Bionic Chili con Carne Recipe

I find Chili to be a great lunch food for guys.  Packed with protein and – when properly made – health supporting vegetables and other nutrients.

The ingredients that I use:

1-2 lbs of ground meat (I vary this between organic extra-lean ground beef, ground bison, or ground turkey).  I’d rather base the meat decision on what’s on sale, organic, more fresh, or is already purchased and in my freezer.

1-2 jars of strained tomatoes (Not cans of chopped tomatoes – I try to avoid purchasing acidic foods from a can).  Strained tomatoes typically come from Italy, require no work to prepare, and are useful when making soups, pasta sauce, pizza sauce, and here – as a base for chili.

1 large onion – or more if you can handle it.

5+ cloves of garlic (basically add as much garlic as your family and friends will allow you to get away with)

A couple of hot peppers Serrano, Jalapeno, etc.
The heat and flavor of a type of pepper can vary greatly. Sometimes you have you taste test them, but usually you can smell how hot a pepper will be when you cut it.  Just add what you need and add more later if needed (I like to use freshly chopped jalapenos as a garnish for my chili).

1-2 cups Frozen corn – Plump corn kernels add a nice al dente texture to a chili and they even contain supportive phytonutrients.  Just think of corn as a grain, not a vegetable and you’ll be OK.

1-1/2 cups dry beans – I usually mix black beans and kidney beans for my chili.  When possible, soak the dry beans in water over night, but you can also just boil beans for a while and let them soak in the hot water until cooked.  All dry beans must be boiled and rinsed.  You can use canned beans if you prefer, just be sure to rinse them well before using.  I use dry beans because they’re cheaper and haven’t been exposed to any chemicals in cans (I’m not sure if this has been proven or not – will have to do some research).  Plus the glass jars of beans on my counter just look good.


Ground cumin – just add a couple tsp of ground cumin near the end of cooking.  This gives the chili an earth flavor and kicks up the antioxidant content of your chili to the next level.

Chili spice – If you like the flavor, add some of the packaged chili spice to it (try to only use part of the package).

Chipotle – I chop some canned chipotles into the chili just for flavor.

Cilantro – chop a handful or two of cilantro into your chili near the end of cooking.

Fresh oregano – chop finely and add this superherb for an antioxidant and nutrition boost.

Chopped mushrooms – mushrooms add another nice texture to your chili and are a good source of a cancer fighting antioxidant.

Chopped chives – Add once you are finished cooking.  They add an onion-like flavor and contain some health supporting antioxidants.

Ground coriander – A tsp of ground coriander adds more earthy flavor to the dish and has anti-cancer properties.



Soak the beans overnight, drain, bring a pot of boiling water to a boil, add the beans, and simmer on low until beans are tender and ready to eat.

In a frying pan, begin to cook the onion on low heat, add the ground meat, cook the meat thoroughly and then brown it

Turn down the heat, add the garlic, hot peppers, and corn – lightly cook

Once the meat mixture is about ready, add the cumin, chipotle, coriander, and chili spice (if desired).

In a large soup pot warm the tomatoes, add the meat and onion mixture, oregano, and throw in the mushrooms if desired.  Simmer this mixture for however long you want (normally this is about 30min for me).

Drain and rinse the beans, then add them to the genty simmering pot.  Stir, simmer, add the chives, and taste the mixture – adding more hot peppers if necessary.

I like to garnish chili with freshly chopped jalapenos and – when I’m trying to gain weight – I crumble in some organic blue corn tortilla chips.  Black pepper always goes well in everything.


Shopping list:

1.5c Black beans
1.5c Kidney beans
1-2lbs ground meat
1-2 jars strained tomatoes (or canned chopped tomatoes)
1-2 onions
5+ garlic cloves
2-4 hot peppers – Jalapeno, Serrano, Habanero
Frozen corn
Fresh or dried oregano
Fresh cilantro
A couple of mushrooms
Ground coriander
1-3 Chipotle peppers