Beef and Bean Chili

This is good all-around beef chili, with just the right balance of spices and quick enough for a simple family dinner. If desired, lean ground turkey can be substituted for the beef. Serve in bowls topped with grated cheddar cheese and salsa fresca for a festive touch.

 *2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
 *1 cup water
 *1/2 cup chopped cilantro
 *1 teaspoon ground cumin
 *1 large onion, coarsely chopped
 *1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
 *2 cloves garlic, minced
 *Sea salt
 *2 tablespoons chili powder
 *2 teaspoons ground oregano
 *1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
 *1 pound lean ground beef
 *1 cup cooked kidney beans
 *1 cup cooked black beans
 *Hot pepper sauce, to taste (optional)

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently until onions are translucent.

Stir in chili powder, oregano, cumin and crushed red pepper and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add ground beef and stir to brown the meat, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add tomato sauce, water and beans. Season with salt to taste, then bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring often, until flavors have melded and sauce is thickened and bubbly. Stir in cilantro and hot pepper sauce, if desired.

Per serving (12 oz/345g-wt.): 370 calories (120 from fat), 13g total fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 32g protein, 34g total carbohydrate (11g dietary fiber, 1g sugar), 60mg cholesterol, 170mg sodium

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