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It’s cold out — make something hearty for dinner

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Updated: January 14, 2013 8:28AM

As January’s cold days set in, we need meals that combat the tough temperatures.

Today we’re featuring a Tangy Beef Stew and thick-and-spicy Chili Con Carne — requested by A.L. of Chicago for her new hubby — come from the kitchens of Canola Oil. A Vegetarian Chili recipe — for D.M. of Winnetka — comes from the producers of Muir Glen Organic Tomatoes.

To make Vegetarian Chili: In a 4-quart saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over medium heat. Add 1 cup chopped onion, 1 cup chopped green bell pepper, 4 finely chopped garlic cloves, and 2 fresh jalapeno or Serrano chiles (seeded and finely chopped). Cook 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently until tender.

Stir in 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans (drained and rinsed), 2 (14.5-ounce) cans fire-roasted or plain diced tomatoes (undrained), 1½ cups water, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, and ½ teaspoon coarse (kosher or sea) salt.

Heat to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1 cup frozen sweet corn (organic preferred). Heat to boiling; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes longer. If desired, top each serving with sour cream or plain yogurt, shredded Cheddar cheese and chopped fresh cilantro.


Over the holidays, I enjoyed lime bars that contained cream cheese and were refrigerated, not baked. Any help?

S.W., Joliet

I’d appreciate a recipe for the bean soup (often with tomatoes and spinach) served in many Italian restaurants.

G.P., Chicago

I need a recipe for a decent slimmed-down version of macaroni and cheese. Like Jessica Simpson, I have a weakness for the calorie-heavy version, but I’m trying to find a healthier version.

F.W., Glenview

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