Zesty Wheat Berry-Black Bean Chili

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a bowl of chili when the cooler temperatures of fall arrive! Easy to prepare, it’s the perfect meal for a weekend supper or to feed a crowd on game day! Set out small bowls of chopped onions and grated cheese, your favorite hot sauce and you’re ready to party. (And don’t forget the cornbread!)


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 large yellow bell pepper, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
2 14-ounce cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1-2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
2 cups vegetable broth
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
2 cups cooked wheat berries (see recipe below)
Juice of 1 lime
1 avocado, diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro


Heat olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes.

Add beans, tomatoes, and chipotle peppers (to taste), vegetable broth and brown sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes.

Stir in cooked wheat berries and heat through, about 5 minutes more. If using frozen wheat berries, cook until thoroughly heated.

Remove from the heat. Stir in lime juice. Garnish each bowl with avocado chunks and chopped cilantro.

YIELD: 6 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each

SOURCE: From EatingWell: March/April 2007, EatingWell for a Healthy Heart Cookbook (2008)


How to Cook Wheat Berries

2 cups hard red winter-wheat berries
7 cups cold water
1 teaspoon salt

Place wheat berries in a fine mesh strainer. Rinse wheat berries under cool running water. Carefully sort through grains and discard any stones.

Place wheat berries in a large heavy saucepan. Add water and stir in salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer gently for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Drain and rinse. To serve hot, use immediately. Or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

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