Friday, January 11, 2013

Recipe #1 Bison & Butternut Cocoa Chili

This was my first attempt in the Practical Paleo cookbook :)

It turned out great!  Although it was WAY TOO SPICY for my taste and my guest's taste.  If I were to make it over I would use half of all the spicy spices...(e.g. paprika, chili and chipotle powder) 

In addition, I used Lamb stew meat instead of Bison, because the Whole Foods near my house (Gateway shopping center) now finishes their Bison on grains, vs. their previous diet of being finished on carrots and potatoes.  I would have preferred to get the lamb from the farmer's market of course, but I was short on time, so Whole Foods had to do.

Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful for them!  In fact, I actually worked at that location for a brief season in between semester's at ACU, but anytime my dollar can go to the local movement (farmers market) I strive to do so!!

Remember every choice counts when it comes to our dollar and we make it at least three times per day! 

Photo: At home in the kitchen (of course:) cooking a new paleo delight...Bison and butternut cocoa chili :) + baked sweet potatoes with sundried tomatoes and a BEAUTIFUL salad with homemade avocado dressing.

It is wonderful to have a chili option that is legume free!


3 cloves garlic, smashed ( I used organic canned garlic and guessed on the exact amount/ in my opinion you can never have enough garlic!!)

1 tablespoon smoked paprika (I'd use 1/2 if I were to do it again)

2 tablespoons chili powder (Same as above)

1 tablespoon chipotle powder (Same as above)

1 tablespoon cinnamon - (more the merrier)

1 tablespoon 100% cocoa powder

1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt

2 tablespoons black pepper

32 oz diced tomatoes- canned or 4 cups fresh, diced

1 lb bison (I used lamb stew meat)

2 cups butternut squash, peeled (I used already prefrozen organic butternut squash in the frozen section at whole foods plus it's like 2.99 per package)

1 onion, diced into 2-inch pieces (I didn't worry with the whole 2 inch thing)

1 bell pepper, diced into 2- inch pieces ( same as above)


Mix the garlic and all the spices with the diced tomatoes

place the meat, squash, onion, and bell pepper in a slow- cooker and cover with the tomato mixture (above)

cover and cook on LOW for 4-6 hours (I have a small slow cooker and it only took me 4 hours) 

*NOTE: Don't have a slow cooker? Use an enameled cast iron pot in an oven at 300 degrees F for 4-6 hours. 


Decided to pair this lovely chili with some baked sweet potatoes drizzled with a local garlic flavored olive oil (I get at the farmers market/downtown location) this company rocks!!

Plus don't forget the sun-dried tomatoes thrown in there with the sweet potatoes! Man they add the FLAVOR. I also made some grilled coconut flakes with a tad of cinnamon and sea salt as a topper for the sweet potatoes.  They are truly wonderful and satisfy that craving for crunch. 

Complimented it all with a fresh salad compiled with every veggie in my fridge that was fresh  (but I grilled them a bit first with a tad of coconut oil) Don't forget the homemade avocado dressing which compliments it nicely.  Whatever vinegar you have on hand will work!

My preference? Some avocado, a little apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, and balsamic vinegar mixed with some spicy mustard, a bit of stevia and presto! 

Don't forget a nice red wine to wash it down; a bit sweet is nice in my opinion.  On a side note, I recently discovered that not all organic wines are in fact sulfate free! Make sure you check the label if this is important to you.  It is to me, because I don't experience the negative side effects associated with drinking wine with sulfates. 


Sulfite, also known as sulfur dioxide, is a preservative that both occurs naturally and is added to wine. Sulfites are produced by the yeast added to wine for fermentation, but sulfites are often added to boost the preservation of wines. In people who lack the enzyme to break down sulfites, they can at high levels produce some unpleasant side effects.
bon appetit :) 

Taken by me! 

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