Preparing all your meals for the upcoming week is smart: You eliminate stress, eat healthier stuff, and spend way less energy agonizing over what’s for dinner
Plus, you lessen your chances of swerving into the drive-thru on your way home from work.
So we came up with a plan to take care of a week’s worth of meal prep in one session. You can brown-bag the chili to fuel your workouts or, to prevent flavor fatigue, transform the leftovers into new meals using our fast, simple recipes.You’ll need about 90 minutes, prep to plate, to make this one-pot muscle meal. But for most of that time, you don’t have to do anything except let it simmer until delicious.
Notes for the grocery store: Build this chili’s base using beef that has an 80:20 meat-to-fat ratio. That amount of fat will lend a richness to the final product. Yes, a 90:10 ratio works too, but what you save in calories you lose in taste.
And you know what’s even better? Grass-fed ground beef. Per pound, it has about 140 fewer calories than meat from conventional cattle. If your supermarket doesn’t carry grass-fed beef, go to organicprairie.com. There, 4 pounds of 85:15 organic grass-fed ground beef sells for $45. (The extra will make great meatballs.)
A note on the beans: You can buy them canned, but if you buy them dried and soak them in water overnight, you’ll unlock more flavor.
HOW TO MAKE IT
In a large pot, heat the olive oil on medium. Add the onions, garlic, green and red peppers, and carrots. Cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes. Add the beef and cook, stirring frequently, until the meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Stir in all the remaining ingredients except the beans. Bring everything to a boil, adjust the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer until the liquid has reduced and the flavors meld, about 45 minutes. Then stir in the beans and cook, uncovered, until the chili has thickened, another 15 minutes or so. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve or store immediately. Makes 8 servings
Transform Your Leftovers
Use your leftover chili to make one of these healthy meals.
1. INSIDE-OUT WESTERN OMELET
In a medium skillet on medium high, add 1 tsp oil. Cook the onion, pepper, and ham until soft, 3 minutes or so. Remove. Now heat the remaining oil and add the eggs. Cook, tilting the pan and lifting the omelet’s edges with a spatula to let the uncooked egg run underneath. Once the eggs set, 1 to 2 minutes, top with the chili and fold the omelet. Transfer to a plate. Top with the onion mixture and cheese. Serves 1
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread half the green sauce on half an 8″x 8″ pan. Spread half the red sauce on the other half. Take each tortilla, put 2 Tbsp chili down the center, top with 1 Tbsp Jack cheese, roll it up, and set it seam side down in the pan. Pour the remaining sauces on top, followed by the rest of the Jack cheese. Bake until the cheese is bubbly, about 20 minutes. Top with the cotija and cilantro. Serves 2
Place the squash cut side down in a microwave-safe dish; add ¼ cup water. Nuke on high until a fork can pierce the skin, 10 minutes or so. In a pan on medium, warm the chili and sauce, 2 to 3 minutes. In another pan on medium, fry the garlic slices in oil until golden, 45 to 60 seconds. Transfer to a paper towel. Use a fork to scrape the squash onto a plate; add salt and pepper. Top with chili sauce, garlic slices, and basil. Serves 1
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Prick the potato with a fork a few times and bake till tender, 45 to 60 minutes. Slice off the top and scoop all the flesh into a bowl with the chili. Mix well and spoon the mixture into the potato shell; discard (or snack on) the top piece. In a small bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, lime juice, and salt. Top the potato with the yogurt mixture, crumbled bacon, and jalapeño slices. Serves 1