This week I have a basic chili recipe for this cool weather, which seems to come and go.

It is a beef recipe, but using the 7 percent fat it has surprisingly low calories and fat. I did notice in the supermarket that the lower-fat ground beef seems to have a higher price than that with less fat. However, with only 170 calories for 4 ounces, I wanted to try it.

I used spices generously, and a tablespoon of olive oil to replace some of the fat, and I was very pleased. The spices do give it a slight kick, especially including the chili powder with the ground beef and onion, seeming to bring out the flavor.

The chili powder, cumin, and paprika are sometimes used in rubs together, so I thought pairing them in chili would be good. The Bush Chili Beans are good undrained; they also add extra flavor. And I like niblet corn in chili; if you prefer, leave out. The beans add extra protein to fill in for stretching the ground beef. The low calorie count gives you room for cornbread or crackers, fruit for dessert and a glass of milk to round out your meal.

Beef sometimes gets a bad rap. We need to consider our complete diet, and even more important, our portion sizes. Bob LeFavi, Ph.D., professor of health sciences at Armstrong State University, explained that in a Feb. 26, 2013, article in this newspaper. He concluded that it was our increasingly larger portion sizes that were causing the rise of obesity in our country.

So be aware of your portion sizes. Should you need help identifying what a normal portion is, check with choosemyplate.gov, and get your portion sizes more in line with what they should be.

The holidays are coming up, and there is always lots of food. So begin to get yourself prepared if you are watching your calories. I hope to have some appetizer and beverage recipes the next couple of columns to help you get ready for the celebrations. Have a good week. Hope you enjoy the chili!

 

Email Diane Stewart at kitchen@pemtelco.net.

 

BASIC BEEF CHILI WITH A SLIGHT KICK

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large chopped sweet onion

1 teaspoon jarred minced garlic

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 pound 7 percent fat lean ground beef

2 can diced tomatoes, with juice

2 cans beans, preferable Bush's Chili Beans (do not drain)

1 can niblet corn, drained

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

In large pot, on medium heat, measure olive oil. Add onion, garlic, chili powder, and ground beef. Stir until no pink remains in the ground beef. Add all other ingredients. Bring to a boil, turn heat to simmer, and cook 30 to 60 minutes. If you prefer thicker chili, leave lid off. Makes about 8 cups, six servings of 1 1/3 cups each, about 325 calories.