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Meatless Half-Hour Chili

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This is a family favorite—updated a bit.  You will not miss the meat in this chili as Bulgur adds texture to the (mildly spicy) mixture of vegetables and beans.

1 Tablespoon olive oil

3-4 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

3 onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon minced jalapẽno pepper or

for less heat and more flavor substitute poblano pepper, to taste

1 carrot, graded

1 28-oz can and 1 14-oz. can organic tomatoes, chopped with their juices (I use the roasted tomatoes which are delicious, if you can find them.)

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 piece Seaweed, such as Wakame*

2 15oz. can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1/3-1/2 cup fine or medium grain bulgur

½ cup low yogurt

1/3 cup chopped scallions

¼ cup fresh cilantro or parsley

 In a Dutch oven or a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat, add spice and sauté for 1-2 minutes—(this intensives the spices) until they are fragrant.  Add onions, garlic, carrots and pepper.  Sauté for 5-7 minutes—until the onions and carrots are soft. Add tomatoes with their juice and the teaspoon of brown sugar. Toss in your Wakame. Cook for 5 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 with a dollop of yogurt, scallions and cilantro or parsley on the side.

*In traditional Chinese healing, sea vegetables correspond to the winter season and to the kidneys, adrenal glands, bladder and reproductive organs. The strengthening, balancing and cleansing properties of sea vegetables are known to help these organs as well as the hair, skin and nails. Sea vegetables (or seaweeds) provide a variety of minerals and vitamins, including calcium, iron and iodine, and can help balance hormone and thyroid levels in the body. Eating too many processed foods or foods grown in mineral-depleted soil can result in a lack of minerals in the body, leading to cravings for salty or sugary foods. Adding sea vegetables to your diet can help balance your energy levels and alleviate cravings.

Adapted from Eating Well, 1992

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