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Cincinnati Chili

Try this on one of those late summer nights when the air is getting cooler.

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
8 ounces lean ground beef
1 tablespoon ground chili powder, or to taste
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup diced tomatoes, with their liquid
1 cup salsa salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 12 ounces spaghetti
3 ounces shredded, reduced fat Cheddar cheese
½ cup finely chopped onion (optional, for garnish) crumbled soda crackers (optional)


  1. In a Dutch oven or deep, medium saucepan liberally coated with coking spray, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sauté onion, garlic and jalapeno until onion is clear, about 4 minutes.
  2.  Add meat and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until it no longer looks red, about 3 minutes. Stir in chili powder, cocoa, cumin and oregano. After about 30 seconds, add beans, tomatoes and salsa. Simmer chili until liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti according to package directions. When tender, drain and divide spaghetti among four wide, shallow soup bowls or dinner plates. Ladle chili over each serving.
  4. If desired, pass one bowl containing chopped onion and another with soda crackers, and let people serve themselves.
    Makes 6 servings, each containing 451 calories and 9 grams of fat.

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