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Hearty and healthy! Let's face it, few foods are as comforting on a cold evening than a bowl of hot, homemade chili. Here is a convenient recipe using canned beans, low sodium chicken broth and leftover Thanksgiving turkey.

(Serves 8)

1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cups diced yellow onion
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 cups chopped cooked turkey
3 (15.8-ounce) cans great northern beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup diced tomato
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
2. Add onion and sauté 10 minutes or until tender and golden.
3. Add chili powder, garlic, and cumin. Sauté for 2 minutes.
4. Add oregano and beans. Cook for 30 seconds.
5. Add broth and bring to a simmer. Cook 20 minutes.
6. Place just 2 cups of bean mixture in a blender or food processor. Pureeing the bean mixture gives the chili more body. Process until smooth, and return pureed mixture to pan.
7. Add turkey, and cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
8. Remove from heat. Add diced tomato, chopped cilantro, salt, pepper, and lime juice. Stir well.
9. Enjoy!

A High Quality Plant Protein: Great Northern Beans
Great northern beans are similar to cannellini beans in that both varieties are large, white, creamy, full-flavored and often used in baked bean dishes. Like all mature legumes, great northern beans are a high-protein, low-fat source of a wide array of nutrients. Many of the most important health benefits they provide, however, can be attributed to their exceptionally high fiber content.

In fact, eating great northern beans supplies you with a large portion of the dietary fiber you need daily. Approximately 1 cup of the beans gives you 12 grams of fiber. Dietary fiber plays a role in maintaining regular digestion and preventing constipation. A high fiber diet may also reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes and diverticulitis.

All men and women over 50 years old need at least 8 milligrams of iron per day, and women under 50 need at least 18 milligrams per day. Just 1 cup of northern beans gives you 4 milligrams of iron (or up to 50 percent of the iron you need daily). The hemoglobin molecule, a part of red blood cells, contains iron. It is needed to transport oxygen from your lungs to your cells.

Lastly, your body is unable to store protein in the same way it can store carbohydrates and fats, so you must take it in daily. Incorporating more great northern beans into your diet helps you meet your need for protein. Just one serving of great northern beans gives you 15 grams of vegetarian protein. Getting an adequate amount of protein supports healthy muscles, skin and other organs, aids in bodily growth and repair and maintains body fluids.

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