Monday, April 19, 2010

A Better, Healthier Bowl of Chili

I don't think there is anyone out there who would argue that there is anything about beef, particularly hamburger, that's the least bit healthy. You may choose to eat it, but it certainly would not be because of all the great things it can do for your health. From the cholesterol, to the saturated fat, to the concerns about E.Coli and food-borne diseases, ground beef is a health nightmare.

That being said, there are some dishes containing ground beef that folks will simply dig in their heels about and refuse to give up. I happen to believe that chili is one of those dishes. I always LOVED a good bowl of chili, particularly if it came with a biscuit and on a cold winter day. But you don't have to give up chili just because you may be eliminating or cutting back on red meat.

This recipe is simple, inexpensive, and stunningly like the original meat variety. In fact, a gentleman I once knew who had no use for any meal that didn't have parents once ate this chili without realizing that it contained no meat. Best of all, there is nothing in it that most folks don't either already have in the cupboard or cannot be obtained at your local supermarket. Try it today and let me know what you think. I have a feeling you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Can 'o This, Can 'o That Chili
Begin with a large pot.


2 Tsp oil
1 medium onion, chopped
¼ cup diced red bell pepper

~Sauté until onions start to brown. Then add:
1- 284 ml can of condensed tomato soup (I use Heinz) plus one can of water
1 -796 ml can of diced tomatoes, pureed in the can with an immersion blender. (Or simply dump into a bowl and mash if you like your tomatoes chunky) plus one can of water.
1-284 ml can of mushroom pieces and stems, drained
1-398 ml can of red kidney beans. Take about a quarter of the beans and mash them with a fork before adding to the chilli.)
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
2 tsp paprika
1 ½ to 2 tsp chilli powder
¾ tsp onion powder
¾ tsp garlic salt
Then and only then, add:
1 package soy "ground round", crumbled.
Simmer until chilli is thick and vegetables are tender, about 30-40 minutes.

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