Growing up as a kid, the definition of chili was both a small pepper with a very hot flavor and
a spicy stew of ground beef usually with beans too. Both meant yummy goodness. Now chili in our family seems to be synonymous with Monday Night Football. Our version is a chicken variety with savory mexican spices. It’s always a hit, even when our team doesn’t win.
Spicy Mexican White Chicken Chili
2-3 cups shredded chicken (I use rotisserie chicken from the deli section at Sprouts)
2 (15 ounce) cans great northern beans or 2 (15 ounce) cans navy beans
2 cups roasted corn (I use frozen from Trader Joe’s)
1-2 ounces taco seasoning mix (I use part of the envelope from Trader Joe’s)
1 (7 1/2 ounce) can of chopped green chilies (use less if you like a milder chili)
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 (14 ounce) can low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup sour cream
chopped green onion (optional)
Monterey jack cheese (optional)
Pour beans, corn and chicken in large pot.
In a medium bowl, combine taco seasoning, chiles, condensed soup, and chicken broth.
Pour over top of ingredients and stir together over medium heat.
Simmer for 15-30 minutes.
Serve topped with green onions, sour cream, and jack cheese, if desired.
My sister recently sent me a subscription to Blue Apron and a box arrived right to my door. I was intrigued. The company sends you all the fresh ingredients to prepare three delicious meals for your family during the week, along with the recipe (including photos) to help you prepare it. It was Mardi Gras this week so the meals all seamed to have a creole/cajun theme. I decided to start with the Farro Jambalaya. Full of fragrant vegetables, this hearty meal was a hit with my family. I have included the recipe here so I can make it again. Yummy!
Ina’s Mexican Chicken Soup
(Serves 6 to 8 )
4 split (2 whole) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
Good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chopped onions (2 onions)
1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
2½ quarts chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in puree, crushed
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced (optional)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
¼ to ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 (6-inch) fresh white corn tortillas
This yummy soup brings back fond memories of spending Christmas with my sister, Tomi and her family in Washington DC. We had an unseasonably warm Christmas one year. All the kids and parents went to the park and played flag football and then came home to a warm bowl of Tomi’s minstra. Recently, my daughter, Dani texted me while studying abroad in New Zealand, to request “Auntie Tomi’s delicious bean soup”. This recipe is a favorite that’s easy enough for a college student to prepare and nutritious too.
Bean and Kale Minestra
Serves 6 to 8
½ pound kale (about 4 cups, chopped—we used lacinato)
4 large garlic cloves, minced
olive oil to coat the bottom of your soup pot
6 cups cooked (2 cups dry) cannellini (white kidney beans—we used navy beans)
4 to 5 cups bean water, vegetable or chicken stock or water
2 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
6 fresh sage leaves (½ tsp if dry)
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
freshly ground pepper
½ cup finely ground cornmeal
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (or to taste)
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Our family loves this yummy and delicious soup on a cold rainy Sunday afternoon and often during the holidays with family and friends. We first enjoyed it at Zov’s Bistro in Tustin, CA, a lovely Mediteranean restaurant in our area. Zov, the chef and owner was gracious to share her delicious recipe with all of us. It’s a family favorite!
Golden Lentil Soup
Yield: 12 servings
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 onions, chopped
1 pound dried red lentils, see cook’s notes
1/4 cup raw long-grain rice
12 cups water ( I use 1/2 water and 1/2 vegetable stock)
1 tablespoon lemon pepper
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Garnish: fresh Italian parsley
Cook’s notes: Dried red lentils are sold at natural food stores, Middle Eastern markets and some supermarkets. When they cook, they turn yellow.