This dish sticks to your ribs, not to your thighs! / Renee Comet/USA WEEKEND
It may come as no surprise that experts say many of us will have gained a pound over the holidays. The New Year is prime time to choose satisfying dishes that stick to the ribs, not to the thighs! Warm, hearty, full-flavored stews can be perfect right now.
Mine is actually a chili — chockfull of black beans and hominy, a combo that makes a wonderful meatless meal.
Hominy is corn kernels whose hull and germ have been removed. If you can’t find it at your local grocery store, frozen corn makes a fine substitute. Don’t feel locked into black beans either; feel free to use whatever mix of canned beans you might have in the pantry. Adding bittersweet chocolate, minced fresh garlic and fresh cilantro last minute seriously boosts flavor. If you prefer thick chili, vigorously stir in a little fine cornmeal at the end of cooking.
Black Bean-Hominy Chili
Makes about 2 quarts
• 1 quart good quality vegetable broth (e.g. Pacific, Kitchen Basics or Imagine brand)
• 1 can (14.5 ounces) petite-diced tomatoes
• 1 generous Tb. vegetable oil
• 1 medium-large onion, cut into medium dice
• 1 bell pepper, color choice is yours, cut into medium dice
• 3 Tbs. chili powder
• 1 tsp. each ground cumin and oregano
• 2 cans (15.5 ounces each) drained black beans
• 2 cans (15.5 ounces each) drained hominy
• 3 large garlic cloves, minced
• 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate
• ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Microwave broth and tomatoes in a microwave-safe container on high power until steamy hot, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a Dutch oven or small soup kettle over medium-high heat. Add onions and peppers; sauté until soft and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin and oregano: sauté until fragrant, a minute or so. Add beans and hominy along with hot broth mixture. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until vegetables are tender and flavors have blended, about 20 minutes. Stir in garlic, chocolateand cilantro; simmer a couple of minutes to blend flavors. Turn off heat and let stand a few minutes if there’s time. Adjust seasonings and serve.
Makes 4-6 servings
Per serving for 4: 475 calories, 80g carbohydrates, 16g protein, 10g fat (2g saturated), 0mg cholesterol, 21g dietary fiber, 2,009mg sodium*
*Editor’s note: Sodium is reduced by as much as 40 percent if you rinse the beans instead of just draining them.