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Eating Healthy: 3 Bean Chili

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Everyone is back to school and suddenly running out of time. You are trying to balance your new classes, new workout routine, social life, and still wanting to eat healthy, without breaking the bank?

Try out this super easy, high protein and really cheap option for dinner. This can be made start to finish in about a half hour, and costs right around $10. Plus you will have left overs for days.

The Beans

Look for low or no sodium added variety. All three types of beans are full of essential vitamins and minerals that will help everything from muscle development to heart health.

Black beans are high in antioxidants and protein and are often used as meat a substitute.

Dark Red Kidney Beans are packed with fiber and have even been shown to reduce cholesterol.

ChickPeas or Garbanzo beans are another great source of protein, and really just soak up any flavor they are in, which is why they are used for hummus.

The Base

1/2 jug of V8 Spicy Hot 100% Vegetable Juice. This will help keep sodium and sugar low, for chili, as well as adding an great amount of Vitamin C and A. You can use the non-spicy kind if you want, but chili is all about the heat, right?

You can’t have chili without at least some tomatoes, we recommend the petite diced kind to keep the size small and uniform with the rest of the chili. Again go with a no salt added variety if you can.

The Meat

While not 100% necessary with the shear amount of protein from the beans, meat gives this dish that classic chili taste. 1 lb. of 80/20 ground beef keeps the cost lower, but still pretty lean. You can also use ground turkey, just make sure to drain the meat into one of the cans before you add it to the pot.

The Seasoning

Odds are you probably know which types of spice you like and don’t like, or hot spicy you want a dish. Take it slow and add them as you go, taste testing as you keep adding ingredients. At the very least you will need some pepper, garlic powder/garlic salt, and oregano.

Ingredients

1 can Black Beans

1 can Dark Red Kidney Beans

1 can Garbanzo Beans

1 can of petite diced tomatoes

1/2 jug of V8 Spicy Hot 100% Vegetable Juice

Spices to tastes

Garlic Salt or Powder

Pepper

Oregano

Paprika and or cayenne pepper

Chili powder or red pepper flakes

Cumin

Start opening cans. If you have a pasta strainer dump the beans into it and give them a good rinse, one or two cans at a time. If you don’t have a pasta strainer, just drain the liquid out of the can and fill it will water a few times. Just remember to drain it one last time before adding it to the pot. Do the same for the can of tomatoes.

Start browning the meat in a separate pan on medium heat, while it browns add enough V8 to almost cover the beans and tomatoes and turn on the heat to medium. Start adding in some spices, you should be able to kind of eye ball it, know that it will take a little more than you think. Keep stirring and test as you go.

Once the meat is good and browned, drain the grease and add it to the big pot. Add another sprinkling of spices and mix well. At this point you could go ahead and dig in, but we recommend turning the heat down a bit and letting it simmer for 20-30 minutes with the lid on to really soak up the flavor of all the spices and juice.

Sprinkle cheese and crackers on top, because what is chili without cheese.

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