Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Garden Harvest Chili.

A great friend had her first baby last week, she's one week old today, and I wanted to take her some food to make the first few weeks (months) a bit easier on her and her husband. I really liked that this chili was much lighter than most and packed full of fresh summer vegetables. I'm so happy for my friend & her husband and can't wait to see them later this week!

Garden Harvest Chili

2 Tbs. vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
1 1/2 c. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 c. onion, chopped
1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
2 Tbs. chili powder
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 can (16 oz.) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 c. zucchini, sliced
2 c. frozen sweet corn, thawed
1 1/2 c. (6 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese, optional

1. In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high.

2. Saute garlic, peppers, mushrooms and onion until tender.

3. Add tomatoes with liquid, tomato sauce, chili powder, sugar and cumin; heat to boiling.

4. Reduce heat to low; add beans, zucchini and corn. Simmer, uncovered, about 10 minute or until zucchini is tender. Spoon into bowls; sprinkle with cheese if desired.

Yield: 6 servings

Nutritional information: 1 3/4 cups (prepared with low-sodium tomato sauce; calculated without cheese) 252 calories, 7g. fat, 675 mg. sodium, 44g. carbohydrates, 10g. protein.

Recipe obtained from: Fast & Fit Recipes: Healthy Eating In No Time (Taste of Home Books)

My thoughts: In the summer when you have an abundance of fresh tomatoes you could definitely use fresh instead of canned. You could also use tomato juice in place of the tomato sauce, it just won't be as thick. Chili recipes are great to use as a base, you don't really need to measure out all the ingredients - just add more of what you like and spices to taste. This recipe would be great with meat as well, I think I might add sliced turkey sausage next time. It would also be good served over brown rice or elbow macaroni. Additionally pretty much any vegetable combination would work well here. If you're going to freeze the chili, like I did, make sure you let it cool completely.

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