My original purpose in wanting to cook foods from scratch was to avoid excessive sodium that goes into many packaged foods. I actually did not start cooking “real” food until after our first child was born. Prior to becoming a mother, the extent of my cooking included making toast and cereal. I have since expanded my kitchen skills.
Robert, my husband, thoroughly disgusted me with his love of canned chili. I just happened to glance at the sodium content on the can – 1,200 milligrams of sodium per serving – YIKES! With two servings in each can, that puts your sodium content to at least 2,400 milligrams just for one meal. Keep in mind that the daily recommended consumption of sodium is around 1,500 milligrams, but should not exceed 2,300 milligrams per day.
My first successful mission was in creating homemade chili without the processed junk, thus eliminating most sodium.
Go grab these ingredients. No weird food stuffs here – just good vegetables, meat, and some seasonings.
1 lb. ground beef or turkey
3-4 tomatoes – chopped
16 oz. pinto beans – cooked
¼ c. green pepper – chopped
½ c. onion – chopped
½ c. carrots – sliced
½ c. celery – chopped
1 clove garlic – minced
1/8 tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. chili powder
Soak those dried beans overnight then cook them according to the package. Do not even think about using a can of pre-cooked beans! You are looking at 350 milligrams of sodium in canned beans versus 15 milligrams in dry beans. Take the time to soak and simmer those frijoles!
Brown and rinse off the meat. Mix all of the ingredients together into a large stock pot. Stir well, cover, and simmer for about an hour. It will look dry at first, but the juices in the tomatoes will eventually moisten up the rest of the ingredients. Add a couple tablespoons of water if you are really concerned about the moisture. Lift the lid occasionally to stir and inhale the amazingly fresh aroma!
We get about 10 decent sized servings out of this recipe. The total sodium content here is around 450 milligrams. It’s fresh, delicious, and freezes well also. Eat up without the potential after effects of excessive sodium.