Cary, NC – People may think spicy food is best for the cold weather, when really, you need something warm and hearty to help you power through the Winter months. A lot of chili can make you feel heavy and sluggish, so here’s a special recipe for a chili that is both filling and light, with plenty of flavor too.
Recipe for the Winter
There are two ingredients in chili that typically result in people getting slowed down. One is the meat, often pork or beef, with its fat and dense composition. The other is the choice of beans, for the after effects it has on your digestive system.
You can substitute both of them, and balance out the flavors with this recipe as well. First, for the meat, you can use cauliflower instead. If you’re making one pot of chili, then half a head of cauliflower grated in a blender or food processor will do fine.
For the beans, it’s more up to your specifications and preferences. Instead of two cans of beans, two cans of lentils will work as well. Lentils don’t have the hard-t0-digest fibers and sugars that most other legumes do so it won’t slow you down. If you don’t usually have a problem with beans, then you can use black-eyed peas or black beans instead. Kidney beans and pinto beans have the most sugars in them so they will cause the most trouble for your digestion.
Note: if you are using dry lentils, you will need to prepare them first and add them into your pot with an extra two cups of water
- Half a head of grated cauliflower
- Two cans of lentils or beans
- One onion, chopped
- One green pepper, diced
- One red pepper, diced
- Three carrots, diced
- One large can of crushed tomatoes
- Two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- One tablespoon of tomato paste
Start with your pot over medium heat and put in the olive oil first, then your onion, peppers and carrots. Stir the vegetables in the oil; you want to watch for the onions getting translucent and this should all take about eight to ten minutes. After that, add in the tomato paste, sprinkle in salt and then add spices of your choosing. I would recommend a tablespoon of cumin, a tablespoon of paprika and a tablespoon of chili powder to start, and there will be opportunities for other spices later on.
Stir your spices in with your vegetables for a few minutes to spread it around evenly and then add in the two cups of water, the full can of crushed tomatoes and both cans of beans/lentils with the liquid in the can. Here, you can add other spices for flavor, such as curry powder, espresso or whatever you want. Stir it all together and then let it sit for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Make sure you stir from the bottom of the pot. Also, you can taste to see if you need more salt to balance out the tomatoes you added in.
Once your chili is sufficiently thick, you will add in your grated cauliflower and stir for an additional ten minutes. After that, add in any salt or pepper you want for extra flavor and you are finished.
Story by staff reports.