Fall always seems to creep up on me; I mean, I’m still rocking my jean shorts (albeit with a few layers on top). When I finally release the last Indian-summer sentimentalities, I typically resign myself to make some soup. Nothing announces the season for me like a good, hearty soup.
Although chili can be a smart choice, fatty ground beef and all those beans make it nudge the calorie scale a bit higher than I’d like. You have to be choosy; go with white meat when possible, and whenever you up the veggie quotient the calories will fall.
Cumin and oregano suggest that typical chili flavor and allow you to garnish with several (baked) tortilla chips or (small portions) of sharp cheddar cheese. If you’re going to spend four (or if you take in both daytime games, eight) hours on the couch watching football this Sunday, make the easy smart choice with this light, flavorful chili.
Chicken, White Bean and Veggie Chili
Serves six to eight
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 large chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
1 tbsp. oregano
2 tsp. cumin
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. garlic powder
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
10 oz. sliced mushrooms, chopped
1 zucchini, diced
2 (15 oz) cans cannelloni or navy beans, rinsed
2-3 cups low sodium chicken broth
Juice of 1 lime
1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in large, heavy soup pot.
2. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and cook in hot pan, about six to eight minutes per side until golden brown and barely cooked through.
3. Remove chicken to a cutting board and add onion and garlic. Saute for about five minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan with wooden spoon.
4. Add oregano, cumin, cayenne, garlic powder and salt and stir to combine.
5. Add mushrooms and zucchini and stir to combine. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables release their liquid and the liquid reduces (so that when you scrape the bottom of the pan the scraped area stays clean), about 12 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, shred chicken.
7. Add chicken and beans to pot, along with chicken broth. Cover and bring mixture to a boil. Uncover and simmer on low heat until slightly thickened.
8. Turn off the heat and add lime juice. Serve, topped with tortilla chips or shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
Per serving (without cheese): 477 calories, 6.8 fat grams, 32 milligrams cholesterol, 298 milligrams sodium, 68.9 grams carbs, 27 grams fiber, 5 grams sugar, 38 grams protein.
Becca Boyd is a wife and mom who creates healthy and delicious recipes in her West Chester kitchen. She blogs about them on her website, Home Beccanomics.