30 Minute meatless chili

Vegetarians know beans about protein. Beans are truly a power food, chock-full of minerals such a magnesium and potassium (good for bone and muscle maintenance), cholesterol-free, and low in fat and sodium.

Beans are a great building block for a meal – from soups to side dishes. You can even sneak beans into your lasagna and brownies! (Honest.)

Keep some canned beans in the pantry for quick and filling hot soups – or you can go old school and soak each pound of beans in six to eight cups of water for at least four hours (or overnight).

Ingredients:

1 tbsp. olive oil

3 onions, chopped

1 carrot, grated

1 tbsp. minced jalapeno pepper (optional)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp. chili powder

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 (28-ounce) can plus one (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juice

1 tsp. brown sugar

1 (15-ounce) cans red beans, drained and rinsed

1/3 cup fine or medium-grain bulgur

Preparation:

In a large saucepan, saute onions, carrots, jalapenos, garlic, chili powder and cumin over medium heat for five to seven minutes, or until onions and carrots are soft.

Add tomatoes with their juice and the sugar. Cook for five minutes over high heat. Stir in beans and bulgur, and reduce heat to low. Simmer the chili, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until thickened.

Serve topped with fat-free plain yogurt or sour cream if desired.

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