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Score big in your Chili Bowl with family using NuVal

Published 4:35pm Saturday, October 5, 2013

As temperatures cool down and with football season under way, what better way to score big with your family and friends than with chili? Chili recipes vary greatly among regions of the country, families and individuals, but with the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System at Hy-Vee, you can make sure your chili always scores big when it comes to nutrition.

NuVal is a nutritional scoring system in which each food is given a score based on its overall nutrition.

All scores range somewhere from 1-100, and the higher the score, the better the overall nutrition.

For example, 80 percent-lean ground beef gets a score of 26, but if you trade up by using 99 percent lean ground turkey breast, the ground turkey breast gets a NuVal score of 64.

The turkey breast has less fat and less saturated fat than 80 percent-lean ground beef which helps its score.

The turkey breast also has more protein per equivalent-size portion. You can also use 90 percent lean ground beef.

You can build your chili up with no-salt-added canned tomatoes and beans. Mrs. Grimes chili beans in chili sauce with salt added get a NuVal score of 50, but if you trade up to Mrs. Grimes chili beans in chili sauce with no salt added, they get a NuVal score of 94.  Tomatoes are the same way. Canned diced tomatoes with added salt range from 48-50 in NuVal scores, but canned tomatoes without added salt score a whopping 82-87.

Don’t forget to load your chili up with veggies. Check out some of these fresh vegetables’ winning NuVal scores:  bell peppers — 94, jalapenos – 100, fresh sliced mushrooms — 96, white or yellow onions —  93, fresh tomatoes —  96.

Frozen vegetables can also be mixed into chili before heating. Ever tried adding fruit to your chili? Blueberries score a perfect 100 and you’ll be surprised at the flavor they add to your chili. They can also help balance out heat.

Typically toppings like sour cream, shredded cheese and crackers can also be improved. Replacing the sour cream on top of your chili with plain non-fat Greek yogurt creates a shutout win for your chili -taking the NuVal score from 25 all the way up to 93.

Green onions score a perfect 100. And regular cheese can be swapped for Cabot 50 Percent reduced-fat sharp cheese for a touchdown trade-up.

30-minute chili

Serves 8

Adapted from

All You Need

•1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)

•¾ cup chopped yellow onion

•1 package (1.25 ounces) Mrs. Dash salt-free chili seasoning mix

•1 can (16 ounces) beans in chili-seasoned sauce, undrained

•1 can (14.5 ounces) no-salt-added diced tomatoes

•1 can (10 ounces) Ro*Tel Original Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies, undrained

•1 can no-salt-added tomato sauce

•1 cup water

All You Do

1. Cook beef and onion in large saucepan over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until beef is crumbled and no longer pink, stirring occasionally; drain.

2. Stir in seasoning mix. Add remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 10 minutes, stirring often.

Cook’s Tip: Top with shredded cheese, non-fat plain Greek yogurt or sliced green onions.

Nutrition Facts per serving: Calories 205, Total Fat , Saturated Fat 0g, Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 55mg, Sodium 90mg, Total Carbohydrate 18g, Dietary Fiber 4g, Sugars 4g, Protein 27g.

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