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Second Harvest Staff Chili Cook-Off is a Hit

Have you ever wondered what you can make with a big bag of produce and a bag of pantry items like rice, beans, lentils and canned tomatoes?

Well, the Second Harvest Programs Team hosted a chili cookoff last Friday to show us how it’s done!  Each chili was a little different, but all were tasty!  Nutrition Program Education Manager, Delia Bernal recommends that you add your protein of choice to the chili you make.

Each member of the cookoff took the basic recipe designed by Bernal, and made it their own with different spices, veggies and beans.  Each chili was delicious, but also distinct.  There is so much you can do, even starting with the same basic ingredients. You can find the chili recipe below, and you can, in fact, get all the basic ingredients you need at one of our nutrition distribution sites throughout the county.
Vegetable Chili Beans


  • 1 pinto bean can (rinsed)
  • 1 black bean can (rinsed)
  • 1 can tomato sauce (15oz)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 carrots finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp cilantro chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Your favorite toppings


  1. In a saucepan over medium heat add the oil, carrot and celery, cook for about 5 minutes, stirring well.
  2. 2. Add the onion and continue cooking until translucent, then add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute, continue stirring.
  3. Add the cumin, stir well, reduce to low heat, add the tomato sauce, the two beans cans and the jalapeno. Cook for about 10-15 more minutes, then turn off the heat and add the cilantro.
  4. Serve with your favorite toppings and brown rice.