It’s Chili Day!

When we are feeling the chilly weather, what can be more warming and comforting than a bowl of hot chili? That’s why the 4th Thursday of February is deemed National Chili Day and this year, celebrate with making your first chili or trying a new variety! If beans are somewhat new to your family, experiment with the many different types like black, white, kidney, soy and garbanzo. Another idea to ease into beans is to puree the beans in the blender or food processor with some water, before adding to the chili, so they get a bit lost in the mix (or use a can of reduced sodium refried beans for convenience).

Serves 4-6

1 Tbsp olive oil 

1 onion, diced 

1 Tbsp ground cumin 

1 Tbsp chili powder 

3 cloves garlic, minced 

1 can (796mL) diced tomatoes 

3 cups sliced mushrooms 

2 large carrots, grated 

1/2 cup quinoa, optional (provides a meaty texture)

1 can (398 mL) black beans, drained (pureed if desired)

1 can (398 mL) pinto beans, drained (pureed if desired)

½ tsp salt 

Heat olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add onion, spices and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add tomatoes, mushrooms and carrot and cook another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add quinoa if using and cook 10 more minutes then add the beans and salt. Cook for 10 minutes or up to 1 hour to let flavours develop, adding a little water if it gets too thick. Adjust seasonings.

Serve warm with toppings like chopped avocado, cilantro, fresh lime juice, grated cheese, a dollop of plain yogurt, hot sauce and some corn chips.

By Nicole Fetterly, RD