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Before I graduated from college, I made myself try to make one dish--just to make cooking seem less scary before I headed out into the "real" world. This was the result--I actually liked it!

I try to make it as healthy as possible, but I'm sure it'd taste better if you used higher fat meat/beans etc. It's easy to keep the ingredients on hand as they do not go bad (freeze the meat).


  • one giant pot
  • 1 red onion
  • salt/pepper
  • butter/margarine or olive oil, to cook onion in
  • 1 pound or so lean ground beef (chicken/turkey also low-fat choices)
  • 1 can corn, no salt added
  • 1 can non-fat refried beans (this is the secret--gives it a great consistency)
  • can or two crushed tomato
  • half jar of your favorite tomato-based sauce
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • chili powder
  • cumin
  • red pepper flakes (optional)
  • grated cheese (optional)


  • Put the stove in medium to medium-low heat. Cut up the onion and let it cook down in the butter/olive oil. When translucent, stir in the ground meat. Cook until it turns brown, adding salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the canned goods to the meat/onion mixture(no particular order). Be sure to drain the kidney beans before you stir them in.
  • Let the chili cook for about 15-20 minutes, stirring to keep it from sticking to the bottom. Add in the spices at the end (generous palmfuls of each, depending on your taste) and stir them around.
  • Serve with cheese and homemade pita chips

Categories: Main Dish 
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