about 15-20 minutes, and dinner was born!


Jen’s Quick and Easy Paleo Beef Chili

2-3 tablespoons fat of your choice (coconut oil, bacon fat, etc – I used bacon fat because, duh, bacon makes everything better)
1/2 cup chopped onion (or more if you really like onion)
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound grass-fed beef or bison
3 chipotles in adobo, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon oregano
1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 box chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)

1. Heat bacon fat in large pot or dutch oven. Saute onion and green pepper until vegetables have softened. Add garlic; saute 1 minute or until fragrant, stirring so it doesn’t burn. Add beef to pot and brown, breaking up with wooden spoon. Once meat is almost brown, add chopped chipotles, cumin, oregano, chili powder, and salt and pepper and continue to cook.

2. Once meat is browned and your kitchen smells amazeballs, add tomatoes, tomato paste, and chicken broth; stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low (I set mine at 3) and simmer for about 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings (add crushed red pepper here, if desired) and simmer for another 10 minutes.


3. Serve it up and NOM it down.

Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of my beautifully plated chili last night. I was hungry. Don’t judge me.

But, you’re in luck, I packed leftovers for lunch and had some over a sweet tater!



Have no fear, Wine Wednesday will return as scheduled next week. 🙂

Talk to me: How do you battle an oncoming cold? What’s your favorite comfort food dish when you’re sick?

– jennifer

Weekend in review. Southwestern Skillet Macaroni.

Hello hello!

And, just like that, we’re back at Monday again.

calvin hobbes monday

Did everyone have a good weekend? Do anything fun? See any good movies?

We did! We saw Despicable Me 2! So cute! They’ve really done a good job with that movie. Steve Carrell is just brilliant as Gru. Okay, he’s just pretty brilliant in general as a comedic actor. 🙂


So, besides the movie, here’s our weekend in review:


snippets of a Friday evening


Thing 2 and I shopped for outfits for Thing 1’s upcoming boot camp graduation. I got a dress and new shoes – Ginny got a new box! Win/win! 🙂


Molly’s got my back. 🙂


Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake. Om. Nom. Nom.
Recipe at

Add to that laundry, cleaning and grocery shopping and the weekend has gone by too fast!

Speaking of groceries, I’ve decided to do comfort foods this week. I’m not talking comfort foods that take forever to cook, either. Quick, easy, and delicious are my goals for this week. 🙂

I was talking about it at Crossfit this morning and was informed that it was too warm for comfort food. What do you think?

How do you define comfort food? I think of comfort food as food that tastes good and makes you feel happy, safe and loved. Does it require the oven or stove on all day to be comforting? I don’t think so. I think you can definitely make some comforting, homey meals in less than 30 minutes.

And that’s what happened last night – a quick take on Chili Mac. Who doesn’t remember chili mac from when you were growing up? So good! 5 ingredients, about 15 minutes and voila! Healthy, hearty, delicious and comforting with minimal heat in your kitchen. 🙂

Om nom nom!


Southwestern Skillet Macaroni
makes 4 servings

1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni
1 pound lean ground beef (I used bison)
1/4 cup chili powder
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes in puree
1/3 Frank’s Red Hot sauce
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

1. Cook macaroni in boiling water 5 minutes. Drain.

2. In a large nonstick skillet, cook ground beef with chili powder until meat is browned.  Add tomatoes and Red Hot sauce.  Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium; cook 5 minutes.

3. Add macaroni; cook 5 minutes or until pasra is tender and has absorbed excess liquid. Sprinkle with cheese.


4. Om nom nom!

– jennifer

Messes, snuggles & Serious Chili

Hello! And, we’re back at Monday again. How was everyone’s weekend? Do anything exciting?

On Sunday, I spent some time in Thing 1’s bedroom cleaning. Since she’s off at boot camp and not going to be living at home anymore, we need to get her stuff boxed up and ready for her to either put in storage or take with her. Just one problem. I swear I was being filmed for an episode of Hoarders! I worked for a little more than 3 hours and was exhausted and out of boxes. This is definitely not a small project. Sigh. A mother’s work is never done. I’d share pictures but you might be traumatized. So, you’re welcome.

Here’s what else I did yesterday.


It was a snuggly kind of day. 🙂

Yesterday was pretty gray and overcast and rainy/thunderstormy all day. Which was fine because I wasn’t trying to be outside anyway. Even though it’s officially summer, I decided to make chili. Some serious chili.


This recipe is extra awesome because you actually make your own chili powder by toasting chili peppers and then grinding them up. The results are delicious but make sure you have your fan on over the stove while you’re toasting the peppers. Too much of a big whiff and you’ll be coughing and sneezing.

This is not a spicy chili but is super flavorful. If you like heat, you definitely want to add some – maybe some jalapeno along with the poblanos or you could even add some crushed red pepper. Of course, you could always make it as is and pass the hot sauce at the table. 🙂

Do you prefer to breathe fire or breathe easy when you eat chili?
I need boxes. Do you have any? 🙂


Serious Chili
serves 8
(Yes, that’s really what it’s called. No, I didn’t name it.)

3 ancho chiles
10 dried chiles de arbol
1 tablespoon oil or bacon grease
2 pounds chuck roast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 medium onions, diced
2 poblano peppers, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 can (28 ounce) tomato puree
2 cups low-sodium beef stock
1 can (14-16 ounce) pinto beans, drained
Diced onion, minced jalapeno, shredded cheese, chopped cilantro, and/or sour cream, for serving

1. Heat a cast-iron or stainless steel skillet over medium heat. Add the chiles and cook, turning occasionally, until lightly toasted and crispy. The chiles de arbol will take about 5 minutes; the anchos about 10. (Be careful not to inhale too deeply – chile smoke has been known to cause wild fits of coughing.) Discard the stems and seeds and place the chiles in a clean coffee grinder or food processor. Grind into a fine dust. Ta-Da! Chili powder!

2. Heat the oil or bacon grease in a large pot over medium-high heat. Season the beef with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Sear the meat until all sides are nicely browned, then add the onions, poblanos, garlic, cumin, and 2 tablespoons chili powder. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are softened. Stir in the tomatoes and stock. Lower the heat and simmer for at least 45 minutes (but preferably up to 90 minutes), until the beef is fork tender.

3. Stir in the beans a few minutes before serving, and heat through. Serve with your preference of garnishes.

4. Om nom nom!


Per serving:
Calories 380; Fat 12g (saturated 4.5mg); Sodium 810mg

Recipe from Cook This, Not That!