Black Bean Chicken Soup w/ Cilantro

I know, I literally haven’t posted in FOREVER. I’m so sorry! Here are my excuses:

  1. The holidays.
  2. WEDDINGS!
  3. I started grad school.

That is pretty much it. All of my spare times seems to revolve around exercise and/or studying now a days, BUT this recipe needs to be shared! This has been my savior the past couple of weekends because it is so easy, so delicious, and very filling. It is packed with protein, so one bowl and I am typically set for the evening. Add a side of veggies and you have a well balanced meal for lunch or for dinner (I have some packed today for lunch at work!).

I am a big black bean person (as you all know!). I really find them to be a necessary staple in my diet. They are easy, versatile, filling, and so yummy! My husband absolutely loves this recipe, so for the past 3 weeks it has been my Sunday “sit on the stove while I study” meal. It also lasts me a few days so I am able to use it for lunches or leftover dinner the next day or 2!


I will say, don’t skip the cilantro. It adds a fresh element to this soup and really brightens something that can be very heavy. It is perfect to feed a small crowed and really utilizes a lot off foods that we typically have in our pantry or refrigerator. I hope you try this delicious, yummy Black Bean Chicken Soup!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 medium white or yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 small red bell pepper
  • 1, 15 oz can of diced tomatoes, no added-salt or low-sodium
  • 2, 15 oz cans of black beans, rinsed
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1-1 1/2 lbs chicken breast (about 2 large breasts should work)
  • Fresh cilantro to taste (about 2 Tbsp for the actual soup, and some left over for garnish)
  • Canola or olive oil spray
  • Seasonings: cumin (~1-1 1/2 Tbsp), chili powder (~1 Tbsp), black pepper (~1/2 Tbsp), garlic powder (~1/2 Tbsp), paprika (~1 Tbsp), sea salt (~1/2 tsp)
  • Other optional garnishes: shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, avocado

Black Bean Chicken Soup: serves 4-6

In a large soup pot, saute your onions and red pepper in a little cooking spray until your onions start to become translucent (about 5-8 minutes). Season with a pinch of your seasonings (black pepper, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, paprika) just to start the seasoning process.

Add your rinsed black beans, chicken stock and diced tomatoes with your remaining seasonings (I don’t really measure, I more season to taste. Estimations of measurements found in ingredients!). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and allow it to simmer for at least 1 hour uncovered. At your 1 hour mark, if liquid has reduced significantly, you may add a lid and turn to low for another half hour to an hour. Once your soup has cooked and reduced down by at least 1/3, turn off the heat and let cool.

In the mean time, cook your chicken breasts in the oven for 30 minutes. If using extra thick breasts, put heat on 375 degrees. If the breasts are a little thinner or you are using multiple tenderloins instead, your heat can be on 350 degrees. Season breasts with a little black pepper and a pinch of sea salt. Once cooked, let sit until fully cooled before shredding (you can even do this the day before to speed up your process!).

Once your soup has cooled, put about 2/3 into a blender or food processor. Blend the soup until it is fairly smooth with a few little chunks. Add your blended mixture back into the pot with the remaining soup and bring back to a simmer. Add in your shredded chicken into the pot and allow it to simmer for ~20-30 minutes. Finish your soup with a little cilantro mixed in at the very end.

Serve with whatever garnishes you may desire and a little extra fresh cilantro! Enjoy!



Another Sunday, another chili recipe!

You know I love my chili! Nothing sounds better to me then a big bowl of chili once football season rolls around and Arizona evenings start to catch a little chill. The crockpot becomes my best friend once the fall weather starts to trickle in and helps my meal planning and preparation get a bit easier!  This chili is easy, filling, and packed with protein. Pour yourself a bowl and top with some of your favorite chili toppings (my favorites are sharp cheddar cheese, avocado, or a dollop of Greek yogurt!). Make for a tailgate or just to feed your families hungry mouths during a relaxing weekend. For a little extra spice, add a squirt of tabasco or a pinch of red pepper. Enjoy!

Football Sunday Crockpot Lentil Chili

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans Hunts no salt added petite diced tomatoes (15oz cans)
  • 1 can dark kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • 1/4 medium sweet yellow onion
  • 1/3 cup sweet corn
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup lentils
  • 1lb 93% lean ground turkey (extra seasonings for turkey)

In a crockpot, add all ingredients except the ground turkey and lentils. Let your chili cook on high for about 2-3 hours; then add in your lentils. Allow your chili to continue cooking for about an hour or so.


 In a large skillet, brown your turkey using the same seasonings (garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, chili powder) using a little cooking spray and some water. Add your cooked turkey to the rest of your chili. Reduce your heat to low and allow your chili to simmer for at least another hour (it can go longer) to allow the flavors of the turkey and base to mix and mesh. Keep the lid on unless you feel it is a bit too watery, then you can prop it to the side to allow some steam to exit.

Serve your chili warm with various toppings of your choice. Save any extras in the refrigerator for 4-5 days or in the freezer for 2-3 weeks. Happy football watching! 


Lean Turkey Bean Chili

Sometimes even a summertime rainy day calls for something a little warm and a little comforting. My Lean Turkey Bean Chili did just the trick last night! Filled with protein, but still light and lean, this is the perfect comforting dish to cozy up with on the couch during summertime thunderstorms. I hope you try it out!

 Turkey Bean ChiliTurkey Bean Chili

Lean Turkey Bean Chili

Ingredients: Serves 5-6

  • 32oz (4 cups) fat free, low sodium free range chicken broth
  • 8oz (1cup) warm water
  • 2 cans no added salt crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can pinto beans, rinsed
  • 1 can red kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1lb lean (I used 99% lean) ground turkey
  • 1 cup frozen sweet corn
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp cumin
  • 2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp paprika
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp tabasco sauce

Total cooking time: 1hr 10min

In a large pot, add all of your liquids (chicken broth, water, crushed tomatoes), pinto beans, and kidney beans. Season with 2 Tbsp cumin, 1 Tbsp garlic powder, 1 Tbsp black pepper, 1 Tbsp paprika, 1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder, and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and let simmer for 1/2 hour. In the mean time, brown your ground turkey in a skillet over medium heat. Season with remaining 1/2 Tbsp cumin, 1 Tbsp garlic powder, 1/2 Tbsp black pepper, 1/2 Tbsp paprika, and 1/2 Tbsp chili powder. I browned my turkey in a little olive oil spray to prevent sticking. once your meat is fully cooked, drain any excess fat and add to your chili base along with 1 cup of frozen sweet corn. Place a lid partially onto your pot and let simmer for another 20 minutes on medium. Remove the lid completely after 20 minutes, add 1 tsp of tabasco, and allow another final 20 minutes of cooking. Reduce your heat to low, or turn off completely if serving the entire bowl, and serve with toppings of your choice such as tortilla chips, shredded cheddar cheese, diced avocado, or a fresh baguette!

250-320 calories/serving


Easy Crockpot Sweet Potato Chili

This is a super easy recipe that doesn’t require a lot of ingredients. Most of the items I always have on hand. It is one of those one pot meals that packs a lot of flavor and is a great thing to add to your list of chili recipes (especially if you have a vegetarian in your house). I like spicy, so if you aren’t a spicy person, I would just omit the siracha. In my opinion, it packs a really good punch though! This recipe also highlights, once again, how versatile sweet potatoes can be! Sorry I have been mainly posting recipes lately…I have just been on a cooking kick! Hope you enjoy this one!

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Spicy Sweet Potato Crockpot Chili

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sweet potato, diced into 1/2-1 inc cubes
  • 1/2 can of black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup frozen sweet corn
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • chili powder
  • black pepper
  • garlic powder
  • paprika
  • 1/2 tsp siracha
  • feta cheese (to top with)
  • salsa verde (to top with)

Add the sweet potato, corn, black beans, spices, water, and vegetable broth into your pot and cook on low for 2 – 2 1/2 hours. After about your 2 1/2 hour mark, pour out about 1/2 of your liquid, leaving a little still in the bottom. Give your chili a stir and add your siracha in. Add as much as you like, just remember it is very strong. A little squirt will pack a lot of heat! Let your chili cook for about another hour and a half. Total cooking time should be about 4 – 4 1/2 hours. Once it is finished, spoon yourself a bowl and top with a spoonful (about 1 1/2 – 2 Tbsp) of your salsa verde; I used the Whole Foods 365 brand and would highly recommend it! Also add a small sprinkle of feta cheese. Give your chili one last stir to incorporate these final toppings and enjoy! This recipe makes 2 servings if you have it as a side, 1 if you want it for your meal