Bran is a good way to thicken soups, stews, and chili. It adds a nutty flavor, and increases the dietary fiber in the meal while keeping the fat content low. This recipe is fast to make on the stove, and perfect for a quick weekday meal. It makes 6 medium sized servings. Dish it up in large bowls, over rice, with a mixed green salad. Serve fruit and yogurt for dessert to have all your food groups covered.
1 tbsp vegetable oil (canola or extra virgin olive oil work well)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced, or two teaspoons garlic in oil
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 to 2 tablespoons of chili powder (to taste)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 cup water
1 19 ounce can of black or red kidney beans, drained and rinsed well
1 12 ounce can of corn kernels drained, OR 1 1/2 cups frozen or fresh corn kernels
1 cup bran cereal
3 cups cooked brown rice
Condiments: /2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, chives
Method: Use a large saucepan, and brown onion, red bell pepper, garlic and celery for three minutes or until the vegetables are softened. Add chili powder and cumin and cook for one more minute. Pour in tomatoes, mixing well. Add water, beans, corn and bran, and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 7 to 10 minutes or until chili has thickened. Serve over rice and sprinkle with condiments as desired.
Tip: It is easy and even more economical to use dried beans instead of canned beans – not to mention there is no added salt! Beans can be covered with water and soaked overnight, or, in a pinch, try this: Put the beans in a large saucepan with twice as much water (ie. for 1 cup of dried beans use 2 cups of water.) Cover the pot of beans and water, and turn the heat to high. Boil for about two to three minutes, then remove from the top of the stove. Let the saucepan sit, covered, for an hour. Drain and rinse, and voila – your beans are ready to go!
Serving Alternative: If your family doesn’t like rice, or if you are in a real hurry, try serving this chili over bread or toast – still yummy!
Freezing Tip: Double this recipe, and freeze the remainders for another meal. Chili freezes very well, and actually tastes better once the flavors have had time to “mingle”.
Substitutions: Try chopped carrots instead of the carrots, or a green bell pepper instead of the red.