Q. I received two 12-ounce containers of chili from a friend. She told me the chili ingredients were ground beef, chili beans, onion, green pepper, tomato, chili powder, and banana pepper. I am on a food group type of meal plan; can you tell me how I should count this into my plan? M.A. Grand Rapids
A. Sounds like a good basic chili. Combination foods such as chili and other casseroles can count as a few different food groups at once. One of the 12-ounce containers, about 1.5 cups, would be considered a smallish meal (but maybe just right for a quick lunch). I would count this portion of chili as equivalent to one vegetable serving (for the tomatoes, peppers and onions), three ounces of protein (from the beans and the meat), and one starch serving (from the beans). To round out the meal, you could add a salad and a few corn tortilla chips or crackers.
For an easy beef and bean chili recipe from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln Extension Service, click here.