Super-Picky Eaters’ Low Oxalate Chili

by Heidi on October 20, 2011

Super Picky Eaters' Chili BEFORE . . .

If your kids complain and pick at their chili because of the “yucky” vegetables, this low oxalate chili is for you!  My sons used to love my chili.  They ate big chunks of red pepper and onion with smiles on their faces.  Then the picky “threes” started, and suddenly my good eaters wouldn’t eat anything.  My solution–puree, puree, puree!

This mild, yet satisfying, chili can be made low carbohydrate or Paleo-style without beans or corn (leaving out the beans reduces the oxalate content quite a bit, too).  You may also add other low oxalate vegetables, such as pumpkin or butternut squash to sweeten the chili and add more vegetable nutrition.  The key with my picky eaters right now is to puree the vegetables that they don’t like (such as onions and red peppers) and to leave the vegetables they do like whole (such as corn and butternut squash), so that  they recognize the yummy chunks in their food and are more likely to eat it.

and AFTER! (yes, I helped him get the last bite.)

I made this chili last night and my boys chowed it down.  I used a can of corn and added the beans to the boys’ bowls right before serving, skipping my own bowl.  That way my boys got the kidney beans they love (they eat medium oxalate) and I was able to eat a double portion without too much oxalate (I eat low oxalate, and am trying to reduce my bean consumption).  And yes, if you don’t want to puree your food, this chili is still very tasty with the  veggie chunks left in.

Super-Picky Eaters Low Oxalate Chili

2 1/2 pounds ground beef (I prefer grassfed beef)
2 cups water
1 cup onion, roughly chopped
1 cup red bell pepper, roughly chopped
6-8 cloves garlic
3 cups tomato juice
1 1/2 cups cooked black-eyed peas or kidney beans* (1 can)
1 1/2 cups sweetcorn (or low oxalate veggie of choice – see variations)
2 teaspoons McCormick chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Brown the beef in a dutch oven or stew pot over medium heat.  Pour off the grease and return the beef to the stove. Meanwhile, put the water, onion, red pepper and garlic in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Boil until the peppers and onions are soft.  Use a soup wand (stick blender) to puree the vegetables or put them into a blender or food processor and blend until the onions and red peppers are well pureed.  Add the pureed vegetables and tomato juice to the beef and simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour.  Add the beans, corn and spices (no need to drain the beans and corn unless you want to) and continue to simmer until the flavors have melded and the chili has cooked down to your desired thickness (drain the corn before adding for a thicker chili). Serve with chopped cilantro, shredded cheese or a dollop of yogurt if desired.

Makes about 12 cups of soup

Oxalate Note:  Kidney beans (11.1 mg. oxalate per half cup), chili powder (8.1 mg./half cup) and tomato juice (5.0 mg./cup) are medium oxalate ingredients.  The rest of the ingredients are low oxalate or very low oxalate.  If you leave out the beans/peas, this chili has about 4.2 mg. oxalate per one cup serving (with 3 ounces of beef per serving, this is enough for a child, but adults will probably want 1.5-2 servings).  If you use black-eyed peas, this recipe has about 5.0 mg. per serving.  If you use kidney beans, about 7 mg. oxalate per serving.

If you can handle a little more oxalate and your kids will eat a spicier chili, I strongly suggest you add one more cup tomato juice and 1 more teaspoon chili powder.  This recipe made with 4 cups tomato juice, 3 teaspoons chili powder and 1 can black-eyed peas has about 6.0 mg. oxalate per serving and is a very satisfying chili! And of course, if you really want kidney beans and can limit yourself to one serving, then this recipe made with 4 cups tomato juice, 3 teaspoons chili powder, and 1 can kidney beans has 8 mg. oxalate per 1 cup serving.

Tip for Families with Non-Low Oxalate Dieters:  Try adding the beans and a dash more chili powder to the non-low oxalate dieters bowls right before serving to please them,  while keeping the low oxalate dieters’ bowls bean-free and not as spicy.

Variations: Add a little pumpkin or butternut squash puree for a sweeter chili.  You may also add any other low oxalate vegetable your kids like to eat, such as broccoli or cauliflower.  I once made a “chili vegetable soup,” using ground turkey, corn, broccoli, cauliflower, and mushrooms along with the onion, red pepper and tomato juice.  My kids ate it, so I consider it a success even though I thought it was just okay tasting.

Add more cayenne pepper if you want more heat (it’s low oxalate, so don’t be shy).

If you can’t have tomato juice with your diet, use about 1 cup diced tomatoes and puree with the rest of the veges.

If you don’t want to puree your vegetables, cook the meat as directed until it is not quite browned.  Pour off the grease, then add the onions, red pepper and garlic to the beef.  Saute until the onions are translucent and the red pepper are soft.  Add the tomato juice (and a little water or beef broth if needed), then continue the recipe as written.

Other Diets:  Super Picky Eater’s Chili may be appropriate for controlled carbohydrate, gluten-free and dairy-free diets.  May also be appropriate for low carbohydrate, Paleo, and SCD diets with modifications.

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