So I was with friends from high school having dinner last week, and one of my dear friends asked for some healthy recipes, that follow a heart healthy protocol. This dish definitely does just that. This is a simple and tasty chili that is more like a soup. I always have chicken cooked and ready to go in my fridge because it is my go to protein. But you can use store-bought rotisserie chicken and this is a breeze.
To break this down from a health perspective, this has healthy carbs and protein from the white beans, chili peppers, and chicken. Amp up the veg, and spice so as to cut down on salt. I do not use table salt at meals and season accordingly, I have high blood pressure and limit my intake but I do season my food! You can use a heart healthy oil to saute, like canola, olive, or even coconut. I make a roast tomatillo salsa that is healthy, it’s simply a bit of EVOO, salt, and pepper, over tomatillos, onions, garlic and a jalapeno, broiled for a few minutes to char it all up, and pulsed in my Ninja blender, with some lime juice, and fresh cilantro. It lends a nice spice factor without being overtly spicy, and the chili has a nice depth of flavor from the salsa verde. You can use a store bought one, just check sodium content if that is a concern for you.
In all of my recipes you can modify them using ground turkey or chicken, more or less of seasonings, amped up veggies, pureed beans in place of heavy cream. All things in moderation! Truly it is a philosophy of life.
So I am pleased to offer up this Pollo Blanco Chilii. It is so good, and so filling. I garnish with low carb flour tortilla strips, but you could use corn tortillas, bake them, or omit altogether. Whatever makes your heart happy, do that! I do hope you give this a try!
I aspire to get my chop game tight, but some days are a crapshoot! Dice the veg and set aside for sauteing.
There is something mildly therapeutic about shredding chicken by hand. So take this time to meditate and shred. I used mostly white meat with a little bit of thigh meat. You do you. It’s all good. Just be certain chicken is cooked through and skin is removed.
So here is my corn with the veg mixed in before I add the broth, salsa verde, beans and shredded chicken. Veg should be soft and translucent before the corn goes in.
Everyone in the pot except the reserved 1/2 cup of bean puree. That can go in as soon as you have mixed all the ingredients together, and are getting ready to simmer.
This is my homemade salsa verde, made with charred tomatillos, onions, garlic, a jalapeno, mixed with some fresh lime juice, and a healthy bunch of chopped cilantro. So easy to make, but you can certainly buy a commercial brand. Ortega has a pretty good one that I use in a pinch.
Here is what you want your pureed white beans to resemble. You just want a base to thicken your chili a bit without adding excess fat and calories from the heavy cream.
So here is where you can do as little or as much as you want. Some diced avocado, healthy fat, creamy rich in Vitamin E, low carb whole wheat flour tortillas, some low-fat Monterey Jack cheese, with a dollop of sour cream. All things in moderation. This has a ton of flavor and healthy carbs and protein so you can feel good about having some indulgent but healthy toppings. You can even sub out the sour cream for plain low fat Greek yogurt, or omit completely.
Pollo Blanco Chili
A simple, healthy and full of flavor chili, that is lighter than beef but still spicy enough to be chili!
- Use store-bought rotisserie chicken for a quick weeknight meal. You can use white or dark meat, or a combination of the two. Just remove the skin to keep it healthy and palpable.
Credit: CrazySexySavor.com Susan Mangieri-Maurath
- 2 cups of shredded cooked chicken
- 1 cup of homemade or store-bought salsa verde
- one small onion diced
- 2 cloves are garlic minced
- 1 jalapeno seeded, ribs removed and diced
- 1 can of green diced chilies
- 1 1/2 cups of white or yellow corn kernels, fresh or frozen
- 2 cans of white cannellini beans or Great Northern beans, reserve 1/2 cup to puree
- 1 container (32 oz. of chicken or vegetable stock)
- 1 1/2 tsp. of chili powder and cumin
- 1 tsp. of chipotle chili powder
- 2 low carb wheat flour tortillas, cut into strips and crisped in some EVOO, alternately you can spray with baking spray, and bake on sheet pan in oven at 375° for about 15 minutes until golden. Turn once to crisp on both sides, then hit with a little sprinkling of Kosher salt, and chipotle chili powder while still warm.
- Sour cream, lime segments, low fat cheese, and tortilla strips, diced avocado, and fresh chopped cilantro, for garnish if desired.
- Remove skin and chicken bones and begin to shred chicken. I like to pull it in strands by hand, but you can use two forks if you prefer. Set aside. You should have about two cups more if you desire.
- In a Dutch oven over medium heat, add about a tbsp. of EVOO. Saute onions, garlic, and jalapeno pepper until soft. Add in chili powders, cumin, and Kosher salt and pepper. Saute veg about 3-4 minutes. Meanwhile, take about a 1/2 cup of white beans, rinsed and drained, and mash. Use either a potato masher or a fork to lightly mash. Set aside.
- When veg are soft, add in chicken, chicken or vegetable broth, green chilis, salsa verde, and corn. Mix well to combine. Taste for seasoning. Let simmer for 25-30 minutes to meld flavors and soften corn.
- In a small frying pan with some EVOO, heat to medium high, add in a few tortilla strips and fry until golden, about two or three minutes. Alternately can be baked, see notes above. Remove and drain on paper towel lined plate. Set aside for garnish, if desired.
- When chili is done, ladle into bowls and serve with fresh lime wedges, cilantro, cheese or a dollop of sour cream.
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