1 pound lean ground beef
2 ribs (1 cup) celery, sliced
1 medium (1 cup) yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped
1 medium (1/2 cup) onion, chopped
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh garlic
1 (46-ounce) can tomato vegetable juice
1 (14.5-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
1 cup uncooked wild rice
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 (16-ounce) cans spicy chili beans
Sour cream, if desired
Shredded Cheddar cheese, if desired
Cook ground beef in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, 5-8 minutes or until no longer pink. Drain. Place into 6-quart slow cooker.
Add all remaining chili ingredients except chili beans; stir well. Cover; cook on Low heat setting 7-8 hours or High heat setting 3-4 hours, or until rice is tender. Stir in chili beans during last 10 minutes of cooking.
Serve with toppings, if desired.
Ground turkey, Italian sausage or chopped chicken can be substituted for the ground beef, or simply leave the meat out for a hearty vegetarian meal!