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.
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!
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.
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.
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)
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