Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Chili That Works for Diabetics and Those Who Watch Their Weight

Actually, the chili is about 190 calories for a small serving and the crackers are 18 calories for two.

        I don't enjoy cooking, and since my husband is a wonderful cook and he enjoys cooking to unwind, I have never spent too much time in the kitchen.  This is positive in that it does free me to do a host of other things.   I have also never wanted my blog to become a place in cyberspace awash with recipes, because we have an entire host of people on the internet whose life's devotion is to making exquisite food, and some of those people are chefs !    I promise that my bringing you recipes will be a rarity.

                 Now that most of my kids are grown, we all still stay in close touch.  Whenever we can we meet in some city or suburbs for lunch.  More often than not, that restaurant is a Wendy's.   My sons all require a lot more calories than I do.  In Summer I can order one of their salads, but in Winter, I am a bit more challenged when we meet there to eat.  Over the Winter I developed the habit of having a small chili at Wendy's each time I lunched with one of the kids.  A small chili there is fairly low fat and has only 190 calories. One package of two crackers is an additional 18 calories.  This makes it a good choice for myself, and also for my daughter who is a Type I (juvenile) diabetic. Their side salad with the pomegranate vinaigrette dressing rounds it out for a fairly satisfying meal, even in a fast food setting.

                  Lately I have wanted a Wendy's chili but haven't wanted to travel in the car when I wasn't meeting  one of the kids. I decided to try my hand at making as close to Wendy's chili via taste, caloric content, and protein as possible.   I made several batches of chili using recipes I found on the internet.  I have made some modifications and this is the one I think is fairly close to the chili sold at Wendy's.  Since most of us are near a Wal-Mart, I tried to stick to using things that are available at their grocery department. With the exception of the lean ground beef, the recipe is quite inexpensive.

           Jane's Knock Off of Wendy's Healthy Chili


2 pounds of ground beef  (90% lean with 10% fat, if you possibly can)
1 15 oz. can of Great Value Tomato Sauce
1 14 1/2 oz. can of Great Value chili ready tomatoes
2 cans 15.5 oz. Great Value dark kidney beans with liquid  (keeping the liquid in one set of the cans boosts thickness.)
2 cans 15.5 oz. Great Value light kidney beans without liquid   (may substitute other beans you like in chili)
1 large onion, chopped not too finely     (a bit more than one cup)
2 green chilis, chopped    (Pepperoncini from the Dollar Store will work too)
3 chopped tomatoes     (These can be left out if you don't have them.)
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 tsp minced garlic (I used the kind in the jar, but you can use chopped, or even garlic powder.)
2 teaspoons Cumin    (This is an essential ingredient)
2 tablespoons chili powder   (soak this in 1/4 cup water for 15 minutes before using)
1 tsp black pepper    (I used only one half tsp.)
1 tsp salt         (I used only one half tsp.)
2 cups water

(Other recipes also add 2 tablespoons lemon juice and a 1/2 tsp. of oregano, but I didn't taste those in it, and so I didn't add these to my final recipe.) 

For people who aren't watching their weight or who need to supplement their calories, they can serve this with some french bread with butter, or top the chili with cheddar cheese and perhaps some sour cream.   Some will prefer their portion with hot sauce added.

Attentively brown your ground beef in an iron skillet. (Only if you had to use beef other than 10% fat, do you need to remove any fat.)   When the meat is completely cooked, cut it into pieces smaller than kidney beans. Then add your meat, and all of the ingredients above into a large pot.  Stir the mixture and bring it to a boil. Then, turn it to a low heat for three hours.  Stir it every ten to fifteen minutes.

 This makes twelve/thirteen servings that are a bit more than one cup each
 Each serving is about 200 calories.
 This is a perfect diabetic lunch or dinner entree.

It can be frozen in individual servings for months.    It defrosts quite nicely in individual portions and can be warmed in the microwave, even though a couple of the beans will explode. Make sure the bowl is covered.

It is also possible to can individual portions as diabetic emergency food.
How to pressure can chili:
Certainly, you can add hot sauce to each serving if you desire.

You can save even more calories by using ground turkey or ground chicken, but then you would need to increase spices accordingly, just as you do when you make a meatloaf or meatballs with these meats.


lotta joy said...

So, all this time, I've been making Wendy's chili and didn't know it. hmmmm. But I only use one can of beans, and I add more chili powder than a tablespoon. Probably more like two. Joe has always loved Wendy's chili: the ONLY purchased chili he likes. Now I know WHY. ( I just read your post to him and, according to him, he says he has told me before that is why he likes Wendys: because it tastes like mine) lol I believe the only thing in chili that would be bad for a diabetic would be if you added spaghetti to it.

What do you think the shelf life would be on home canned chili? I had never thought of canning it.

Anonymous said...

I am a huge fan of Wendy's chili! Of course I add chopped onions and shredded cheese and about 10 crackers! ha ha ha ha I will have to tell the wife how healthy I have been eating all along!ha ha ha ha ha Have a great One! MsJane!

JaneofVirginia said...

Mr. Rat, Thank you for your post. Adding some cheese, onions and crackers really might not be a problem for a man, who needs more calories than 200. Even all those crackers are probably burned up by your doing just a little work in your workshop or in your yard. You probably are eating better than you thought ! Best wishes,

JaneofVirginia said...

Lotta Joy,
Thank you for your post. I have some canning books , but I never get around to making anything except blackberry jam without sugar. The reference I checked said that chili could be canned and saved for one year. There are some freeze dried chilis, Augason Farms sells one but I do not like it as much as the Wendy's chili.
I still think there are lots of things we can put away for diabetics, we just need to pay attention and read labels, which I think you probably are already an expert at ! Have a lovely Sunday !