Chili Made Healthy
On Super Bowl day here, there is never a question as to what we are going to eat. It’s become tradition now to make a huge batch of good old hot Chili Corn Carne. Don’t ask. We’re strange like that…
While Chili is already a pretty healthy dish if you don’t load it up with fat, this year, I decided to make an even healthier version. To do that, I started by replacing the habitual ground beef with ground chicken breasts. Well, actually, that’s pretty much the only change I made… I have to say that I honestly liked it, even preferred it to beef. Chicken is really moist and I prefer its texture to that of the beef. And I find chicken has more flavor too. My daughter and I decided, after tasting it, that this year’s was the best Chili we ever made.
I traditionally like to serve my chili with oven baked tortilla “chips”. What’s really fun about them is that you can actually use them as a spoon and scoop your chili with them. I also garnish with a little bit of grated cheddar cheese, low fat sour cream and a sprinkle of chopped green onions.
You have no idea just how bad I am refraining myself now from running upstairs and have another bowl…
- 4 cups dry Kidney Beans
- 900g chicken breast
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 1 bell pepper, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp pepper
- 2½ tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp chipotle (or chili) powder
- 1 tbsp garlic powder (you can use fresh garlic instead, I was all out…)
- 3 tbsp dried oregano
- 4 tbsp dried parsley
- 3 cans diced tomatoes
- 1 can tomato paste
- 6 canned chipotle peppers, chopped
- ¼ cup cacao powder
- 6-8 Multigrain Tortillas
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil to brush
- Salt Pepper
- Grated Cheddar cheese
- Low Fat Sour Cream
- Green onions, finely chopped
The night before, soak the kidney beans in 8-10 cups of water.
- Rinse the beans in a colander to remove all the soaking liquid.
- Transfer the beans to a pot and cover with plenty of water. Add salt to taste and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about an hour to an hour and a half, until tender but slightly undercooked. Make sure the beans are always covered with water.
- Cut the chicken breasts into small cubes and grind in the food processor, on pulse, until it reaches the desired consistency. Work in small batches to avoid over processing the meat. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan, drizzle some olive oil and sauté the onions, bell pepper and celery over medium heat until tender, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add all the seasonings, stir to coat.
- Turn up the heat and add the ground chicken. Cook the meat, stirring occasionally, until it starts to fry and turns golden.
- Add tomatoes, tomato paste, chipotle peppers and cacao powder. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer while the beans are cooking.
- When the beans are ready, drain them and add them to the chili.
- Bring back to the boil and again, reduce heat. Simmer for 2-3 hours. Adjust seasoning as needed.
- To make the tortilla chips, brush each tortilla with olive oil, then sprinke with salt and pepper. Cut them into 6 pieces and transfer onto a baking sheet. Bake in the oven on broil for about 1-2 minutes per side, until they turn golden. Make sure to keep a close eye on them as they tend to brown quickly.
- Arrange the tortillas around the plates, and top each serving with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese, a dollop of low fat sour cream and sprinkle a few chopped green onions.