Slow Cooker No Bean Chili

no bean paleo chiliWhen I was a kid, one of my favorite things were days when, after getting off the bus, walking down our country lane and into the house, the being hit with the smell of chili cooking in the crockpot. I love that smell. So warm and comforting. I never knew when my mom was going to make it, but when I smelled that chili, I couldn’t get my shoes off fast enough.  Bonus if it happened to be a rainy day, and my brother and I could sit and watch after school tv while we dried off and ate a few bowls. On days when my mom made chili, we never actually ate dinner. It was a free for all – no one could wait to dig in.

I still love that smell. But Paleo means no beans, which is a main component in most chili recipes I know. I’ve seen paleo chili recipes that are a little more inventive with ingredients than I’d like… I just want my chili to taste like the good stuff I had as a kid.  My mom’s chili isn’t spicy, so you can eat tons of it, without risk of heartburn or gas 🙂  If you insist on the spiciness, feel free to add whatever you like to this one!

So this is my take on slow cooker chili, the way my mom used to make it.  With the air getting cooler, I hope you’ll make a pot for yourself this week and be greeted by that lovely smell when you walk in the door 🙂

**One tip – for all the vegetables, I chop the heck out of them in my Ninja.  In terms of size, think bean-like.  You don’t want them too big or too small – and all veggies should be the same size.**

Slow Cooker No Bean Chili

2 (15oz) cans of tomato sauce (read the label, use the one with the fewest ingredients)

1/2 head of red cabbage, roughly chopped

4 medium tomatos, roughly chopped

4 large stalks of celery, roughly chopped

1 yellow onion, roughly chopped

1 lb beef stew pieces (or lean ground beef)

3-4 Tbsp Taco seasoning (approximate)

2-3 Tbsp chili powder (approximate)

1 tsp cayenne pepper

Black pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker/ crock-pot.  The mixture will see thick, but the vegetables will release water as it cooks, don’t worry 😉  When it comes to the seasoning, I make my own taco seasoning (following this recipe)… I like to add some seasoning, let it simmer and then come back to it.  It all depends on your own tastes… when it tastes right, stop messing with it:)  I don’t add salt to this recipe because I find there to be enough in the taco seasoning and the canned tomato sauce.

Cook on high until meat is fully cooked, approximately 4 hours – or alternatively, on low for 6-8 hours.  To Garnish, use finely grated sharp cheddar cheese & freshly chopped cilantro.  Serve and enjoy.

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