Spicy Garden Chili

Ah, chili – one of the best dishes for a cool evening’s meal. It was 35 degrees when I woke up this morning (um, I live in Florida!  Okay, I live in northwest Florida so it’s not as warm as, say, Miami, but still!). I had 11 miles on my calendar for today and all I could think about was chili for dinner. You know, thinking about food while running isn’t the best thing to do. Thoughts of food tend to make people hungry and you should definitely not be hungry during a run – really makes things difficult. Thankfully,  I fueled before I ran so I survived without any issues.  🙂

Anyway….chili! There are so many types, varieties and methods of cooking. I found a great recipe for a vegetarian chili and decided to go with that. Meatless, packed with veggies, hearty because it’s thickened with bulgur and just the right amount of spice – yum! Of course, you can adjust the seasonings to your preference if you want it spicier or less spicy. All that’s left to do is whip up some cornbread and break out the bowls and ladle up some deliciousness. Enjoy!

Spicy Garden Chili
Recipe courtesy of Cooking Light
Serves 9

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup chopped mushrooms
3 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeno pepper
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups water
1/2 cup uncooked bulgur or cracked wheat
2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can tomato puree
1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn
1 (16 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained
1 (16 ounce) can red beans, drained
9 tablespoons shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers
9 tablespoons shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
9 tablespoons low-fat sour cream

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and next 6 ingredients (through cumin); saute 3 minutes.

Stir in water, bulgur, tomatoes, and tomato puree; bring to a boil.

Reduce heat; simmer 30 minutes or until tender. Stir in corn and beans (I added half a can of black beans for more color and yumminess!); cook for 5 minutes.

Ladle chili into bowls; top with cheeses and sour cream, if desired.

Calories 267 (29% from fat); Fat 8.6g (sat 3.7g, mono 3g, poly 1.2g); Protein 13.4g; Carb 38.2g; Fiber 7g; Cholesterol 16mg; Iron 3.9mg; Sodium 520mg; Calcium 206mg

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

As temperatures turn cooler, food thoughts turn more and more to soup, stews, and chilis. Well, at least mine do anyway. 🙂 So, when I saw this recipe and I saw that the temps were going to drop into the upper 30s (I live in Florida! Crazy!), I knew I had to try it.  The added bonus is that it only takes about 40-45 minutes to come together so this makes it feasible for a weeknight dinner, too!  Hearty black beans, yummy sweet potatoes, and smoky chipotle all in one pot. This is one vegetarian chili worth trying!


Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium-large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
4 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chili
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups water
2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
4 teaspoons lime juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sweet potato and onion and cook, stirring often, until the onion is beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, chipotle, and salt and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the sweet potato is tender, about 10 to 12 minutes.

2. Add beans, tomatoes, and lime juice; increase heat to high and return to a simmer, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.

Makes 4 servings (about 2 cups)
Per serving: 318 calories; 8g fat (1g sat, 5g mono); 0mg cholesterol; 54g carbohydrates; 0g added sugars; 12g protein; 15g fiber; 547mg sodium; 1040mg potassium