Lighter Beef Chili
Cocoa powder adds depth but not sweetness to the chili. Briefly heating the cocoa, chili powder, and tomato paste before adding the beef releases their aroma.Healthy Habit: For beefy flavor without excess fat, pick ground sirloin instead of chuck. We've added extra portions of traditional (and nutritious) ingredients, such as beans and tomatoes.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, such as safflower
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- coarse salt and ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 pound ground beef sirloin
- 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes in juice
- 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- toppings, such as reduced-fat sour cream, sliced scallions, and baked tortilla chips, for serving (optional)
In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add tomato paste, chili powder, and cocoa powder. Cook, stirring, until mixture is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add beef, and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes (with their juice) and beans. Bring to a boil over high; reduce to a simmer, and cook until chili is slightly thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with toppings, if desired.