This robust chili from the USA Rice Federation teams rice and kidney and pinto beans with a variety of colorful vegetables for a hearty meatless meal that's great tasting and good for you.—USA Rice Council, Houston, Texas
Here's a surefire chill chaser for Linda Parkhurst of Brooklyn, Michigan. “Even those who don’t like tomato soup love this winter treat,” she writes. “It’s awesome with the seasoned homemade oyster crackers.” Linda asked "Light & Tasty" magazine to lighten up the recipe for her. Find the delicious revamp in the Dec/Jan 2006 issue.
I created the recipe through trial and error. I make it with vegetable broth, but feel free to use chicken broth if you prefer. It is a quick fix with frozen pasta and canned beans, it's sure to heat up the chilliest of winter nights.—Linda Kees, Boise, Idaho
Natalie Cataldo relies on store-bought pesto to provide mild flavor to this chunky tortellini and vegetable soup. "It's a hit in my house," says the Des Moines, Iowa cook. "If you don't like zucchini, use another vegetable," she suggests.
Meet the Cook: I started making my chili back when we lived near a huge farmers' market that sold all sorts of vegetables. Be as creative as you like with ingredients.
My husband loves chili, and this is a nice change from the traditional type. I've always enjoyed cooking - I grew up in a family with five girls. These days, I can count on our own youngsters (they're 4 and 2) to help me out!
-Judy Sloter, Charles City, Iowa
Jennifer Shields from Chesnee, South Carolina dresses up canned minestrone to make this shortcut soup that's loaded with colorful vegetables. Serve bowls with a sandwich or salad for a satisfying yet superfast meal.
Meet the Cook: Anytime you're looking for a way to use up your zucchini and squash, this recipe gives a different taste sensation. My husband really enjoys it -and, except for the zucchini, our two daughters, ages 7 and 3, do as well!
-Debbie Cosford, Bayfield, Ontario