Taste the health: A nutritious and delicious chili

Yankee Chef logoBy Jim Bailey

This is the World’s Healthiest Chili, so-called because this dish uses the most nutrient-rich legumes, fresh tomatoes and peppers, vegetables that are at the top of the antioxidant list and — with heart healthy pure olive oil — your body will thank you.

To make this chili even healthier, use low fat, low sodium broth and juice as well as frozen beans. Any type of winter squash is great, but acorn takes the cake when it comes to nutrients and antioxidants. If you must use canned beans, please rinse well before using.

worldshealthiestvegetablechili1 tablespoon pure olive oil
2 acorn squashes, peeled,seeded and cubed
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 small onion, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons cumin
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 cup pure vegetable juice *
2-4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
2 cups vegetable broth
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 cup frozen or canned lima beans
1 cup white or red, cooked kidney beans
1/2 cup cooked Great Northern beans
1 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves, chopped

In a large saucepan, heat half the oil over medium high heat until simmering. Add squash, cooking and stirring about 7 to 9 minutes, or until starting to brown. Transfer to a bowl; set aside. In same pot, add remaining oil with carrots and onion.

Cook, while stirring once or twice, until starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Add chili powder, brown sugar, cumin and garlic, cooking an additional 1 minute. Add remainder of ingredients, bring to boiling and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer about 30 minutes, or until squash is tender. Serve immediately.

* Use your imagination among the scores of brands and types of pure juice. I enjoy any type of tomato juice blend because it adds just the right amount of a fruit as well (apple for example) to give it a depth in flavor. I also add some carrot juice at times along with tomato juice blend.

Yankee Chef book coverSchiffer Books of Pennsylvania has released Jim Bailey’s book The Yankee Chef: Feel Good Food for Every Kitchen. It contains more than 550 traditional New England comfort-food recipes tweaked for today’s palates with hundreds of kitchen tips and food facts. The hardback book is 312 pages and contains 200 color images. Its ISBN is 978-0-7643-4191-5 and the cost is $34.99. The book can be ordered through Misty Valley Books, 802-875-3400.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at theyankeechef@aol.com.

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