Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hearty Black Bean Chili

Main Dish: Hearty Black Bean Chili
Black beans are a nutritional treasure trove of fiber, protein and folic acid. This family favorite is easy to prepare — just relax while it simmers.
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
8 cups water
4 (14-ounce) cans chicken broth
2 pounds dried black beans, sorted and rinsed
1 Tablespoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
Reduced-fat pepper jack cheese, shredded
» Place oil, onions and garlic in large soup pot. Cook and stir until translucent (about 5 minutes). Add water, broth, beans, cumin and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer until beans are tender, about 2 hours.
» Spoon into soup bowls. Top with shredded jack cheese. Serve with salad and corn muffins or whole-grain dinner rolls.

Supporting Meals of the Week
1. Black bean salad: Spoon chili onto a bed of shredded lettuce. Add diced yellow and red bell peppers, snipped cilantro and chopped avocado. Top with your favorite reduced-fat Italian dressing.
2. Burritos: Roll chili, chopped tomato, shredded lettuce and reduced-fat cheese into a flour tortilla. Zap in the microwave until cheese is melted, about 1 minute.
3. Beans and rice: Prepare brown rice and serve alongside chili beans.
4. Easy tostadas: Mash the remaining chili and spread over tostada shells. Top with tomatoes, cheese, lettuce and salsa.

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