Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Good Chili from My Friend Patrick

Day 3 of "Carb Lite"

5 years ago I was still teaching 9th grade English, and my friend Patrick was our department chair that year. (He's now my vice-president!) On our mid-year teacher prep day, we had an all-day staff meeting in his room, and he fed us a pot of his chili. It was quite different from any chili I'd had before, since it had black beans, corn, and lots of cumin - three things that don't go in "normal" chili. I ate a big bowl, and begged him for the recipe. I make it now and then, whenever I have a craving - and today I had a craving. I worked out the nutritional numbers on my Diet Diary program, and learned it's an excellent dish for eating healthy. It's high in protein and fiber, and low in calories, fat, and carbs.

Note: I used two different kinds of chilies for this dish: Onza Rojas and New Mexico Chilies. I bought these at a Mexican grocery store, where I asked the owner for New Mexico chilies, which are mild, and something hotter than New Mexico chilies. He gave me the Onza Rojas. You could also try Chicostle, which are medium, chipotles, which are hot and smoky, or guajillos, which are medium. If you use chipotles, I recommend cutting back on the cumin. For great information on dried red chilies, go to Cook's Thesaurus: Dried Chilies.

Patrick's Chili
4-5 dried red chilies (try mixing hot and mild)
3 cups boiling water
1 pound beef round steak or sirloin, cut in 1/2" cubes
1 15-oz. can corn, drained
1 15-oz. can black beans, undrained
1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons (really!) ground cumin

The night before: Place chilies in a 4-cup measuring cup (or similar bowl). Cover completely with boiling water. Use a small bowl of water to weight the chilies down and keep them submerged. Let sit overnight.

In the morning:Remove the stems from the chilies and place chilies in a blender. Add about 1/4 cup of the soaking water and blend into a thin paste. Add to crockpot with remaining ingredients. Stir. Cook on LOW 7-8 hours. Makes 10 cups. Serve with tortilla chips.

1 cup fills me up, but a soup bowl, which would be a normal serving, is about two cups.
Nutritional Information: 1 cup: 161 calories, 16.4 carbohydrates, 3.5 grams of fat, 3.4 grams of fiber, and 16.2 grams of protein.

Carb Lite Update
Breakfast was the other half of yesterday's quesadilla. Another good day! I had a chicken breast for lunch today from the wonderful chicken restaurant that shares my building, and resisted the roll and honey. Instead of potatoes, I had baked beans.

Today's Totals:
Calories: 1,182
Carbs: 100.6
Fat: 58.6
Fiber: 10.3
Protein: 73.1

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