Saturday, August 29, 2009

DF27: Eat-Clean White Chili

While flipping through the recipes in Tosca Reno's Eat Clean Diet book, I found a white chili recipe that looked pretty good. I did adapt it a little from the way it's written, as I was using canned white beans rather than dry ones. It was just DC and me for dinner and I was pretty sure he'd enjoy the chili.

The Eat-Clean Philosophy is to eat 5-6 small meals a day that include a serving of lean protein and complex carbs. Also, the emphasis is on whole, natural non-processed foods.

Here is the recipe:

Tosca Reno's Hearty White Bean Chili
Makes 6-8 servings

1 lb. dry great northern beans or white kidney beans, rinsed and picked over
(I used 2 cans of Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained)
4 c. low-sodium chicken broth
2 c. yellow onions, chopped
2 lg. garlic cloves, minced
2 t. ground cumin
1 1/2 t. dried oregano
1 t. ground coriander
1/8 t. ground cloves
1 4 oz. can chopped green chiles
2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken or turkey breast, grilled and cubed
1 t. sea salt

Place beans in a soup kettle or Dutch oven. Add enough water to cover beans by 2 in. Bring to a boil. Let boil for 5 min. Remove from heat and let stand covered for 1 hr. Drain and rinse. Discard liquid.

Place beans in a slow cooker. Add the chicken broth, onions, garlic, and seasonings. Cover and cook on low heat for 7 hrs. or until beans are not quite tender. Add the chiles, chicken and sea salt., Cook for another hr. until beans are tender.

I was able to prepare this soup on the stovetop in about 35 minutes by using canned beans.
Since I don't have a grill, the first thing I did was to season my skinless, boneless chicken breasts and pop them into the oven to roast at 350 for about 30 min.

Meanwhile, I sprayed my soup pot with non-stick spray and added a scant T of extra-virgin olive oil. Oil isn't called for in the original recipe, but since I wasn't going to be slow cooking this soup, I needed the oil to saute the onion and garlic. After the onion and garlic were tender, I added the spices and sauteed for a minute or two; then added the broth, beans, and chiles. I brought the soup to a boil, reduced the heat, and let simmer until the chicken was done.

I cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and added it and the liquid from the baking sheet to the soup pot.

DC's bowl:

I was feeling pretty good about my so-far sugar free day until I happened to glance at the ingredients in the chicken broth. As I was using the Whole Foods Store Brand Organic Chicken Broth, I had not thought to check its ingredient list first. I was really surprised to see "evaporated cane juice" as one of the ingredients towards the end of the list. Sugar!! Drat!!

I ate the soup anyway. DC and I both thought it was terrific. Two thumbs up! I just need to be sure to get sugar-free broth next time.

I served the chili with crushed blue corn chips on top, and DC had more chips and some of our favorite Jack's Special salsa with his. After having promised him some salsa, I found that ALL the salsa in the refrigerated section at WF contain sugar. Frustrating! So I did not eat any. The chips are sugar free, so I did have just a few of them. But it looks like I may need to make my own salsa if I want it to be sugar-free.

My only criticism of the white chili is that it doesn't include any veggies to speak of, except for the onions, garlic, and small amount of chiles. I'm not sure what would be good in here (that DC would eat), but next time I fix this, I will definitely experiment with adding veggies of some kind to the pot.

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