red bean chili

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions.

If I’m going to make a change in my life, I’ll do it when I’m good and ready, and an arbitrary date isn’t going to make one bit of difference.

Not that I’m a headstrong child or anything, but you’re not the boss of me, One January!

That said, I learned back in November that my cholesterol is marginally elevated. With a well-established family history of hypertension, I thought I’d try making a couple substitutions in some of my recipes, and decide if they’re worth it.

For this chili recipe, I drained the beef after browning, and rinsed it in warm water. Then I used heart-healthy canola oil to sauté the onion and garlic, added a teaspoon of beef bouillon to compensate for the lost beefyness, and cut the salt to compensate for the bouillon.

It turned out slightly sweet – almost like BBQ sauce – and spicy but not too spicy. I was a little concerned about rinsing the beef, but the chili ended up delicious. Neither the flavor nor the texture was compromised, so I’ll lather, rinse, repeat from now on.

The timing is entirely coincidental.

Recipe below the fold

Red Bean Chili
1 pound ground beef
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon beef bouillon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Brown the ground beef in a large pan over medium heat. Drain and rinse the beef under warm water, and wipe out the saucepan with paper towels.

Heat the canola oil in the same pan and cook the onions for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the onions are tender.

(If you’re not watching your cholesterol, skip the draining and rinsing, and sauté the onions and garlic in the beef drippings. Then omit the beef bouillon and double the salt.)

Add the beef back into the pan, and mix in the diced tomatoes with juice, tomato paste, and chicken broth. Stir in the brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, cocoa powder, oregano, cayenne pepper, coriander, beef bouillon, and salt. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 1 hour.

Stir in the beans and simmer on low for another 30 minutes.

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