Fitness, Food, Wine & Travel

Chili “Fries” with Avocado Sauce

Chili "Fries" with Avocado Sauce

This is what I had for my Easter dinner. Why? Because it’s perfect food for a ballgame, and that is exactly what I watched this evening! Sunday night Major League Baseball on ESPN! 🙂 And, why blow my diet when I have lost 10 pounds so far? Stay the course, of course. With food like this, it’s EASY to do. Yum. One of the things I do miss (admittedly) is beans! But, I threw in some baby portobello mushrooms diced up and they had the look and “umami” (if you will) of black beans.

Here’s how to make some delicious ball game watching, yet very PALEO grub:

1 or 2 butternut squashes (400g is about one serving)

To prepare the “fries”, it is helpful to have a food dehydrator. This is to dry out the squash as much as possible before you bake it in the oven. I cut my squash into “fry” pieces, then stacked in the dehydrator and set on the vegetable setting for about an hour.

While you have them in the dehydrator, you can prepare the chili.

1 pound grass fed ground beef
1/2 teaspoon dried sage leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 shallot, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 jalapeno pepper, halved, seeded chopped
4 baby portobello mushrooms, diced stems and caps

Spice Mix:
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper, or to taste

After you have prepped all your ingredients, preheat your oven to 385°. You’ll be baking the squash after it has dried out a bit. The dehydrator helps to get the squash pieces more crispy.

Prepare the tomato base (recipe below)

Tomato Base:
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup water (if you aren’t counting calories, you can use red wine in place of the water)
1 (16 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

Blend the tomatoes in the blender or food processor, and add the tomato sauce and water. Add the spices into the tomato mixture, then set aside for later use.

Cook the onions and meat:
In a medium pot, brown the beef with the thyme, sage and garlic. When browned, remove and drain beef. Set aside. Heat the olive oil and add the onion, garlic, shallot, red bell pepper, jalapeno, and mushrooms. Saute until vegetables begin to brown, about 7 to 10 minutes.

At this point, you can remove the squash from the dehydrator, and place it on an oiled sheet pan. Bake in the oven until brown and crispy. (This will probably take as long as it does to finish the chili, so it works out well!)

Put the meat back in the pot with the vegetables, and pour the tomato base with spices over them. Stir to coat everything and combine it. Reduce (cook for 5-10 mins on a lower heat) to intensify the flavor. While the chili is reducing, and the fries are crisping in the oven, you can make the avocado sauce.

Avocado Sauce
1 whole avocado
Juice of one lime
1/4 cup chicken broth

Mash the avocado with a fork and add the juice of one lime, the chicken stock and salt to taste. Mix well and set aside. You will use it as a topping for the chili on the “fries”.

When the fries have browned and crisped up, take them out of the oven and place them on your plate. You can salt them if you like, but I find there is enough salt for me in the chili and avocado sauce. Top the fries with the chili and then pour the avocado mixture over the fries.

If you try this recipe, let me know! All recipes I post here will be fully endorsed by me, which means if I haven’t cooked it, eaten it (and liked it) I don’t expect you to either. Happy cooking and Happy Easter!! 🙂

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