Lean Three Bean Chili

Happy December Everyone!

Now that the winter season has approached us, it felt only necessary to warm up next to a hot bowl of comforting chili.

Chili can be made so many ways, from slow cooking all day in your crock pot, to quickly simmering on your stove. Being such a hearty meal, I usually slow cook my chili on days I know will be super busy. But there are just some mornings that you can’t get out of bed and forget to set your crock pot! Before you know it, it’s 7PM and you have a ton of work to catch up on, but don’t want to order take out for dinner. This recipe is for you! This chili recipe from Skinny Mom can be ready in twenty minutes and tastes like the flavors have been marrying all day.

Not only was this a super quick meal to make, it was also a great meal for the days you haven’t gone grocery shopping yet! Canned beans, tomatoes, and chicken stock are three main things that I stock in my pantry for times like this.

As you can see, the recipe is for Turkey Chili not Bean Chili .. HUH?! This recipe can be made both ways. As I mentioned, I had no food in the house but beans! Instead of ground turkey, I simply added one more can of beans. Nothing else was changed, except the omission of cinnamon.

Chili is so versatile, you can really add what you want as far as toppings – cheddar cheese, sour cream, chives, jalapenos, sliced avocado, fresh chopped tomatoes, sliced olives, crushed tortilla chips or shredded lettuce. Go wild!

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Chilled Avocado Tomatillo Soup

10628079_10152293204245759_8284467136358542382_nIt’s that time of year again! When gardens start flourishing with fruits and vegetables. Over the years I’ve made more of an effort to buy my produce organic and locally. A farm in Roosevelt, NJ had grown a small batch of tomatillos as a test. Once I saw the bucket on display, I bought the whole lot!

When I got home, I got creative in the kitchen and the result was so dreamy.

Recipe:

1 lb tomatillos, hulled and washed

2 cloves garlic

1 jalapenos

1/4 cup diced shallots

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 cup vegetable stock

1 cup of water

1 avocado

juice of 1 lime

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Add the tomatillos, shallots, garlic and jalapenos to a pan and sauté until slightly translucent.

2. Add mixture to a blender, with stock, cilantro, lime juice and avocado. Purree to desidred consistency.

3. If it is too thick, add some water.

4. Finish off with some queso fresco.

Skinny Chicken Tortilla Soup

11225462_10152764421910759_7133780060749822839_nIn honor of Cinco de Mayo yesterday, I made this soup packed with flavor. I recently purchased a crock pot, and love the convenience of not worrying about making dinner when I get home from work. This recipe comes from Skinny Mom.

You’ll soon see a pattern that I obviously love Spanish cuisine. Not only is my boyfriend from Guatemala and he is making requests .. I want to put anything and everything in a tortilla! Or add chilies, jalapenos, queso fresco to everything non-traditional.

My obsession constantly growing, I needed to watch the calories and sodium that came along with it.

Although this recipe already had low calories, the sodium was way too high so I made some changes and it came out just as wonderful!

Tip-  When shopping for “low-sodium” be sure to read the nutrition label. Some products will vary, and you really want to look for the product that contains the lowest sodium (per serving!). During my shopping trip, I found a low-sodium broth that was 800 mg per serving! Very misleading. I finally found an organic brand that had close to low 100’s mg per serving. #mindfulshopping

Warning! – This makes a very large batch. I used a 4 qt slow cooker and it was filled to the brim. If you are cooking for a small family, I would suggest cutting the recipe in half. We had a TON of leftovers (just the 2 of us!), and I ended up freezing more than half of the batch.

The recipe:

16 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 cup onion, chopped
16 oz can reduced-sodium black beans, drained + rinsed
16 oz can kidney beans, drained + rinsed
8 oz can tomato paste
10 oz package of yellow corn, frozen
2 — 10 oz cans Ro*Tel® diced tomatoes with chilies (I used low sodium)
1 packet reduced-sodium taco seasoning (I used Mrs. Dash – salt free)
1 Tbsp chili powder
32 oz reduced-sodium chicken broth (I used low-sodium organic)

Directions:

  1. Place chicken on the bottom of the slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients.
  2. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.
  3. Remove chicken breasts and shred with a fork, return to slow cooker and mix well. Spoon soup into bowls and top with crumbled tortilla chips. Add optional toppings, if desired.
  4. Add desired toppings. (We added tortilla strips, avocado, mozzarella cheese and cilantro.)

Black Bean, Hominey, and Kale Stew

1958081_10151945619670759_2135240833_nNeed a quick/easy meatless monday meal? This stew is about to make your family think you’ve stopped in Mexico on your way home to pick this meal up. Seriously. They won’t believe you made it.

Before winter is over (I know, I can’t wait either), do everyone a favor and make this warm, filling, and healthy meal!

Ingredients
2 poblano chiles
8 ounces tomatillos, husks removed and halved (about 4)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 cups organic vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 (15.5-ounce) cans unsalted black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (8-ounce) bunch kale, tough stems removed, leaves chopped (about 4 packed cups)
1 (15-ounce) can hominy, rinsed and drained
6 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
2 ounces shredded sharp white cheddar cheese (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Radish
Directions

1. Preheat broiler to high.

2. Place poblano chiles on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil 7 minutes on each side or until blackened and charred. Place in a paper bag; fold to close tightly. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel chiles; cut in half lengthwise. Discard seeds and membranes; coarsely chop. Set aside.

3. While poblano chiles roast, place the tomatillos in a food processor, and process until smooth. Set aside.

4. Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and jalapeño; sauté 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cumin; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add tomatillos, broth, and next 4 ingredients (through kale); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add roasted poblanos and hominy; cook for 2 minutes or until heated through. Ladle into each of 4 shallow bowls; top evenly with sour cream and cheese. Sprinkle with cilantro and shaved radish.

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

10997784_10152612293340759_4076430013248462192_n

Acquired this recipe from Damn Delicious. My new favorite blog!

This beats your old chicken noodle soup recipe. Perfect for cold, snowed in weather or when you’re feeling sick. This dish tastes so fresh with all the herbs and has a nice zing from the lemon.

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3/4 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Directions:

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper, to taste. Add chicken to the stockpot and cook until golden, about 2-3 minutes; set aside.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the stockpot. Add garlic, onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in thyme until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Whisk in chicken stock, bay leaves and 1 cup water; bring to a boil. Stir in orzo, rosemary and chicken; reduce heat and simmer until orzo is tender, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and parsley; season with salt and pepper, to taste.