Easy & Light Cilantro-Lime-Avocado Chili (Gluten-free, with Paleo option!)

Chili. I read somewhere that there are over 18 MILLION chili recipes on the internet. (That’s more than the number of cookbooks, nutrition articles, and wellness textbooks I own combined!)

As you know, I’m a huge fan of putting wholesome ingredients into the body. I like to be healthy. I feel best when I eat well. And I love chili. The problem? I’m not a big fan of gut-bombs that come, inevitably, from chili in a can, or chili that is made with unhealthy ingredients.

So I did us both a favor and researched recipes, and tossed out the aspects of chili that I don’t like (you know, the unhealthy ones). Then, I decimated my boyfriends’ kitchen (because it’s bigger than mine!) and tried out a few recipes.
(Yes, mom, someday, I’ll learn to clean as I cook.) 🙂mess

I looked for a recipe that was healthier than storebought chili, Paleo (which basically means it sticks to things you could find in the ground or on the ground–like fruit, veggies, and animal protein; Paleo dieters stay away from legumes, or “beans”) and gluten-free, and I wanted something that tasted really, really good. (If I’m going to eat meat, I want to eat it with purpose!)

 This chili is packed with protein (sorry to my vegan friends—this isn’t for you) and quite a bit lighter than many of the recipes I perused for inspiration.


1 Pound grass fed beef, ground (organic)
-32 oz. beef stock, LOW or no sodium
-1 chopped onion
-1 can of organic crushed tomatoes, low or no sodium
-3 organic bell peppers (I used red and yellow, for some varying color)
-1 tablespoons chili powder (or more, to taste…I think I put something like 3 tablespoons total, but I like a LOT of flavor)
-2 tablespoons of cumin
-1 tsp. pepper
-1 tbsp. minced garlic (organic)
-1/2 tsp. Himalayan salt
-1/4 lemon, freshly squeezed
-1/4 lime, freshly squeezed
-Optional: 1-2 cans of organic black beans (reduced sodium)* this makes the diet no longer Paleo, but still quite delicious!
-Garnish: cilantro, a freshly squeezed lime wedge, and avocado


  1. In a large pan, cook the ground beef. Drain excesss liquids (and try to remove “excess fat”. Finish cooking when the meat is thoroughly cooked, and turn off heat. Set aside.
  2. Chop the onion into fine pieces. (Chew bread when you chop the onion…I cry every time!!) Chop the bell peppers as well.
  3. Add the meat, the now chopped onion and bell pepper into a large soup pan (is that the correct terminology!?). Add the beef broth/stock, stewed tomatoes, minced garlic, chili powder, pepper, cumin, lemon, lime, and Himalayan salt. (If your variation will include beans, add them at this point.)
  4. Bring the saucepan (with all ingredients) to a boil. Let simmer for 2-3 minutes, then turn to medium-low and cover for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add water or additional broth if the mixture becomes too thick for your liking.
  5. Once the chili has cooked enough to fill your house with the sweet aromas of cumin, lime, and beef,  pour the chili into bowls and top with cilantro, lime juice, and avocado. Serving size: approximately 6-8
  6. Enjoy!

Note: Because of the added spices, this chili is one of those fabulous meals that gets better with time. Though this chili should be eaten within a week or so, it will be AMAZING on day two because those spices really enrich the meat. Yum!

Note: This recipe is great for eating on a later date if you freeze it. To freeze, simply combine cooked mixture in a freezable container. To thaw, set out on the counter for at least 2 hours; then toss in the microwave or warm over stove.

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