Healthy Living

In this Section

Tackling a Football Party Diet Buster 
Brought to you by the Columbia St. Mary's Women’s Heart Secrets Program -      
It’s a new year and the “big game” is right around the corner. Here’s a great way to stick to your resolution while still enjoying this football party favorite – chili!

Try something new, Slow-cooker Cincinnati-style Chocolate Chili. The chocolate makes this chili savory, not sweet. This hearty vegetarian chili is a great source of protein, fiber, calcium, iron, and vitamins A and C. 

You can make two versions of this delicious chili. The first one uses dry beans, soaked overnight, then simmered in the slow cooker for 4 to 6 hours. If you don’t have that kind of time, substitute canned beans and make this on the stovetop in 30 minutes. If you like, serve with cornbread and spiced, baked apples.

Slow-cooker Cincinnati-style Chocolate Chili
click here to print
Adapted by Jennifer Motl, RD, Women’s Heart Secrets Program clinical dietitian 


  • 1 lb dry pinto beans*
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice or cloves
  • 3 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 16-ounce can low-sodium diced tomatoes, including liquid
  • 4 oz. shredded cheese reduced-fat Cheddar cheese

*Speedy version:  Substitute (4)15-ounce cans of pinto beans, drained and rinsed, for dry beans.

1. Soak the dried beans overnight in the slow cooker in enough water to cover them, about 10 cups. Speedy version:  When using canned beans, there is no need to soak. Just add all ingredients except cheese to large pot on stove and simmer 30 minutes, until onion and pepper are tender. Skip to step 5.

2. Drain beans in a colander and discard the soaking water. Return beans to pot. Add 6 cups of fresh water plus all other ingredients except tomatoes and cheese. (Never add tomatoes until beans are fully cooked; once you add tomatoes, their acid stops the beans from getting tender.)

3. Cook beans, vegetables and spices covered in the slow-cooker on high for 4 to 6 hours. Check occasionally and add enough water to keep the bottom of the pot just moist, not scorched.

4. When the beans are tender, add tomatoes.

5. Adjust seasonings to your taste. If you want spicier chili, increase the spices as needed (spices are low in calories and don’t change the nutrition profile of this dish). If you want thinner chili, add water.

6. Serve bowls of chili, topping each portion with 2 tablespoons of shredded, reduce-fat cheddar cheese.

Makes 8 servings. 

Nutrient Analysis per serving:  265 Calories, 16 grams protein, 4 grams fat (2 milligrams saturated fat), 10 milligrams cholesterol, 43 grams carbohydrate, 13 grams fiber, 177 milligrams calcium, 4 milligrams iron, 429 milligrams sodium, 1,125 units vitamin A, 43 milligrams vitamin C.

To learn more about the Heart Secrets program and to read our bi-monthly blog, visit 


Columbia St. Mary's

Site Map | Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Non-Discrimination Statement
Copyright © 2018 Columbia St. Mary's | Milwaukee, WI
Connect Healthcare CMS Solutions