Healthy White Chicken Chili Recipe

Filled with mushrooms, beans and ground chicken this healthy white chicken chili recipe has lots of flavor thanks to the cumin and cinnamon. While the chopping can take a bit of time, this recipe serves 12-14 people so you will have plenty to enjoy and freeze for later!

White Chicken Chili Recipe

Since I’m traveling for work this week, Bo and I wanted to make a large batch of chili today for he and my mom to enjoy this week. Since she is using her precious days off to come help out while I travel, the least we can do is have a healthy, delicious dinner. Since I posted pictures of this dish on Instagram, I’ve received multiple requests for the recipe. It is one of our favorite chili recipes and we’ve already made it twice this fall. I know that chili can be a fairly polarizing topic, particularly in places like Texas – should it have beans, what is the right cut of beef, should the beef be ground or in chunks, what are the types of chilies to use, how spicy should it be – this list could obviously go on forever and if any of you chili fundamentalists out there are reading, this might not be the recipe for you.

All that said, this is a recipe that uses no tomatoes, no cream, gives you a blast of flavor from the cumin and gets its thickness from the beans and just a bit of sauce thickener. It is garnished with scallions, a little sour cream and fresh cilantro which rounds out the freshness and really makes it sing. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

White Chicken Chili Ingredients

Ingredients (Makes 12 – 14 servings)

  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 pound (500 grams) dried white beans (navy beans)
  • 4 pounds (2 kg) of ground chicken
  • 6 – 8 cloves of garlic
  • Two medium size jalapeño peppers or to taste – also, if you want to add some additional complexity add other green peppers like Poblanos and Serrano
  • 2 large white onions finely diced
  • 1 pound (500 grams) white mushrooms sliced
  • 4 tablespoons of cumin or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of oregano
  • 2 teaspoon of coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon of onion powder
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • 2 to 3 cups of chicken stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • A touch of sauce thickening agent (arrow root, corn starch, Xanthan gum, etc.)
  • Any combination of sour cream, grated cheese, chopped scallions, white onions and/or fresh cilantro to garnish

1) Begin by placing the beans in a pot with enough water to cover them by at least 2 inches

2) Place the pot on high heat and bring to a boil, once the water is boiling, turn the heat on low and leave, uncovered for 2 – 3 hours

3) Meanwhile, place a large sauté pan on high heat, add about 1 tbsp. of oil and start cooking the chicken in batches. It is very important to season the chicken as you cook it. For all 4 pounds, use plenty of salt, fresh pepper, about half the cumin and coriander, and all the garlic and onion powder. The chicken should taste very well seasoned – if it doesn’t, add more salt and spices.

4) Once the beans have soaked up enough water – you’ll know because the water will be well below the level of the beans and they are firm yet edible, begin assembling the chili.

5) Place a large stock pot on the stove over medium heat, add the remainder of the oil and add the garlic and let sweat for a minute, add the peppers and let soften, add the onions and let sweat for a few minutes and then add the mushrooms (there is a school of thought here that the onions should be browned separately here but quite frankly, I don’t think it adds much flavor and it adds a ton of headache).

6) Once the mushrooms release their moisture (you’ll know as there will all of a sudden be a ton of steam coming from the pot), add the chicken, the beans, the stock, and the remainder of the spices and the oregano. Turn the heat on high, bring to a boil and then turn to low to simmer for 2 – 4 hours.

7) Taste and adjust the seasoning adding salt, pepper and cumin to your taste.

8) Serve with any combination of the garnishes.

Looking for a more traditional chili recipe? This healthy turkey chili recipe is delicious!

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Friday Favorites – November 10th, 2017

Happy Friday! How could I not begin this post with a picture from last weekend’s baptism celebration? It was such a special day for everyone involved! I hope you guys have had a great week. It has been a chaotic but wonderful one around here.  I returned to work, full-time, last week but due to Katie’s baptism and visiting family, only worked one day. This week, it was full steam ahead as I spent the week on conference calls and transitioning into my new role. I’m thrilled to report that things have gone far better than expected. Katie is thriving in the nanny share! She is nothing but smiles each morning and evening but the two children in the share with her provide such stimulation and engagement that she’s exhausted by the time we head upstairs for bath time and the final bottle of the day. I’m exhausted from a busy week and looking forward to a relaxed weekend which will hopefully include a few workouts and at least one bubble bath. I was randomly craving one tonight but, alas, prioritized cooking dinner and writing this post.

Now, let’s dive into this week’s edition of Friday Favorites, including recipes, articles, posts and other things that caught my eye this week.

  • I’m wearing this face mask right now and continue to be amazed by how bright and vibrant my face feels after using it! I do my best to apply it three times per week as I swear it leaves my face glowing after each use!
  • I love reading all the New York City Marathon race recaps. It was such an amazing day not only for my friends who trained and worked so hard to achieve their goals but also for the American elites! While I loved watching the highlights from Shalane’s win, Allie Kieffer’s story left me SO inspired! It’s crazy to think that she took 26 minutes off her marathon time and placed 5th in the marathon and IS NOT SPONSORED! I especially enjoyed reading her story in Runner’s World along with some of her great advice – “If there’s anything I could pass along to younger runners: Love yourself, eat healthy through your college years, and you’ll be stronger on the other side.” What a rock star!
  • My mom and I baked this pumpkin bread for Katie’s baptism brunch last weekend and were elated that three different guests asked us for the recipe! A simple, no-fail recipe this best ever pumpkin bread recipe lives up to it’s name!
  • This emerald green dress was perfect for Katie’s baptism celebration last weekend.  The ruffle sleeves provided a dose of fun while the long, knee length allowed it to be church appropriate. I love that Boden many of their dresses in three sizes – petite, regular and tall.
  • As soon as the weather cools down, I start to gravitate towards a richer, more vibrant lip color to help bring some brightness and warmth to my face. This lipstick is free of parabens and hydrates my lips for hours. The vibrant red hue is forgiving and the color is perfect for fall!
  • After wearing this cozy sweatshirt I fell so in love with it that I ordered it in a second color! The cowl neck and longer length make it universally flattering while the thumb holes and pocket are perfect for keeping my hands warm on chilly mornings. The fit is more slim than most of my sweatshirts which provides a more flattering and tailored look.
  • When I was on L.L. Bean’s website ordering a second sweatshirt, I saw a model wearing this camel poncho. After reading the reviews and seeing that it is less than $50, it quickly found its way into my shopping bag!  While I’ve never worn a poncho, I love the idea of pairing this with dark jeans, tall boots and a blouse or turtleneck. I’ve seen a number of these on other sites for 4-5x the price so I figured it was worth giving it a try!
  • I’m only half way through this Pulitzer Prize winning novel but find myself reaching for it each night before going to bed. This memoir not only tells the story of Katharine Graham but also of the Washington Post and the many events in American political history that took place during her time.

Okay, now it’s your turn. What book are you loving right now?


Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored and instead is a list of the things of my favorite things this week. As normal, it includes lots of beauty and fashion items which means there are a few affiliate links via ShopStyle. It takes time and money to maintain a blog so I thank you for the support and few cents that come from clicking through the links!

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Five Tips for Returning to Exercise Post-Baby

Hello! I am thrilled to share a guest post with you today, that answers one of the most frequently asked questions since I started working out again, six weeks after giving birth to Katie. Each day, at least a few people reach out over email, Facebook, Instagram or blog comments asking for tips for returning to exercise in a safe and healthy manner after giving birth. Since I am not an expert on the topic, I figured I’d enroll the person who helped me return to strength training – Carolyn. Carolyn is a pre and postnatal health coach and personal trainer who lives in Brooklyn. During my maternity leave I had the pleasure of attending her mother & baby workouts with her two times a week for almost three months!  Enjoy!

I’m so excited to be guest posting on Ashley’s blog while she is adjusting to life as a working mom.  My name is Carolyn and I’m a pre and postnatal health coach and personal trainer – and also first-time mom to Charlie who is about to turn 1 year old! Whoever said that with a baby “the days are long but the months are short” nailed it. I have no idea where the time went, but what an amazing journey it has been so far.

When I became pregnant with Charlie, I was in the process of studying for my health coach and personal training certification. As I learned about various dietary theories and fitness components the body needs to thrive, I felt so lucky that I had this information that I could immediately apply to my own pregnancy. Armed with this wealth of knowledge, however, I became hyper-aware of how little we’re counseled on how to have a healthy pregnancy and postpartum recovery unless we actively seek the information out.

In most cases, we’re told by our doctor that whatever form of exercise we were doing before getting pregnant is fine to continue (within reason) and then we’re quickly given the go-ahead to resume all exercise at 6-weeks. I’ll never forget at my 6-week postpartum visit, my OB cleared me to start running again. It was exactly what I was hoping to hear, but I looked at her in total disbelief. My core felt so weak (and by weak I mean non-existent) and my hips and pelvis felt like – well like I had just pushed out a 9-pound baby! I had exercised almost every day before and during my pregnancy, but pounding the pavement felt like the last thing my body needed. Each and every person’s body is different and every recovery is different, so if you were able to lace up your sneaks at 6 weeks – all the power to you! But if you are wondering how to safely ease back into an exercise routine, here are 5 tips to get you started:

  • Listen to your body. Ashley talks a lot about her fitness journey pre, during and post pregnancy and how she is always reminding herself to build back up slowly. This is so important. No matter what kind of birth you had, your body just went through an amazing, life-altering, endurance test and you know yourself best. If something doesn’t feel right, take a pause. Now isn’t the time to force it.
  • Remember to breathe. Did you know the diaphragm is actually the most important muscle of the core? Here’s a test: Put one hand on your heart and one hand on your belly just below your rib cage. Now take a deep breath. Does your chest or belly rise first? For a variety of reasons, including desk jobs and chronic stress, most of us have become chest breathers, when in fact breathing should come from the diaphragm. While it sounds simple, changing the way you breathe can impact everything from our stress levels to our digestive system.

  • Reconnect with your core. Your core is the foundational aspect of your body that impacts everything else. If you recently had a baby, your core has been stretched in some places, tightened in others, and has been holding everything together for 9 months. It’s tired. It’s weak. It needs some love. Breathing through your diaphragm, doing Kegels and practicing modified abdominal work will help strengthen the inner layer of muscles that have helped carry and protect your little one up until this point.
  • Fire up those glutes. Second in importance to the core, the glutes help support your hips, pelvis and lower back, all of which have shifted around over the past 9 months. Strengthening these guys will help ease any residual aches and pains and provide support to the core. Squats and lunges are the best exercises for your buns and are easily done with baby in tow.
  • Stretch with caution. You may have heard about the hormone Relaxin that is released into your body throughout pregnancy. Its primary job is to loosen up your ligaments to prepare you for childbirth, but while It’s unclear exactly how long your body continues to produce it, some believe it can last up to a year postpartum. So, if you can touch your toes for the first time now that you can finally see them again, just be careful not to get overexcited, it could still be the Relaxin talking. Only stretch out areas that feel tight or like they need to be lengthened to avoid overstretching.

If you have other questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments and, if you are local, I would love to see you for one of my workouts in Carroll Park or Prospect Park.

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