I need cheap and easy food as I try to maintain or gain muscle, while leaning out (a conundrum to be sure). Anyways, we’ve been making huge batches of chili every Sunday for about the last six weeks. It serves for 4-5 meals between my wife, me and two kids that will actually eat it.
Step 1 – find a large pot, don’t underestimate how big you’ll need since you’ll be making a big batch
Step 2 – cut up an onion and put with two pounds of hamburger and two pounds of sausage into the pot. Add a shit load of Penzey chili spices – don’t go the cheap route, the good stuff actually makes a difference (I like Chili 3000, but we got some Chili 9000 so have been mixing the two). I usually start with a Tablespoon per pound of meat while browning then add about the same after the tomatoes are in. I like a little kick to mine.
Step 3 – While that’s starting, cut up some peppers, whatever kind you have. We’ve used jalepeno, green, red, sweet, hot, whatever. Add enough to give it a little more goodness.
Step 4 – after the meat is browned, add about 6 cans of diced tomatoes, two cans of tomato paste (we buy the large packs of cans for both those at Costco) and about a can’s worth of water along with more chili.
Step 5 – simmer a bit, when you’re ready, throw some cheese and maybe some sour cream on top and you’re good to go. No beans to wreck your digestive track and bump up those calories, just good meat chili.
Total cost is roughly $3-5/lb for the meat, $5.50 worth of tomatoes/paste, maybe a $1-2 for the pepper and probably a $1 worth of spice – all in maybe $27 for maybe 16 person-meals (maybe less if you’re hungry like me), or a $1.70 per meal. If you’re going to make a batch, go big and enjoy at lunch (kids take theirs in their thermos) and an extra dinner too.