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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Easy Baked Pasta

Caprese Baked Pasta

Living in Brooklyn, there is no shortage of Italian restaurants. In fact, in our neighborhood, there are five Italian restaurants within a few blocks of our apartment. While most of them are wonderful, each serving a different rendition of their famous sauce and pages of pasta, these days it is easier to dine at home than try to go out to dinner with a four-month-old. While most of these restaurants offer delivery, I firmly believe that there are few cuisines that lend themselves to delivery. Delicious Italian food is not one of them. The pasta gets mushy and soft from all the liquid and moisture and the garlic toast is no longer warm and crunchy. Luckily, for every Italian restaurant we have in the neighborhood, we also have Italian markets. These small, independently owned markets are packed with fresh cheeses, sauces, pasta and meats. When we are craving Italian, we will make a quick stop to pick up ingredients and whip something up at home instead of going out or ordering.

This recipe is fore those evenings where you’re craving a homemade dinner but you just don’t have the time or energy. Whether it is that the day’s demands have left you less than energized to step foot in the kitchen or that your evening routine of bathtime and bottle service for your little one allows you no time to actually prepare dinner, today’s recipe is one that even you can make and enjoy. You will see that I recommend fresh ingredients if you live somewhere that allows you to buy fresh versus packaged. But, regardless whether your ingredients are bought in a large supermarket, Amazon Fresh or in a local Italian market, your dish will be delicious.

This dish comes together in no time due in part that you don’t have to brown meat or dice vegetables. In fact, you could make the dish ahead of time if that works best for your schedule then just put it in the oven or broiler to reheat it for dinner.  The gooey bites of cheese and fresh flavors make it a crowd pleaser even though it is so simple.  In fact, I think this dish is such a winner due in part to its simplicity. It pairs perfectly with a salad and a large glass of red wine because by Thursday, isn’t that what we all want?

Easy Baked Pasta

Easy Baked Pasta

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces pasta (fresh if possible)
  • 1 1/2 cup diced, fresh mozzarella or 1 cup shredded
  • 1 cup Marinara sauce, fresh if possible
  • 1/4 cup shredded, packed basil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat.
  3. Cook pasta until al dente.
  4. While pasta is cooking, shred basil into thin ribbons and set aside.
  5. Bring marinara sauce to simmer over low heat.
  6. When pasta reaches al dente, drain pasta and transfer to cast iron pan or oven-proof casserole dish.
  7. Combine sauce, mozzarella, salt, and pepper with pasta in the pan and toss gently.
  8. Place pan in oven and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until mozzarella begins to bubble.
  9. Remove pan from oven, lightly toss in shredded basil, top with grated parmesan and let cool for a few minutes before serving.
  10. Serve warm and enjoy. 
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Rock’N’Roll Brooklyn 5 Miler

ashley and zoe rnr brooklyn 5 miler

Yesterday was my first race since giving birth to Katie on June 20th it was so much fun! My goal going into yesterday’s Rock’n’Roll Brooklyn 5 Miler was to run a smart race that would allow me to have fun and finish feeling strong and healthy. Since starting receiving the all-clear to return to working out from my OB-GYN at my 8 week postpartum appointment, my goal has been to ease back into working out in a smart, healthy fashion. For the past few weeks I have been running an average of two days per week, following a walk/run program during which I increase the running by one minute each run.

Based on this approach, I wanted to run the first 16 minutes of yesteday’s race and then switch to intervals, alternating walking and running. If I wasn’t feeling great, I could do 1:1 intervals, but if I was feeling stronger then I’d increase the intervals to either 3 minutes or 4 minutes of running.

rnr brooklyn gear

The race began at 7AM near Grand Army Plaza and the Brooklyn Museum, which meant that I hopped on a Citibike at 6:20 which placed me in the starting area by 6:45.

grand army plazaI had just enough time to make my way through security, use the bathroom and make my way into the corral before the 7AM start. Even before the race started, there were a few things that I really liked about the race setup this year.

  • I appreciated that the 5 mile and half marathon races started at the same time. This allowed people to mingle with their friends running the other distances, as long as you were in the same corral, and enjoy the support and energy of the larger, half marathon race.  There were only 959 people who ran the 5 Miler so the course felt pretty sparse once we split from the 8,500 half marathon runners.
  • I loved that RNR provided water, bananas and portapotties within the starting corrals. This is something I haven’t seen at many race starts and it seemed to be appreciated by everyone. While there were, of course, some lines for the portapotties, they moved very quickly.
  • While the race still started a few minutes late, it started far faster than years past.

Since Zoe and I have become experts at meeting before race starts, we easily spotted each other and discussed our race plan before we heard the annoucer start the race.

zoe

Since she is dealing with a nagging injury, she happily stuck with me during the race. It’s amazing to think that last year, we ran the half marathon together and, halfway during the race, due to increase heart rate, I told her I was pregnant! A lot can change in a year!

Rock'n'Roll Brooklyn 5 Miler Course

Within minutes after the first runners crossed the starting line, Zoe and I were giving each other a high five and starting our run. We both wore headphones for the first 16 minutes while we were running, briefly pointing out sights along the route during these first miles.  When we hit 16 minutes, just short of two miles, we switched to intervals, but since we were both feeling good, we decided to start with longer running intervals – 4 minutes run and 2 minutes walking.

Mile 1 Pace – 10:00

Mile 2 Pace – 10:41

For the first two and a half miles we enjoyed the slight downhill as well as the comraderie of the half marathon runners before we veered off and headed into Prospect Park.  The final 2.5 miles included the rolling hills of Prospect Park as well as the 3/10 mile climb during mile 4.

Mile 3 Pace – 11:38

Mile 4 Pace – 11:48

Mile 5 Pace – 10:33

As you can tell, our running pace increased during that last mile when we knew the finish line was close and we had the benefit of some gradual downhills.

We finished the race in 54:05 or an average pace of 10:49

rnr brooklyn finish

Overall, it was a great return to racing and made me even more excited to wake up for those early morning runs. I’m looking forward to the NYRR Jingle Jog on December 2nd which will hopefully be the first race Katie is at the finish line. We didn’t even try bringing her to yesterday’s race since she’s been pretty fussy this week due to the four month sleep regression. 

In case you’re wondering, here are my recaps from the past two Rock’n’Roll Brooklyn Races:

Thank you to Brooks and Rock’n’Roll for the complimentary bib as part of my Brooks #RunHappy Ambassador partnership.

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