Best Recipe: Small-Batch Bean Chili

Cook’s Notes: I was delighted to find a chili recipe that doesn’t make 5 or 6 quarts. Prepare this in the evening and set aside portions for lunch the next day. Makes 3 to 4 servings (about 3 cups).

Lunch menu: 1 cup bean chili, 1 oz low fat cheddar cheese (shredded or 1 cheese stick), 2 whole-grain Wasa crisp-breads, and a side salad (2 cups baby spinach and romaine lettuce) with dressing. Dessert: 1 fruit serving. This is a balanced meal, but a lot of food. You may opt to save the salad and fruit for a snack later in the afternoon.

1/2 sweet onion, diced (about 1 cup)
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced (about 1 cup)
15 oz can pinto beans in chili sauce (do not drain or rinse)
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (do not drain or rinse)
1.5 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard
1.5 teaspoons Mild Chili Spice mix or plain chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon baking cocoa (unsweetened)
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In small soup pot, saute onion and bell pepper in 1 T olive oil for 5 minutes. Stir in the beans, tomatoes, mustard, and spices. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 40 minutes or until heated through and thick. Stir chili several times while it cooks.

Source: Adapted from a “Chunky Vegetarian Chili” recipe in Cooking for 2 magazine