Today is Candice’s birthday as well (wave, Candice). Last I heard she is getting to go to Medieval Times for her dinner … jousting … horses … food … oh my.
So, if I lived near her, I would definitely make her an Almond Joy pie, or an Almond Joy cookie, or bar or something, but she will have to make do with my love from afar.
Abby, on the other hand gets to decide what we are having tonight for her special 15th birthday. The kids always surprise me with what they choose, and Abby was no exception this time.
Our swim coach sends us out emails periodically about practice, meets, information about volunteering, that sort of thing. Recently, he sent out an email that he got from the USA Swimming website regarding the student athlete’s diet. They are kids; they swim, sleep, eat and go to school. Sometimes it seems like its in that exact order. Keeping up with the nutritional needs of a teenager swimmer is difficult. Girls, especially, it seems. The article listed the top three nutrients that the typical teenaged athlete isn’t getting enough of.
Iron. Vitamin D. Calcium.
When this article was presented to us, I read it. Twice.
“Female athletes, in particular, are at greater risk for this deficiency due to menses and exercise.” Jill Castle, MS RDN
This got me thinking …
Abby is always very tired. Part of this is her schedule. 3 hours of swimming/dryland a day. School for 7 hours a day (which, coincidentally, I read an interesting article on here …). Being fifteen. But I wondered if she could benefit from increased iron in her diet.
We’ve dropped away some from red meat within the last year. To combat Abby’s fatigue in any way possible, I’ve decided to look for sources of iron for her. This includes using a cast iron skillet to cook with, but beyond that, I’ve made a conscious effort to add back in one more day of red meat. Since all the kids swim, and most of them are girls, I figured one more day wouldn’t really hurt, and it might actually help. I also have begun reading labels (as I always read labels) specifically looking for sources of iron.
Spinach. Dark meat poultry. Beans. And, of course … red meat, in proper portions.
We’ve had conversations about this and now Abby asks, what has the most iron in it, this … or that? (Actually, I’m quite proud.) She puts spinach on every sandwich, in every salad, eats the black beans and rice I put on her plate, and when I asked her what she wanted for her birthday dinner? Good, old-fashioned chili.
So, in honor of her birthday, here is my chili recipe.
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 lb. lean stew meat, cut into small chunks
1 onion, diced
1 green or red pepper, diced
2 long carrots, peeled and diced small
3 cans diced tomatoes
2 cans beans (any kind you like, I use pintos and black beans)
1 bottle of hearty beer (stout, ale etc.)
2-3 T. chili powder
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. celery salt
1 Bay leaf
salt to taste
1-2 T. sugar
Brown meat, breaking into pieces, remove from dutch oven. Drain grease/fat (if there is any), add back in 1 T. olive oil and cook vegetables until soft. Add back in the meat, stir, and add in beer to deglaze. Add tomatoes and beans (I don’t drain my beans, but you can if you want), spices, salt and sugar. Cook on low for about an hour. Turn off heat and let sit until you are ready to eat! (I usually make it around lunch time and heat it back up before dinner, but that’s me …)
Here in the south, we serve chili over rice with cheese, jalepenos, scallions, onions, cilantro and tortilla chips … but however you like it.