The days are longer now in the Midwest, still cold but teasing of spring. What sounds good is a dish that warms, but with a lighter touch. White Chili, anyone?
White Chili is loaded with chicken breast, onion, and lots of white beans. It’s naturally low fat, high protein and high fiber – a wonderful trifecta for those of us who watch blood sugar. It’s also good for those who want heart healthy meals and – well, everyone.
White Chili has a velvety texture without the addition of any cream or cream cheese; the creaminess comes from puréed beans. About those beans – they have carbs, but they are the “good” kind of carbs for people with prediabetes. The hefty amount of fiber in the beans slows down digestion, which prevents blood sugar spikes and keeps hunger at bay for a longer time than does white pasta or rice.
Purists can certainly cook their own beans; I don’t think it’s worth the trouble for this recipe. After I drain the canned beans, I rinse them with water to reduce the sodium.
This White Chili is adapted from Taste of Home magazine, which focuses on appealing, easy dishes. This chili recipe is a good example: Open a few cans, add some fresh chicken, broth and seasonings and cook for awhile. It’s a fine recipe for a beginning cook or someone who is starting to eat healthier and doesn’t want to fuss.
The chili also can be made ahead of time and warmed up later to accommodate soccer practice, a business meeting or other evening activities.
Since the White Chili itself is full of guiltless ingredients, add some fun toppings such as a sprinkle of shredded cheese and/or a couple of crumbled tortilla chips. Chopped cilantro adds color and flavor.
Cornbread is a traditional side to chili, but it does add a lot of carbs. The first night, I served the White Chili with a green salad that included chopped apple, shredded carrot, celery, sunflower seeds. Oil and vinegar dressing worked well to bring the flavors together.
The salad had a lot of crunch because of all those add-ins, and was a nice counterpoint to the creamy soup
The second night, when we had a guest who doesn’t watch carbs, I served the White Chili with the same salad and an easy cornbread made from a mix that used oil, not butter.
I hope you enjoy this White Chili!
White Chili (adapted from Taste of Home)
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced can sub pre-chopped jarred garlic; 1/2 tsp. = 1 clove
- Two 14 oz. cans chicken broth homemade or lower sodium broth if desired
- 1 small can mild green chilies, drained
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/4-1/2+ tsp. cayenne pepper start with 1/4 tsp. of pepper, add more to personal taste if desired.
- Three 14 1/2 oz cans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed well
- shredded reduced fat cheese about 2 tbsp. per serving, optional for topping
- tortilla chips, crumbled about 2 large per serving, optional for topping
- chopped cilantro optional for topping
- In a Dutch oven, add oil and heat to medium. Add chopped chicken and chopped onion, saute until lightly browned. Add garlic, cook for one minute longer, stirring mixture well to avoid burning garlic.Add broth, canned green chiles, cumin, oregano and cayenne and bring to boil.Reduce heat to low. With a potato masher, mash one can of beans until smooth. Add to Dutch oven. Add remaining beans and then simmer mixture for at least 20 minutes, until chicken is cooked. If soup seems dry, add a little broth (preferably) or water as desired.Taste soup, adjust seasonings.Top with cheese, crumbled chips and or chopped cilantro.