When I started to make chili without beans, I went through a phase of discovery and over the course of a number of months and numerous batches, I came up with a winner. If your children are like mine, I have not made this spicy, at all. Adjust it to fit your family.
I use the best ingredients these days. Grass fed beef, organic vegetables, etc.
I start by dicing a large onion, 3-4 garlic cloves, 3 celery stalks and 3-4 carrots. Soften these in olive oil on medium heat until vegetables are soft. It smells so good at this point!
Add about 1 lb of beef or sometimes, I use a combination of pork and beef. Cook meat until it is all browned, drain off any excess fat.
Add in 1-2 jars or cans of tomato sauce. Cook on low heat for 2-3 hours. This makes enough for 1 meal for 4 and plenty for leftovers for lunches. Sometimes I will make spaghetti squash as well and put the chili on top. Kids love it!