This is a follow up to the first part of my fat loss recipes installment, which was pretty much on the sweet side with pancakes, brownie protein bars and a banana shake. This time, I’ll focus on something that’s more spicy.
One of the best investements in my younger years was the Gourmet Nutrition cook book. Some of the recipes in there still form the stable of my nutrition. With one meal, I feel especially connected. Chili.
As always, there’s a story to that. As kids (when we were something around 17 years old, might have been 16), Toni (a good friend of mine) and I were touring through Europe. There’s this train ticket called Interrail which basically entitles you to use any train at any time, provided there are free seats. I hear they’ve made changes since, with zones that separate Europe and what not, but back then it was wild. We met some girls in Marseille, one thing led to the other and a couple days later we went to Deventer in the Netherlands to visit one of them. She made us chili for dinner and since then, chili always summons some nice memories.
More important, though, chili is nutritous, tasty, and can be cooked in bulk. Dr Johns Chili (https://www.t-nation.com/diet-fat-loss/20-pounds-in-20-weeks) is the gold standard when it comes to healthy tex-mex food and should definitely be used as a template / starting point. I’ve made some minor changes to the recipe, but in essence, I have to attribute it to Dr. Berardi of Precision Nutrition. Some of the ingredients that are regularly proposed by PN (such as Pecan nuts and Cashew nuts) are rather expensive over here, others (such as the V8 juice) simply aren’t available.
Doesn’t get any simpler than this:
- Extra lean ground beef, 3 Kg
- Kidney Beans, 6 cans á 255 g net weight
- White beans, 3 cans á 530 g net weight
- Carrots, 3 Kg
- Onions, 1 Kg
- Tomatoes, 3.5 Kg
- Slice the carrots
- Slice the onions
- Dice the tomatoes
- Drain & Rinse the Beans
- Use some fat (I like extra virgin coconut fat) to brown the onions on low heat
- Add the meat to the onions and brown on moderate heat
- Add spices. I like to use a good amount of cumin, cheyenne pepper, red pepper, and chili powder. I play this by the ear, but cumin is definitely the dominant factor.
- Add the beans to the cooked onions & meat
- Add some water, then the carrots and tomatoes. Boil under a closed lid until everything is soft and has the typical color you’d expect chili to have.
As mentioned, I cook my chili in bulk. The above listed amounts will get you around 23 servings of 430-450 g each. For those that don’t see the merits of the metric system, that’s around a pound of food. Usually, I’d add flax meal, for texture. Dr John suggests cashew meal, but as stated above, that’s much more expensive and flax is superior with regards to the fatty acid profile. In a diet phase, however, I’d rather limit calorie density of my meals.
When it comes to serving size, the Canadian Food Guide suggests filling half the plate with veggies, around 30% with grains and the rest with meat and alternatives, as shown in the image below.
Conversely, Precision nutrition has a slightly more sophisticated approach (that completents their hand-based serving sizes – PN really offers different strategies for different clients. It’s all about individualization and fitting the approach to the clients needs) that differentiates between any-time and post workout meals. The approach is illustrated below. According to science, nutrient timing might not play such a big role after all, but then a rudimentary carb cycling approach can’t hurt you, either. If you look at the picture of my actual serving, you’ll notice that I filled approximately half my plate with steamed broccoli. The other half is filled with chili, which is a combination of fats, protein, starches (in form of beans, which are also a secondary protein source) and more veggies. Can’t go wrong with that. Also, in case you were wondering, I didn’t forget the peppers in the recipe. I just don’t really like them all soft, so sometimes I dice some up and toss them into the pan when I re-heat my meal.
In case you need harder science on serving size, consider Alan Aragons protein recommendations. At a recent workshop I attended, he suggested 0.4-0.5 g of protein to the ingested at every meal for four faily meals. In my case, that’s in the 30-36 g range. Close enough. Also, Alan recommended getting 20%-50% of the calories from fat and filling the rest with carbs. All these recommendations are met with the chili.
Takes great, too. How do you like your chili? Share your best recipe in the comments or link to your resources – sharing is caring. Looking forward to reading about your stew of choice.
don’t get hurt