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Winter Day Meal | Crockpot Chili

With the colder weather rolling in there is nothing better than having a nice hot meal at the end of the day. Let’s talk about why it’s good to stay active in the colder months and learn the recipe to a classic winter day meal.

If you’re like many Vermonters, you don’t let winter stop you from getting in your exercise and living in Vermont; there are a lot of opportunities and activities to stay active even when the powder piles up.

Why a winter workout?

While the colder weather and darker days can make us lazy, winter is a great time to keep exercising for a couple of reasons.

  1. The colder temperature makes your body work harder to keep your internal temperature stable. If you’re walking at a leisurely pace, your body will be working harder to keep you warm and therefore, you’ll be burning more calories than if you were doing the same workout in the spring. (If you’re keeping up a good workout your body temperature should naturally rise with the increased blood flow.)
  2. Snow isn’t easy to navigate. Hiking up a mountain or running through the woods is great exercise but snow adds an element of difficulty that can test your balance and endurance. For instance, a 5-mile walk may be no big deal in the summer, but if you snowshoe it, you’re adding the weight of your boots, snowshoes, outdoor gear, and even the weight of the snow. It quickly becomes a more challenging route.

After you workout | Chelsea’s Crockpot Chili

One of the best things about winter can be relaxing after a long day in the snow. Here is the perfect recipe for when all you want to do is curl up in front of the fire.

Chelsea’s Messy Apron is back with a twist on a winter classic. This isn’t Chelsea’s healthiest chili (which you can find here) but it is the one that makes the perfect hearty meal after a hard day of play.


  • 5 slices hardwood smoked bacon
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (~2 stalks) celery, finely chopped
  • 1 cup (~1 small) yellow onion finely chopped
  • 1-2 small jalapeno peppers, optional* seeds removed and finely diced
  • 2 cans (15 ounces EACH) chili (pinto) beans in medium sauce
  • 1 can (15 ounces) chili (pinto or kidney) beans in mild sauce
  • 2 cans (28 ounces EACH) petite diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 2 pounds (32 ounces) ground beef chuck
  • 1 pound (16 ounces) Italian sausage


  • 4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt & 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 regular sized beef bouillon cubes
  • Optional: fresh cilantro, sour cream, freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese

For Chelsea’s directions to make this delicious meal click here.

If you are looking for a vegetarian option follow this recipe but leave out the chicken.

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