Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Chillin' at the chili cookoff
Quote: "Next to jazz music, there is nothing that lifts the spirit and strengthens the soul more than a good bowl of chili." Harry James, trumpet virtuoso
I've always been a fan of spicy foods. I pour buckets of hot sauce on virtually everything - from salads and pizza to spaghetti, rice and falafel. I pile jalapeno peppers on sandwiches and toss them in omelettes. It's definitely one of the food-related traits I've picked up from my Southern parents (who, by the way, are still devastated I hate seafood). I figure this addiction to all things spicy is responsible for my love of chili - one of the few meals I could probably eat every day of the week. Whether it's green, white or red, veggie style or heavy on the meat, just pass over a bowl and I'll be a happy camper.
Needless to say, I couldn't have been more thrilled when I found out there was a chili cookoff festival in Atlanta this past weekend, one that also featured beer and bluegrass bands. What a fabulous day in the neighborhood!!!
The weather was gorgeous, the crowd was fun and I got to taste-test a variety of recipes, ranging from sweet to spicy. It's a tough call but I think my favorite of the afternoon was a green chili stew with tenderloin beef tips, potato, cilantro, onion and corn. Delicious!
The good news is, this particular meal ain't just tasty...it's also good for you. Tomatoes, for example, contain lycopene, vitamins C, A and K, fiber and potassium. These nutrients aid in the development of healthy teeth, bones, skin and hair, help lower blood pressure and possibly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers. Chili peppers contain a substance called capsaicin, which is now being studied as an effective treatment for sensory nerve fiber disorders. Some peppers have also been shown to reduce blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
These days, there seems to be a growing number of chili recipes catering to the sugar-free crowd. And the ones I've tasted thus far are pretty yummy. So here are a couple sucralose-sweetened versions for all you calorie-counters out there. Hope you enjoy!
Low Carb Chili Recipe
Black Bean and Veggie Chili