This is the healthy, easy recipe he still craves after ten years

Beef and Bean Chili Verde - hearty meal full of protein and fiber, adapted. Amy Connell |

My husband and I agree on almost everything.

Except one:

What is best to eat.

He and Dr. Atkins could have been great friends. When we are focused on resetting, his perfect meal is a big chunk o’ meat and roasted asparagus. He just doesn’t seem to want or need the carbs I do. His nutritional discipline is something I admire, easily waving off sweets and “no” list items when he’s on a mission.

On the other hand, I prefer a plant-heavy meal full of veggies, beans, and hearty grains. Maybe throw some shrimp on top or a side serving of steelhead trout. Maybe chicken. Rarely steak. I’ve discussed at length my love of chocolate and how I incorporate wine into my health goals.

Balancing our opposing preferences

It’s a challenge for me to balance our preferences in addition to creating family-friendly meals my growing children will eat. Sometimes I succeed. Other times the empty bowl of trail mix in the sink the next morning tells me dinner didn’t fill the tank (or more aptly, they didn’t like dinner enough to eat enough.)

Then there’s lunch. I work from home, making it easy to throw something together or eat a previously prepared salad or soup. My husband takes his mid-day meal to the office, which is prepared the night before.

The last thing I want to do after prepping and eating a meal is to immediately plan for another.  It. Never. Ends. Often we send leftovers, but there’s a cardinal rule to never reheat fish in the office microwave. And try as I may, if it’s a well-liked dinner by all (WIN!), we may not have anything left to send.

Fortunately, he doesn’t require variety. For weeks at a time, he happily takes one meal that’s been premade and frozen individually. I’ve asked him how he doesn’t find this monotonous.

“I just need fuel.”

If only I could take that approach at times.

The fuel he never tires of

A friend of mine sent me a Beef & Bean Chile Verde recipe from EatingWell ten years ago. TEN years, folks. It’s been a staple since then. 

Beef and Bean Chili Verde - hearty meal full of protein and fiber, adapted. Amy Connell |

Photo courtesy of – because you know I’m not a food photographer

It’s full of ground beef (which he loves), and veggies (which I love). I tweaked it to add even more fiber and veggies.

As the years have passed, my body’s tolerance to hot cayenne powder has decreased. By “decreased” I mean I break out into a full-head sweat covering my face and soaking my hair. I look like I’ve just completed a three-mile run even though I’m in full makeup and cute clothes. Then I get the second round at night with full-body sweats. It’s lovely.

If you’re sensitive, make sure you get the mild verde sauce. I like Herdez brand.

mild green verde sauce really makes this hearty meal guys love.

This gluten-free and dairy-free recipe doesn’t miss any flavor or heartiness. Of course, you can top it with Monterey Jack cheese if that’s your jam.

I always double or triple the recipe so I have extra to freeze. The recipe below is technically doubled.

Individual freezable microwavable containers make batch cooking and prepping easier. Amy Connell |

VERSAtainers available at Amazon (what isn’t?)

If you’re a plant-based eater, substitute the ground beef for 2-3 cans of drained and rinsed black beans. Slightly mash the black beans for chili-like consistency.


Beef & Bean Chili Verde

Adapted from

2 lbs 93% lean ground beef or lean ground turkey breast

3 red bell peppers, diced

3 medium onions, diced

8 cloves garlic, minced (or 4 tsp jarred garlic)

2 tbs chili powder

1 tbs ground cumin

2- 16 oz green salsa verde (I like Herdez mild)

3- 15 oz cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed

Monterey Jack cheese, optional, for topping

Cook onion, red pepper, and beef all in a large stockpot over medium heat. Crumble the beef as you cook. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne; mix well. Add salsa verde and pinto beans.  Simmer for 10 minutes.

Store extras in freezer- and microwave-safe individual containers. We use the round Pactiv VERSAtainers 16oz. Look around to see what size and shape fits your lifestyle (and lunch carrier) best.


  • Heather Lake January 26, 2018 Reply

    YUM!! I can’t wait to try this, Amy!

what do you think?

Your email address will not be published.