Saturday, November 3, 2012

Bison Chili

Bison Chili

Forget ground turkey.  When you want a lean chili, try bison.  It's got that beefy flavor that poultry just can't imitate.  In addition to being leaner than beef, bison has the benefit of being free of antibiotics and hormone injections because the animals are a protected species.

Ground Bison

I won't lie to you: one drawback is the price.  Bison costs close to $10 a pound around here, and this recipe calls for 2 pounds of meat.  Eating healthy ain't cheap.  I initially thought about halving the recipe, but halving the cans of beans, hominy, and tomatoes becomes inconvenient.  What can you do with half a can of hominy?  But if you think of the cost in servings instead of the total, at 6 servings it works out to $4 a serving.  Not bad.

Bison Chili 2

I think the recipe loses a little of the rich mouthfeel that a traditional beef chili has because the bison tastes leaner, but that's the fat missing.  Joe gave a better review, saying he preferred this to traditional beef chili.  With the holidays coming up and winter being full of heavy foods, it's nice to have a leaner alternative when you want a hot bowl of chili on those wintry days.  Your waistline will be thankful.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and Walnuts

And if you really want to be healthy, try this recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts that has dried cranberries and walnuts from Oh My Veggies.  It also has baked apple but I ate my last one, so I roasted some grapes with the sprouts.  I discovered on my Facebook page that lots of you out there are sprouts lovers!  Alas, this was my first taste of sprouts and I don't really dig them.  But I was in the minority -- two of my friends loved them and asked for the recipe.  And the flavors of maple, cranberry, and walnut are great.  If you like sprouts, you'll love this recipe.

Healthy Bison Chili
From Kelsey's Essentials

2 tsp vegetable oil
2 pounds lean ground bison
3 poblano peppers, seeded and diced
2 medium onions, diced
6 tbs Mexican chili powder (I decreased to 2 tbs, because I'm a spice wimp)
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp kosher salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
One 14.5-ounce can whole fire-roasted tomatoes, crushed by hand
One 15.5-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
One 15.5-ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
One 15.5-ounce can white hominy, drained and rinsed

Optional garnishes:
8-ounce container low-fat sour cream
½ cup shredded low-fat cheese
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
½ medium red onion, finely chopped
Lime wedges, for serving
Avocado, diced, for serving

Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the bison and cook until browned, taking care not to break the meat into very small pieces, about 10 minutes. Transfer the bison to a plate using a slotted spoon and set aside. Drain the liquid in the bottom of the pot and discard.

Keep the pot over medium-high heat and add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil, the poblano peppers and onions. Cook until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the chili powder, coriander, cumin, salt, cayenne pepper and garlic. Cook and stir until the spices are fragrant and toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes with the juices, and bring to a simmer while scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pan, about 2 minutes.

Return the bison to the pot and add the black beans, kidney beans, hominy and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat, cover and simmer until thickened, about 45 minutes. Season with salt. Serve with the sour cream, cheese, cilantro, onions, lime and avocados, if desired.


  1. Interesting meat used here, I havent tried bison yet but definitely I will give it a shot if got a chance

    1. I think it's most popular as a burger. Give it a try!

  2. Bison is not available here but chili is a favourite anytime so I imagine it must have been amazing.

  3. You can have the chili and I'll take the brussels sprouts. :D

  4. My husband loves bison, but I've never cooked it at home. I don't mind the high price as long as the quality justify the price. I love chilis and it's one of the dishes that I need to make on my own! This looks delicious Shirley!!!

    1. Thanks! You'll have to make it for your husband. And even at that high price, it's more affordable than eating out.


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