What could be better than a heaping bowl of chili?  The great thing about chili is that you can toss so many tasty and healthy things into it!  You can make is sweet or savory with a bevy of veggies, beans, fruits, herbs and spices.  You can easily go meatless with beans, peas, lentils or tofu.  I love to add mushrooms to add a hearty meaty texture and taste.

I found this fantastic Heirloom Bean Blend  at Costco.  I am excited because this recipe will be featured in one of my upcoming articles in Costco Connection!  Yay!  I instantly loved this bean blend as it’s just beans, peas and lentils — and oh, so pretty.

Bean Blend

What’s so great about this blend besides its beauty?  It’s real food — a 1/4 cup has 8 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber!).  That’s a lot of nutritional bang!

Three Beans

To soften beans, soak overnight. (It seems like a pain, but it’s really not – just put in a plastic container, seal and pop in the fridge.) The next day rinse and add them to a pot, cover with water, bring to a boil and then simmer.

Soaking beans

To give this chili a little added sweetness, as well as antioxidants – those compounds that keep your cells damage-free, I toss in frozen wild blueberries.  Did you know that wild blueberries have twice the antioxidants as regular cultivated ones?  I use Wyman’s Fresh Frozen Wild Blueberries.

Chili Ingredients

 

Chili final 3

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 cup Heirloom Bean Blend raw beans, peas and lentils*

1 Tablespoon grape seed oil

1 small shallot, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup white button mushrooms, minced

1-28 oz. can tomatoes, diced

½ cup Wyman’s frozen wild blueberries

1 heaping Tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon salt

Garnish with cilantro, plain Greek-style yogurt and/or shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)

Directions

If using raw beans, immerse them in a bowl of water; soak overnight in the refrigerator.

Pour grape seed oil into a large stock pot on the stovetop over medium heat.  Heat for oil for a minute.  Add shallots and garlic and sauté.  Add beans, mushrooms and allow them to cook for a few minutes.  Pour in tomatoes, blueberries, spices and salt.  Stir gently to combine.

Bring mixture to a simmer and cook for 15 – 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend.  Make it a day or two in advance and refrigerate.  Reheat on stovetop or microwave before serving.

If you’d like, garnish with a few cilantro leaves, a dollop of plain Greek yogurt and/or shavings of Cheddar cheese.

*1 cup raw beans, soaked, yields 2 ½ cups.

Nutrition Information (per 1 cup serving without garnish): Calories: 409, Total Fat: 5 g, Saturated Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 210 mg, Carbohydrates: 71 g, Dietary Fiber: 17 g, Sugars: 7 g, Protein: 21 g

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Thanks for checking out my lifestyle tips and recipes today!

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