Firehouse Chili

Submitted by Lt. Jed Wachlin (who has recently retired) from South End Community Fire Station, Oregon City


  • 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1-pound steak (cubed)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Montreal Steak seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons barbeque sauce
  • 2 cans red kidney beans (30 ounces), drained
  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes (32 ounces, include juice)
  • 1 can tomato sauce (15 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons crushed hot red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Brown meat while seasoning with half of the chili powder. Add onion and bell pepper to soften broth. Mix the remaining ingredients in a large stock pot and cook on low as long as you can stand the smell.


Ways to make your Chili Healthy 

Submitted by Emergency Manager Gregg Ramirez 

While chili is generally thought of as a comforting and hearty meal, it’s also healthy. Chili contains beans, often kidney or other types of beans. Beans contain both fiber and protein and are a healthy party of a diet. Protein in chili can be supplied from organic ground beef or other meat and vegetables in chili supply nutrients and additional flavor.

Here are some chili options to be aware of to make your chili extra healthy and delicious.

  1. Add chopped organic spinach. Finely chopped organic spinach can be added at the very end when you’re almost ready to serve your chili. It will be barely noticeable, if at all, and will add extra nutrients. Spinach is an excellent source of magnesium (which most Americans are deficient in), iron, Vitamins A, E, K, B2 and B2. It’s also a good source of omega 3 fatty acids and fiber. Anytime you’re making a soup, stew or casserole, it’s a great idea to throw in a handful or two of finely chopped spinach!
  1. Substitute bone broth for water or regular broth. Bone broth that is made from healthy animals is a powerhouse and will be a great addition to your chili. Bone broth can support digestion and your joints. You can easily make your own bone broth at home or it’s available in most stores. Buy bone broth that’s made from grass fed/organic/free range animals.
  1. Add high protein grains. If you’re vegetarian, add quinoa, which is a higher protein grain (it’s a seed, but everyone calls it a grain), instead of meat. In addition to having more protein than other grains, quinoa is also a good source of fiber, folate, zinc and magnesium. 
  1. Use organic tomatoes. Tomatoes are one of the “dirty dozen” vegetables, which are vegetables that contain the most pesticide residue so therefore should be bought organic. Chili often contains canned tomato paste or chopped tomatoes so make sure to find organic tomatoes.
  1. Top your chili with avocado or guacamole. Avocado adds healthy fat and delicious taste as a topper for chili. It is also a good source of fiber, Vitamin C, B6 and E. When eaten in addition to a healthy diet it has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease.
  1. Use grass fed beef, turkey, pork or chicken. Whichever protein you decide to use in your chili, make sure its grass fed and/or free range. Since animals are on the top of the food chain, it’s important to make sure your meat is sourced from healthy animals that have been fed healthy food.