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Ornish Program turns up the heat

Ten participants in the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine program at Beacon recently showed off their culinary skills during a chili-cook off hosted at the new Beacon Health & Fitness center in Granger.chili-cook-off-entrants1-copy

“Everyone had a great time,” says program coordinator Karen Sommers, MS. “I don’t know how the judges could even determine which chili was best, but they did!”

Thanks to all the chili cooks who participated, and congratulations to the winners.

First Place – Sharon Benfiet (see Sharon’s recipe below)
Second Place – Sandy Przybylski
Third Place – Chris Kohut
Spiciest Chili – Mike Slisher
People’s Choice Award – Jennifer Ooten

And, special thanks to the judges who generously gave of their time and palates in this spicy competition.chili-cook-off-judges

Dr. Andrew Fiedler, Memorial Ornish Medical Director
Rick Zeeff, Beacon Community Wellness Coordinator – Blue Zone Project
Jocelyn Antonelli, Program Director of Nutritional Services, University of Notre Dame
Leonard Sanchez, Professional Specialist, Social Work, Saint Mary’s College

Learn More

Find recipes for healthy main dishes, sides, snacks and desserts online in the Ornish Kitchen.

For more information about Ornish Lifestyle Medicine at Beacon Health System, including upcoming program dates, call:

Elkhart General Hospital   574.296.6496
Memorial Hospital              574.647.7620


Sharon’s Award-Winning Vegetarian Chili Recipe

With two jalapeno peppers and a good dose of red chili flakes, this recipe is spicy. If needed, adjust the seasonings to your family’s tastes.

In a medium pot, combine and simmer the following ingredients for about 15 minutes to combine all the flavors:

2–3 packages of Quorn™ Grounds (beef flavored)
1 large garlic clove, finely diced
1 large onion, diced
2 jalapeño peppers, diced
3 tablespoons herb and garlic seasoning (no salt added)
3 tablespoons parsley flakes
3 tablespoons red chili flakes
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons cumin
3 tablespoons chili powder

In a six-quart slow cooker, combine the following:

3 (15 oz.) cans Van Camp’s New Orleans Style Dark Red Kidney Beans (100% fat-free, high fiber, cholesterol-free)
3 (15 oz.) cans Van Camp’s New Orleans Style Light Red Kidney Beans
2 (15 oz.) cans Spartan tomato sauce (no salt added)
1 small can diced green chili peppers
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes (no salt added)

After the spices and Quorn have simmered together for about 15 minutes, add them to the slow cooker pot with the other ingredients. Cook on high for 2 hours, then turn the temperature down to low and cook overnight. After all flavors have combined, adjust spices to individual taste by slowly adding more cumin, chili powder or other spices.

Serve chili with chopped onion; crackers; no-fat, light sour cream; or fat-free (or low-fat) shredded white cheddar cheese.

About Laura Bailey

Laura is a communications specialist at Beacon Health System. She enjoys sharing stories with the community about the talented team members at Beacon and winning against the computer in Scrabble.