Spicy Black Bean – Wheat Berry Chili with Turkey Sausage

I apologize for posting two chili recipes so close together, but this chili is very different from my classic chili and was simply too good to pass up sharing with you.  My Mother is the one who turned me on to this recipe, when she made the original version about a week ago.  I have made a few updates, but this southwestern inspired chili is so hardy and flavorful that it is equally good with or without the sausage and makes a fabulous vegetarian meal.

Spicy Black Bean – Wheat Berry Chili with Turkey Sausage

Adapted from Eating Well Magazine 
 
1/2 pound turkey sausage (if using)
1 large onion, chopped
1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cups cooked black beans
2 14-ounce cans diced tomatoes (no salt) with juice (about 2 cups)
2 chipolte peppers in adobo sauce, minced 
2 cups corn, frozen or fresh
2 cups vegetable broth 
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 cups cooked wheat berries (recipe follows)
Juice of one lime
1 avocado, cut into chunks
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
 
  1. Remove turkey sausage from casings and sauté over medium heat in a large Dutch oven (if you don’t plan to use sausage heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil).
  2. Add onion, bell peppers, garlic, chili, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add beans, tomatoes and juice, chipolte peppers, corn, broth and sugar and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer covered for about 25 minutes.
  5. Add wheat berries and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice.  Serve warm, topped with avocado and cilantro.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Wheat Berries

1 cup wheat berries, picked over and rinsed 
3 1/2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
 
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer covered for one hour.
  3. Drain, rinse again and serve warm.

Makes about 2 cups.

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