Greek Chili with Black Olives and Feta Cheese

Chili is a perfect comfort food. In this recipe, lean beef or lamb replaces regular ground beef, and there is only 1 teaspoon of added oil. To make the dish vegetarian, use ground soy in place of the beef; the soybeans add fiber and plant protein. If you like your chili hot, add some fresh minced jalapeño peppers. This chili is delicious on its own or served over rice, couscous or polenta. You can use whole canned tomatoes; just crush them with the back of a wooden spoon during the cooking or purée in a food processor. 

1. Spray a large non-stick saucepan with cooking oil, add the vegetable oil and place over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, green pepper and garlic. Sauté for 8 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened, stirring occasionally. Add the meat and stir to break it up; cook for 2 minutes, or until it’s no longer pink. Drain off the excess fat.

2. Mash 1/2 cup of the red kidney beans with 1/2 cup of the white kidney beans in a large bowl.

3. Add the mashed and whole beans, tomatoes, stock, olives, chili powder, sugar, basil and oregano to the meat mixture. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve in individual bowls, sprinkled with feta cheese and cilantro.

1 tsp vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups chopped eggplant (unpeeled)
1 cup chopped zucchini
4 tsp chili powder
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 tsp dried basil
8 oz extra-lean ground beef or lamb
1 cup canned red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (19 oz) crushed tomatoes
1/3 cup sliced black olives
1 1/4 cups beef or chicken stock
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp minced fresh garlic
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/3 cup chopped cilantro or parsley
1 cup canned white kidney beans drained and rinsed

Nutritional Analysis per Serving

Calories 245
Protein 16 g
Fat 8g
Saturated Fat 2.4 g
Carbohydrates 26 g
Cholesterol 17 mg
Sodium 550 mg
Fiber 6.1 g

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes

Make Ahead: Prepare up to a day in advance and refrigerate or freeze for up to 2 months. If frozen, defrost and reheat gently over low heat.

Serves 6