In a large skillet (ideally a cast iron skillet) over medium high heat, brown ground beef. Stir until you no longer see pink - this should take about 7-10 minutes. Continue stirring and breaking apart with a wooden spoon so beef cooks evenly. Season with half the amount of salt and pepper. Stir well.
Remove beef with a slotted spoon and set aside. Drain fat from skillet.
Add 1 teaspoon olive oil to skillet - add zucchini, red pepper, onion and garlic. Saute for 3 minutes or until slightly tender. I like the veggies to have some texture in this dish - a little bite - if you prefer veggies super soft then cook for a bit longer at this stage.
Add beef back to the skillet, add beans, add remaining salt and pepper, chili powder, and tomato paste. Stir well to break up tomato paste. Add water, scraping the bottom of the skillet to release flavor bits.
Cook for 8 more minutes. Remove from heat and serve with your choice of salsa's perhaps on a large bed of steamed kale - 'cause that's how I eat it :-)
Ground turkey or chicken could be subbed for the beef
For a vegetarian version, you can eliminate the beef altogether