Beef is a staple ingredient in many dishes, as it serves as one of our major food sources for protein and energy. Selecting grass-fed beef is important[jls1] . Grass-fed beef comes from cows that are allowed to forage on grass, making them highly valuable for their nutrients. Grass-fed beef is rich in omega-3s, which are beneficial in preventing heart disease.
It’s wise enough to avoid CAFO (confined animal feeding operation) beef, since it came from cows that [ECR2] are typically raised with artificial growth hormones and injected with antibiotics. Eating CAFO beef can expose you to excessive antibiotics that can take a toll on your overall health and put you at risk for many diseases.
If you want to serve your family a healthy beef dish, try spicing it up with jalapeno chilies and cumin in this beef bean chili recipe.
2 pounds ground grass-fed beef (17% fat)
2 cups chopped onions
2 tablespoons minced garlic cloves
1 medium jalapeno chili, ribs and seeds removed, minced
1½ tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
7 whole tomatoes, crushed
2 cups of tomato sauce
1 ½ cup kidney beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup plain yogurt, or low-fat yogurt
¼ cup grated grass-fed cheddar cheese, or low-fat grass-fed cheddar cheese
1. Heat a heavy 5-quart pot. Add the ground beef. Cook, stirring and breaking up meat, until browned. Drain excess fat, leaving a small amount to cook onions in.
2. Add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeno; cook until just tender. Stir in the chili powder and cumin. Continue to cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
3. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and the tomato sauce. Simmer for about 30 minutes.
4. Add the beans and continue cooking, uncovered, until meat and beans are very tender, and chili is thick, about 30 minutes more. Serve in small bowls. Garnish each bowl with 1 tablespoon each yogurt and cheddar cheese.
This recipe makes four servings.
Beef and Bean Chili Cooking Tips
Unlike other peppers, it is okay for your jalapenos to have cracks in their skin.[i] Wear gloves when peeling or slicing jalapenos to protect your skin from the stinging sensation from their oils. Do not rub your eyes after handling jalapenos as well. You can take out the seed pods of jalapenos to lessen their spiciness.[ii]
Just like tomatoes, avoid buying canned beans because the can linings may contain bisphenol-A (BPA), an endocrine-disrupting chemical that can leach into your food. You’re better off using fresh organic beans, even if cooking will take longer than usual.
Soak the kidney beans in the water first for at least eight hours[iii] for faster cooking time, and for even tenderness. Drain and replace the water, about one to two inches above the kidney beans, then boil them for 10 minutes in order to destroy their toxins. Then, simmer them for about 45 minutes to one hour. If the beans are still hard and look white, cook them for a little longer.[iv]
Why Is Beef and Bean Chili Good for You?
This recipe provides you with protein and other essential vitamins, especially when you want to spike up your energy.
I personally recommend consuming 100 percent grass-fed beef. Not only does it contain high levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), organically raised beef also protects against antibiotic-resistant disease, which primarily comes from eating CAFO meats. CLA offers other beneficial effects to your body like reducing insulin resistance and fighting cancer.
Grass-fed beef contains higher amounts of omega-3 fats compared to fish, and contains a healthier ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats. Omega-3 fats play a key role in the prevention and treatment of coronary artery disease, hypertension, arthritis, and cancer. Grass-fed beef is also rich in calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
Avoid buying meats from groceries as they always sell CAFO meats. Instead, buy directly from a trusted local rancher, as it is a sure way of purchasing grass-fed beef.
Kidney beans offer a wide range of health benefits especially for those with diabetes, insulin-resistance, or are hypoglycemic, as they contain high amounts of fiber, which can help prevent the increase of sugar levels in your blood.
Kidney beans also provide [ECR4] positive effects for your heart. A study[v] revealed that consuming 21 grams of high-fiber foods like kidney beans every day for 19 years among 10,000 American adults significantly reduced their coronary heart disease risk by 12 percent and had 11 percent [ECR5] decrease risk of cardiovascular disease.
Magnesium, manganese, and iron are other essential nutrients you can get from kidney beans. Magnesium is important in maintaining regular blood flow throughout our body, while iron is an important component of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen from the lungs to your cells. Menstruating women and adolescents should load up on iron as they highly need it.[vi]
Aside from giving your foods a spicy twist, jalapeno is also sizzling with beneficial effects for your body. It contains a high amount of vitamin C that meets 18 percent of the recommended daily amount for men and 23 percent for women. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that fights off free radicals, which can cause cell damage.[vii]
Jalapeno contains pyrixodine as well as vitamins E and K, which is efficient in promoting osteotrophic activity in the bones.
One of jalapeno’s essential chemical is capsaicin, as it provides positive effects for your body, like supporting weight loss when added to your diet. A study has revealed that this compound may help prevent weight gain through decreasing calorie intake, shrinking fat tissue, and lowering your blood fat levels.[viii]
Aside from helping to shed off extra weight, capsaicin also works great as an anti-inflammatory, as it reduces pain and inflammation from arthritis. Moreover, research has[ECR6] shown that capsaicin may help prevent the growth of cancer cells in the prostate while preserving the healthy ones.[ix]