Thursday, January 12, 2012

Beef chili from Trader Joe's

What to get: a can of Beef Chili
Where to get it: Trader Joe's

Why we approve: This canned meal is very delicious and provides convenience when you are really in a rush. In my perfect world once a month you make a huge pot of chili and freeze batches of it so that when in a hurry, you can use your own chili and know exactly what went in your recipe. This can is the next best thing. It's very thick and meaty, has visible beans that have a nice texture. They are not cooked beyond recognition and they are very tasty.  From a weight loss or maintenance perspective this is a great central dish to your meal: it only has 240 calories per cup, and 18 grams of protein.  Since it has a whooping 6 grams of fiber it will satisfy you for a long time.  At 27 net grams of carbs and 7 grams sugar it may be better to have this in the middle of the day or on a workout day. Serve it alongside vegetables, not starches.

Preparation: open the can, measure out half for one serving and place it in a pot. Heat and pour in a bowl.
Unless you are heating everything, you will have leftovers in the can. Remove them from the container and move to a glass or tupperware one to keep in the fridge.

Variations: You can serve this many ways: you can add some grated cheese, or accompany it with a large green salad. You could also prepare some sauteed vegetables, or just have raw cut up peppers and baby carrots to add some color and crunchiness. You could serve it as a sauce for spaghetti squash or thin it out and enjoy as a soup.

Pros: High in fiber, good amount of protein, pretty satisfying and great flavor, no trace of metal taste. You can eat it cold.
Cons: There are a number of ingredients, such as natural flavor, that I am not very comfortable with, so I would not make a staple food.

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