THE BITEjulia grieve


THE BITEjulia grieve

Mumma Jack’s Best-Ever Chili

Serves 4: Double this recipe to make it last a few nights or to stuff into a pita or wrap for lunch.

1 tin of red kidney beans (You can also add chick peas, a bean medley, or any other beans you like)
1 tin of baked beans in tomato sauce
1 diced onion (I usually include a few)
1 small chili pepper chopped (add more if you like it hot)
a pinch of paprika

a shake of ground cumin
a splash of oil
75ml red table wine
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 vegetable stock cube
3 squares of dark chocolate

Make it like so…
In a large pan sauté the onion, chopped chili pepper, paprika and cumin in the oil on low heat. Gently stir until the onion softens. Then pour in the wine, add the chopped tomatoes and crumble in the stock cube. Let all the ingredients simmer.

Rinse the beans and tip them into the sauce. Open the baked beans and empty the entire can into the pot. Then (drumroll) add the chocolate and stir until it has melted and the beans are thoroughly mixed. 


Over the decade I struggled to lose weight and I never would have eaten this chili. Not just because it has chocolate in it, but because it’s a complete meal. When I was trying to get fit I tended to graze all day. That weight-loss approach kept me about 30 pounds overweight and completely preoccupied by hunger. Finally I got fed up! So I went back to the basics and began eating roughly balanced meals made mostly of whole foods. 

When I started eating the way I did as a kid, I got my energy and healthy body back. Best of all, I could concentrate on everything I care about.

Eating fresh food from e-v-e-r-y food group helps you reach and maintain a healthy weight naturally.

Having a few go-to recipes makes planning balanced meals easier. Which brings me to this Dark Chocolate Chili Recipe inspired by "A Girl Called Jack" by Jack Munroe. The official meal of the Lone Star State! (Minus the chocolate.) 

For those who are wincing over the chocolate part of this chili, fear not. I too was skeptical. The idea just did not appeal to me. But I’m pleased to report this recipe tastes great and is quick to make. It will warm you up in the *chilly* dark depths of winter. Let the sun shine in!



What’s the chocolate all about?
The chocolate adds flavour, colour and thickens the stew. Just make sure it’s dark chocolate. Milk chocolate will overwhelm your meal with sugar.

Quick Tip:
Add 3 cardamom pods to your rice while cooking. It adds a spicy, herbal and citrusy flavour. Don’t forget to take them out before serving!

How to make this meal more balanced:
Serve the chili on rice (if you haven’t tried brown rice give it a whirl). Then add a dollop of sour cream (full fat) on top or cottage cheese. Finish with a handful of cilantro. 

Eat until you feel full. Why? Balanced meals made of natural foods fill you up naturally. They’re not full of artificial ingredients that make you want to keep eating. 

Are you ready and rarin’ to go? Turn your kitchen into a chili parlour! 

How did you adapt this recipe?


Kelly Clark shares how she got healthy in her blog It took me 10 years to lose 10 pounds at She is based in Toronto, obsessed with Preloved clothing and is passionate about sustainable living.