Hearty Beef and Bean Chuckwagon Chili

Posted by on Sep 28, 2012 in Main Dishes | 0 comments

… with Pulp!

Hearty Beef and Bean Chuck Wagon Chili with Pulp md pic
Ever been on a wagon train or out driving the range? Most likely not. I’ve not either. This chili makes me feel as though that’s where I should be when I’m eating it. I even cooked it in my cast iron Dutch oven to give it a more authentic feel. When I scoop out a large ladleful from the pot into my bowl, then close my eyes, I can imagine I’m sitting somewhere on the open range with the cook-hand standing over the campfire stirring the chili.

I’ve made countless batches of gluten-free and dairy-free (and regular) chili over the years, though I’ve never made one that had the same depth and complexity that this one delivers. I’m guessing it is from the added pulp.

I included the pulp from a recent juicing recipe (included below; the juice was too robust for us to enjoy as a drink, so I froze it. I’ll be using it as the base stock for a soup recipe coming soon. Yes, even I have my limits on “umph” in my juices.) My intent for including the pulp was to boost the nutritional value of this gluten-free, dairy-free main dish meal. Finding ways to hide the extra veggies so everyone benefits but no one complains can be a challenge sometimes. I bet the wagon train folk would have loved some veggies during their long, hard, cross-country journeys. I thought chili would hide the pulp well. The surprise bonus here was that the pulp broke down during the cooking process (I let it cook for a couple of hours) and morphed into a velvety smooth base that melded with the tomato sauce, resulting in a luxuriously rich chili where all the flavors blended but still kept the distinctly smokey, spicy (bold from cayenne pepper, not hot) profiles. This recipe has definitely taken top billing in my repertoire of chili recipes. Another bonus … it really did hide the pulp well. I hope you enjoy it. Eat hearty, benefit from the added pulp fiber in your recipes, and be well:D

Hearty Beef and Bean Chuckwagon Chili with Pulp

No Dairy Bug No Gluten BugPrep time: about 20 minutes

Cooking time: can be ready in 30 minutes but the longer the cooking time, the richer the chili becomes.

Serves: 8-10


To make juice and pulp:

2 medium red beets, peeled

6 medium carrots

1 cup kale leaves, ribs removed

1 1/2 cups broccoli florets

8 pearl tomatoes

5 radishes

1 1/2 cups packed spinach leaves


Cut veggies for your juicer and juice, reserving pulp. If this juice is too earthy to enjoy as juice, reserve in a freezer-safe container and save as a base for soup. Will yield about 3 cups juice and 2 1/2 cups pulp.


Ingredients for chili:

2 pounds lean ground beef, grass fed if possible

1 large yellow, sweet onion, peeled and diced

2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

all pulp yielded from juicing recipe listed above

2 28-ounce cans plum tomatoes with basil, reserve juice

4 15-ounce cans dark red kidney beans, drained

1 8-ounce can tomato sauce

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon cumin

2 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves

2 2/3 Tablespoons (8 teaspoons) chili powder

3/4 teaspoon cayenne (red chili) pepper

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup water or broth

garnishes*, if desired



In a large cast iron Dutch oven, or heavy stock pot, add meat and onion. Brown over medium-high heat until meat is cooked and moisture has almost evaporated. Add pulp and olive oil. Stir. Reduce heat to low and cook until veggies are tender, about 5-7 minutes. Stir periodically to prevent sticking.

In a food processor, puree the canned tomatoes. Add the tomatoes, reserved juice, kidney beans, tomato sauce, paprika, cumin, oregano, chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and water. Stir and cover. Simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring periodically. Can be served at this point or can continue cooking longer for richer flavor and a more smooth texture. Enjoy!

Serving suggestions:

*Dollop a spoonful of sour cream (or dairy-free alternative), a handful of grated aged cheddar cheese (or dairy-free alternative), and gluten-free tortilla chips crushed over the top. Mmmm, so good!

Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™

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