Healthy Beef Chili. The perfect balance between comfort and healthy food. Use the crockpot to help you save time during the busy holidays!

Hi all! How was your weekend my friends? Are you ready for the holidays? I still have some shopping to do but at least I managed to put a Christmas tree up last weekend. We debated whether to put one up this year (after having a very hectic year) and settled on doing a small (real) one (4 ft tall).  I have fallen in love with it! I may continue getting a small real tree each year from now on. But who knows, I seem to change my mind all the time so don’t take my word for it;)

What I’m sure of is that I got the bug to bake, bake & bake! So you may see a few dessert posts coming up pretty soon (this makes Mr. Delish very happy by the way:))

Healthy Beef Chili. The perfect balance between comfort and healthy food. Use the crockpot to help you save time during the busy holidays!

Don’t you love it when a comfort food dish is also healthy? Chili is one of those dishes that is packed with protein, fiber, minerals, antioxidants and more. I like to use 96% ground beef but I heard other people like to make theirs with ground turkey. I’m not in to ground turkey but if you are, you should give it a try! The other thing that makes this recipe fantastic is that you can cook it in the crock-pot without being glued to the stove having to stir it every 15 minutes. Who has time for that?

Healthy Beef Chili. The perfect balance between comfort and healthy food. Use the crockpot to help you save time during the busy holidays!

I found this recipe on Facebook attached to a generic photo. I don’t even know the exact source to credit accordingly. It’s supposed to mirror Wendy’s Chili but I made a few adjustments that made it better (IMO;))

Healthy Beef Chili
 
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Author:
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds 96% ground beef
  • 1 quart tomato juice 1 (29-ounce)
  • 1 can tomato purée 1 (15-ounce)
  • 1 can red kidney beans, drained (15-ounce)
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained (15-ounce)
  • 1 medium-large onion, chopped
  • ¾ cup diced celery
  • ½ cup diced green bell pepper
  • 3 Tablespoon chili powder (use ¼ cup for more spicy less chili)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin (use more for real flavor)
  • 1½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef.
  2. Drain off the fat (if any).
  3. In a large crockpot, add the beef and the remaining ingredients
  4. Cover the pot and let the chili simmer for 3 hours on low.
  5. Serve warm with crackers or cornbread.

 

Healthy Beef Chili. The perfect balance between comfort and healthy food. Use the crockpot to help you save time during the busy holidays!

L~ F~:
  • Absolutely gorgeous photos, and this chili looks so delicious!! I love beef chili, and now I’m majorly craving it. Pinned!ReplyCancel

    • ana @ fit, fun & delish!

      Hi Rachel! Chili is perfect especially during this time of year. Thanks so much for your commend and the pin! Have a fantastic day xo, AnaReplyCancel

 

A tutorial on how to make authentic Mexican Beef Tamales

Okay let me start with a disclaimer that this blog post is not about pretty photos. This post is all about how to make Beef Tamales! It’s the holidays after all and Tamales are a typical dish during this time of year in most Mexican homes. Due to the amount of work involved most people buy them from other sources instead of making them at home. But I’m about to show you the easy way to make Tamales!! Most of the heavy work is making the masa just right since you have to do it by hand when mixing the lard and the masa to the right consistency. Using a mixer will be your best friend in this case and you’ll see how easy it is.

I was able to make 80 tamales in about 4 hours total….all by myself! In this process I’m counting the time it took me to make the red chile sauce, the beef, the masa and to assemble them and I did this in the course of 2 days. Not bad huh? The time involved to make them also scares people away but is one of those dishes where the outcome is worth it. It’s also a great opportunity to involve other people to help and to do this as a group for fun.

Oh and did you know there is no “e” at the end of tamal? It’s not tamale, it’s tamal… I have no idea where adding the e at the end started but it’s not correct;)Sorry, I had to say it lol!

Alright! Let me show you the easy process of how to make the masa  & how to assemble them (You can find the recipe for the Red Chile Sauce HERE  and the shredded beef instructions are on the recipe at the bottom of this post).

Ready? Set, Go!

Get 2.5 lbs of masa, 1 lb of lard, and a cup with the beef stock & red sauce ready. Using an electric mixer, beat together the salt, lard and baking powder until light and fluffy. With the mixer still running, add the masa bit by bit, adding a little stock/chile sauce mixture when it seems too thick, until all the masa and stock are fully incorporated and well mixed and no lumps remain.

A tutorial on how to make authentic Mexican Beef Tamales

One of the old traditional ways of knowing when the masa is ready, is to add a little bit of masa in a cup with cold water. If it floats then it’s ready!

A tutorial on how to make authentic Mexican Beef Tamales

To Assemble The Tamales:
Start by soaking the dried corn husks in hot water for a few minutes to soften them. Get all of your ingredients lined up and ready for the assembly.

A tutorial on how to make authentic Mexican Beef Tamales

Scoop some masa onto one large or two overlapping smaller husks and smear it with a spoon (about a 1/4 cup). Add some shredded beef, 1 potato slice & olives. (the Tamal face was not intentional… it just happened. I swear:))

A tutorial on how to make authentic Mexican Beef Tamales

Roll the husk to enclose the masa. Shape it by gently squeezing it. Fold up the bottom (the narrow end), leaving the top open.

A tutorial on how to make authentic Mexican Beef Tamales

Wrap each shaped tamal in a small sheet of foil. This helps the tamales retain their shape during steaming and keeps them most until you’re ready to serve them.

A tutorial on how to make authentic Mexican Beef Tamales

Picture not shown: Using a large steamer, put the wrapped tamales standing up, with the water in the bottom of the steamer not touching the tamales. Note: do not over pack the steamer with tamales since it may affect how the tamales cook.

Cover and steam about one hour. To test whether tamales are done, remove one and gently pry it out of its husk. The dough should pull away from the husk easily and should hold together. The texture of a fully steamed tamal is bread like but very fine-grained and moist.

Beef Tamales
 
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On my post I mentioned that it took me about 5 hours to make 80 tamales and that was for 4
Author:
Serves: 20
Ingredients
  • Shredded Beef
  • 2 pounds beef should roast or chuck roast (cut in 2 inches squares and most of the fat removed)
  • 1 onion (cut in half)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 cups of red chile sauce (or more if necessary)
  • For the masa:
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 pound lard
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2½ punds fresh masa
  • ½ cup beef stock
  • ½ cup red chile sauce
  • Optional fillings:
  • 2 potatoes sliced in long strings (par cooked)
  • Olives (1 per tamal, cut in half)
Instructions
  1. Shredded Beef
  2. In a large pot add the beef, onion, garlic, oregano, salt & pepper. Cover with enough water to cook the ingredients.
  3. Cook until the meat is fork tender and comes apart with no resistance, about 2 hours. When done, remove the roast to a platter to cool, reserve the beef broth.
  4. Hand shred the meat
  5. Add the red chile sauce and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  6. Masa
  7. Using an electric mixer, beat together the salt, lard and baking powder until light and fluffy. With the mixer still running, add the masa bit by bit, adding a little stock when it seems too thick, until all the masa and stock are fully incorporated and well mixed and no lumps remain.
  8. To Assemble The Tamales
  9. Start by soaking the dried corn husks in hot water for a few minutes to soften them.
  10. Scoop some masa onto one large or two overlapping smaller husks and smear it with a spoon.
  11. Add about ¼ cup of shredded beef, 1 potato slice & olives.
  12. Roll the husk to enclose the masa. Shape it by gently squeezing it. Fold up the bottom (the narrow end), leaving the top open.
  13. Wrap each shaped tamal in a small sheet of foil. This helps the tamales retain their shape during steaming and keeps them most until you're ready to serve them.
  14. Using a large steamer, put the wrapped tamales standing up, with the water in the bottom of the steamer not touching the tamales. Note: do not over pack the steamer with tamales since it may affect how the tamales cook.
  15. Cover and steam about one hour.
  16. To test whether tamales are done, remove one and gently pry it out of its husk.
  17. The dough should pull away from the husk easily and should hold together. The texture of a fully steamed tamal is bread like but very fine-grained and moist.

 

A tutorial on how to make authentic Mexican Beef Tamales

link
L~ F~:
  • Ilse

    I always thought making tamales was the hardest meal to make, but you madre it look so easy! I think I can do it! Thank you so much!ReplyCancel

 

No Bake Energy Bites | So easy to make and they are perfect as a snack, breakfast, pre workout or even dessert!

Hi my friends! How was your Thanksgiving? I hope you all ate plentiful and had a fantastic time with family & friends! Mr. Delish and I hosted Thanksgiving this year for our family and some friends (we were 12 people total) and had a great time despite some hectic moments. Let me tell ya, I will never underestimate the time it takes to get everything on the table at the same time! The last hour or so before we planned on sitting down to eat was chaos in the kitchen! I can’t even remember why it was so chaotic but it was. Mr. Delish and I were running around the kitchen like chickens with their heads cut off LOL!

I don’t know how you all do it but I’ll welcome any tips on how you manage to get everything on the table at the same time (while being relaxed of course;)). And it’s not like we procrastinated or anything….I started prepping for this two days in advanced! Man, I need to get better at this for next year:)

No Bake Energy Bites | So easy to make and they are perfect as a snack, breakfast, pre workout or even dessert!

But let’s move on to these amazeballs shall we? My friend David brought these Energy Bites for a get together we had at our home a few weeks ago and they were a hit! I knew right away that I had to recreate and blog about them. In fact, all of my friends are waiting for this recipe right now and I better hurry and post it before they get mad at me.

These No Bake Energy Bites are full of healthy ingredients, but you would never know it as they are very indulgent. The chocolate chips and the peanut butter are what makes them a little naughty in my book, but the extra calories are definitely worth it. There is a reason why they’re called “Energy Bites” after all;)

Friends, you’re welcome!:)

No Bake Energy Bites | So easy to make and they are perfect as a snack, breakfast, pre workout or even dessert!

I would like to credit David’s friend Suzy for sharing this with him. I also did a search for this recipe and it’s all over the internet! So I truly don’t know who was the creator of these Energy Bites and I apologize for not crediting the appropriate person.

Energy Bites
 
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Author:
Serves: 20
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dry oatmeal
  • ½ cup chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate chips but you can use your favorite ones)
  • ½ cup peanut butter (creamy or chunky is fine)
  • ½ cup ground flaxseed
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl using a spatula or a wooden spoon.
  2. Shape mixture into 1 inch balls by rolling with palms of hand.
  3. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes

 

L~ F~:

 

Traditional Red Sauce | For Tamales, Enchiladas, Carne Con Chile, and more! A how to guide to make this Mexican traditional sauce.

Oh hi there!!!! How are you all doing?? I’m doing superb and finally enjoying the great weather that beautiful Arizona has to offer during this time of year! I’m really looking forward to spending time outdoors, grilling, bike rides and a few hikes here and there. Are you jealous yet? lol!

Okay I’m not going to beat around the bush any more and ignore the fact that it was exactly one month ago since I’ve blogged! I know I’ve been a bad bad blogger but sometimes things happen that are out of your control and you have to choose your priorities (as in when survival mode kicks in). Don’t get me wrong, my blog is always a top priority but this time other stuff got the best of me; I changed jobs two weeks ago and I can honestly say that it was one of the best decisions I’ve made in a loooong time. The entire process happened so fast that I barely had time to digest what was going on. But when a GREAT opportunity comes knocking on your door, you must act fast and not think about it twice.  Right? I’m still working from home but now I’ll be doing consulting work for a great company.

So for the past month I had to transition from one crazy job to a great one PLUS we had a housewarming get together for some close friends. Getting your house ready to show your friends is a major thing if you ask me! I love to entertain and this was a great time for me to show my culinary skills.

For the main dish I decided to serve Beef Tamales. They are perfect for this time of year. I decided to blog about the process on how to make authentic Mexican Beef Tamales and will be doing two posts to show you the how to’s.  Making tamales is time consuming. The two things that will make a difference in your tamales are the Red Chile Sauce (Chile Rojo) and the Masa.

On this post (part I) we’ll talk about how to make the Red Chile Sauce and part II will be how to make the masa, shredded beef & how to assemble them. The beauty of this sauce is that you can make a few cups, freeze it and use later as needed. You can also make Enchiladas, Carne con Chile, Pozole, Chilaquiles …. so versatile! My sister Brenda is the expert at making this sauce and she’s the one that showed me how to do it. I’m so blessed to come from a family of great cooks!:)

Okay let’s start with good chiles. I like to combine two different type of chiles as it gives extra depth to the flavors. It’s not about how spicy the sauce is… it’s always about the flavor! Chile New Mexico and Pasilla are my faves.

Traditional Red Sauce | For Tamales, Enchiladas, Carne Con Chile, and more! A how to guide to make this Mexican traditional sauce.

Remove the top of the chiles and shake out most of the seeds. In a large pot, add the chiles and all of the spices.  Add enough water to cover all of the chiles.

You may have to push the chiles down in order to squeeze them all in as they tend to be bulky.  Cover and cook on medium heat for about 2 hours.

Traditional Red Sauce | For Tamales, Enchiladas, Carne Con Chile, and more! A how to guide to make this Mexican traditional sauce.

Once the chiles are soft, transfer to a blender or food processor and add about 1 to 2 cups of water each batch. Start with 1 cup and add more if they are not blending well due to being dry.

Traditional Red Sauce | For Tamales, Enchiladas, Carne Con Chile, and more! A how to guide to make this Mexican traditional sauce.

Add the pureed chiles through a strainer to remove the remaining seeds and skins.  Push the chile mix with a spoon to get the most out of them.
Once all of the chiles are strained,  transfer to a big bowl and add more salt and pepper to taste.

Traditional Red Sauce | For Tamales, Enchiladas, Carne Con Chile, and more! A how to guide to make this Mexican traditional sauce.

Traditional Red Sauce (For Tamales, Enchiladas, Chile Con Carne and more!)
 
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This recipe makes about 4 cups but could easily be doubled. Can be frozen in freezer bags or containers for up to 6 months.
Author:
Serves: 4 cups
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces dried New Mexico chiles
  • 4 ounces dried Pasilla chiles
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon beef bullion powder
Instructions
  1. Remove the top of the chiles and shake out most of the seeds.
  2. In a large pot, add the chiles and all of the spices.
  3. Add enough water to cover all of the chiles.
  4. Cover and cook on medium heat for about 2 hours.
  5. The following steps will be done in batches until all of the chiles are blended:
  6. Once the chiles are soft, transfer to a blender or food processor and add about 1 to 2 cups of water each batch. Start with 1 cup and add more if they are not blending well due to being dry.
  7. Add the pureed chiles through a strainer to remove the remaining seeds and skins.
  8. Push the chile mix with a spoon to get the most out of them.
  9. Once all of the chiles are strained, transfer to a big bowl and add more salt and pepper to taste.

 

L~ F~:
  • I just love your photography. I hope we get a chance to work together some day.ReplyCancel

    • ana @ fit, fun & delish!

      Hi Caren! Sorry I’m just seeing my comments! I was having problems with wordpress :) … anyhow, I hope so too! California is not that far from AZ so you never know! Happy Holidays!ReplyCancel

  • I love this! Most people think that “red sauce” is loaded with tomatoes but it’s all chile just like you did here. The bouillon idea is so smart too! Bet it adds a nice depth of flavor. Totally trying that next time.ReplyCancel

    • ana @ fit, fun & delish!

      So true Vijay! no tomatoes involved here :) Oh and bouillon is my best friend lol! Have a great day!ReplyCancel

  • […] total….all by myself! In this process I’m counting the time it took me to make the red chile sauce, the beef, the masa and to assemble them and I did this in the course of 2 days. Not bad huh? The […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Traditional Red Sauce (Chile Rojo For Tamales, Enchiladas, Chile Con Carne and more!) […]ReplyCancel