Blog of an aspiring foodie

Canned chili – dinner of champions (or workaholics)

Posted by beer_chris on 12-May-2005

Since starting my new job in March, I've been working some long hours (~60/week), and cooking has been absolutely last on the list for activities. Additionally, I've been on a low-cal, low-fat diet since I got back from Tahoe (mid-March), and so haven't really had the luxury of pigging out like I usually do when I work long hours.

Early this year at Randall's I was invited to try Bush's new chili, from the Bush Beans people. It was pretty good, and I bought a jar. Since then, it's really become my default meal of choice. I really like the 'hot' version with beans (a terrible thing, beans in chili, especially in Texas, but it's quite good). Surprisingly, canned chili is not bad diet food – the fat grams are kind of high, but if I plan for it I can manage it and still keep my fat cals under 25% – and total calories are right at 5 or 6 hundred, depending on whether I put a little cheese on top.

Now that I am working significant hours, I keep a few jars at my desk, and have been eating it for dinner 3-4 times a week. At this rate I may turn into chili. In any case, I've branched out from Bush's, but have always come back. Here's my analysis of the various chilis I have tried (not especially foodie-like to analyze brands of canned chili, but it's the food topic that has dominated my mind lately)

Bush's (Hot with beans) – spicy, in a good way, with pepper and jalapeno. Chunks of tomato, and 'chili' ground meat (ground, but in chunks – and real ones, held together because the meat was cut that way, not because some type of powdered meat was reconstituted). Tomato flavor of sauce is strong, and beans are mixed – some red, some pinto, some small cream pork and beans style. Well balanced and flavorful, doesn't have the 'tinny' flavor of Wolf's or that weird fat coating like Hormel does. 500 calories/serving

Campbell's chunky – no beans, but thin and metallic tasting. Comes in it's own heat and serve container – a plus, but just not enough oomph to win me over. Cheaper then Bush's, but for a reason. 400 calories/serving

Stagg's chunky – no beans. Sauce like cocktail sauce mixed with ketchup, rather insipid. The meat was like Hormel – creamy tasting, with a weird fatty aftertaste, kind of like meat coated in Crisco. Gross. 550 calories/serving.

For comparison sake:
2 alarm chili kit (cook at home with ground beef and rice) – thick, spicy, and meaty. Fresh tasting, not too fatty, with a thick sauce, almost no sauce at all, more like a coating (it's the masa that thickens it). Rough chopped canned tomatoes add some texture and fresh tomato flavor. Extra red pepper spices it up just right. Some of the best chili worth eating. No beans. Simply ridiculous number of calories per serving, as I can't eat this without rice and cheese.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: