Healthy cooking, along with meal planning, is a key factor to any wellness journey. Although I have always liked cooking, over the last few years I have made a more intentional effort to try new recipes, especially as I transitioned to a gluten-free diet and with the addition of a slow cooker into our kitchen. Over the last year, my favorite new recipes have been soups or stews because I can make a large portion easily that will last me into the week.
Wanting something for a cold winter day that would be gluten-free, low calorie and easy to reheat during the week – I started looking for chili or new soup recipes to try. I remembered a recipe for crunchy cocoa chili in one of my favorite cookbooks- the The Runner’s World Cookbook: 150 Ultimate Recipes for Fueling Up and Slimming Down–While Enjoying Every Bite edited by Joanna Sayago Golub. Although this is not a slow cooker recipe, it is equally as easy. The recipe originally called for using tortilla chips for crunch, and although many (corn) tortilla chips are gluten-free, I opted to tweak the easy recipe without the chips.
(adapted from the Runner’s World Cookbook Crunchy Cocoa Chili, recipe by Matthew Kadey MS, RD)
Ingredients for low-calorie cocoa chili
- 1 tbsp Canola oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 package of sliced mushrooms, sliced
- 1 block (firm) tofu, diced
- 1 jalapeno, serrano or poblano pepper diced (remember to take the seeds out)
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
- 1 can (15 oz) tomato paste
- 1 can (15 oz) black beans (rinsed and drained)
- 1 can (15 oz) kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
- 1 cup frozen corn (I think I used two cups)
- 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
How to make cocoa chili
The recipe is very easy to make and yields six servings.
The Runner’s World Cookbook defines this recipe as great for recovery (from a workout), vegetarian, vegan and low-calorie. Since I did not use any whole grain tortillas and used gluten-free tofu, this chili was gluten-free as well. (I had no idea that some tofus use gluten.)
1. Heat the oil in a soup pot, add the onions, garlic and mushrooms at medium heat. Cook for about 4 minutes.
2. Add the tofu, cumin and chili powder. Stir and cook for about 3 minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, beans, corn and cocoa powder. Raise the heat and bring the chili to a boil- and then reduce the heat back to medium low and simmer for about 30 minutes.
Technically the chili would be ready to eat at this point (and it is), but we found that the flavors and richness of the chili came together even more the next day. So if at all possible, I recommend making this chili ahead of time.
Between the tofu, beans and the cocoa powder, this cocoa chili was a huge hit and easily made our list of meals to make again.
What about you?
What is your favorite -healthy- make ahead of time and have left overs meal?