I don’t eat healthy unless it first and foremost tastes great. I will not choke down dry bread just because it’s laden with nuts, seeds and whole grains. I refuse to gulp a green smoothie that tastes more of compost than fresh fruit. Maybe in the past I would have but I’ve tasted too much great food to waste my time just eating for the sake of eating healthy.
If, however, food is full of flavor, complexity, AND it’s good for me – well then great, that’s an added bonus.
This doesn’t mean I spend my days eating Cheetos and Snack packs. Luckily I find vegetables extremely delicious and whole grains taste nutty and much more interesting than their refined twin.
When I am in a season of trying to shape up a bit – i.e. now – I will often focus on reducing portion sizes rather than going through extreme diet changes. Not allowing myself to enjoy some of my favorite treats makes me pretty sad and quite moody. That on top of the fact that we Seattle-ites don’t see much of the sun these days – I need as much happy as I can get. So I reduce rather than refrain.
UNLESS I find a recipe that is good for my soft, post-baby body and it tastes amazing then I allow myself to go crazy. Like this Chicken chili which is packed full of nutrient-dense vegetables and the perfect amount of spicy heat. It’s easy to throw together and makes a hefty amount so your set for a few healthful lunches too.
I do, however, have to watch out for the amount of cornbread I consume with my chili.
This recipe originally came from lovely Ina Garten. I’ve since made it many times and have adapted it to suit us quite nicely. Healthy AND delicious. Perfect.
inspired by Ina Garten
2 large yellow onions, medium dice
2 Tbl butter
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
2 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
2 15 oz cans black beans
1/4 cup minced cilantro stems
3 cups chicken cooked, shredded
To serve: Cilantro, sour cream
Cook the onions in the butter over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, and salt. Cook for 1 minute. Add diced tomatoes and their juice to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add cooked chicken, black beans and cilantro stems to the chili and simmer, uncovered, for another 20 minutes. Serve with the cilantro and sour cream (light if your really trying to be good).
This is the cornbread I use (recipe from Food Gal). We used to eat this for “family meal” during my Spago days. There is nothing like it. Perfectly sweet, great texture and generously “glazed” with butter and honey.