Chili has always been a cool-weather staple. Then I became diabetic a little over a year ago and learned that beans were totally off limits as were any quantity of tomatoes over one slice (or two cherry tomatoes). I follow a very low carb way of eating (generally 12 to 15 grams of carbs — total, not net — per day). The good news is that my blood sugar is in excellent control — you can read more about how this allows me to lead the life I wish in Cruising with Diabetes. So my old chili recipe was totally off limits.
Last winter, as I was learning about my new way of eating, I didn’t try to come up with a low-carb chili. But as the weather got chilly this fall, I decided to try. And I came up with a recipe that isn’t just make-do, it’s great. Dave and non-diabetic friends who came over for dinner have loved it.
Side note: Dave is allergic to all milk products and loved it even without the sour cream and cheese on top. And since you’re not using a commercial taco seasoning, it’s gluten-free as well.
See recipe notes for further notes on ingredients and special alerts for diabetics.
- 4 strips bacon
- 3/4 pound ground beef
- 2 green onions
- 1 small zucchini
- 1/4 cup green or red pepper, diced
- 1-1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoon cumin
- dash cayenne pepper
- dash jalapeno powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup cheddar cheese
- 2 cherry tomatoes
- Cut bacon into 1" pieces and fry until crisp. Remove from pan, leaving grease.
- While bacon is cooking, slice green onions. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the sliced green parts for garnish.
- Add ground beef and un-reserved green onion to bacon grease and chop with the side of a spoon. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until almost cooked through.
- While ground beef is cooking, chop green or red peppers. Reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish.
- Add remaining peppers, spices and cooked bacon to ground beef. Turn heat to low and cook 20 minutes to let flavors blend and develop. Stir occasionally.
- Shred cheese while chili is cooking. Slice or dice cherry tomatoes.
- To serve, place chili into bowls and top with shredded cheese, sour cream, reserved peppers, and green onions.