On International Women’s Day, I was thinking about the different types of paid and unpaid work that I do every day—writer, recipe developer, editor, blogger, self-promoter, social media manager, chauffeur, laundress, housekeeper, and family cook are just a few of them. Of all of those jobs, family cook is the one that challenges me most often. Every day I ponder the question of what to make for dinner for my family of picky eaters. Every day, I’m pressed for time to shop for and cook a meal, so I look for shortcuts that will cut down on the time it takes to make something healthy that my family will enjoy.
That’s why I love having an assortment of canned bean varieties on hand at all times. There’s a perfect bean for just about any quick dinner I can dream up, like this Healthy White Bean Chicken Chili.
White beans with chili seasonings are my new favorite shortcut ingredient. They come already seasoned with onions, garlic, spices, and jalapeno. This means that the beans themselves provide the base of flavor you’d normally get by peeling, chopping, and sauteeing aromatics and spices. You can skip all of that work, and just open the can, empty it into a pot, add a few additional spices, some raw chicken (I used chicken tenders, but breasts would be fine, too), and super nutritious kale and butternut squash.
I served the chili with guacamole, shredded cheese, and sweet potato tortilla chips for dunking and scooping (I know they look like Dorito’s in the picture, don’t they? I swear they are Trader Joe’s sweet potato tortilla chips!). Other great garnishes would include diced jalapenos, sour cream, cilantro, diced red onions, or sliced scallions.
- 1 (15-ounce) can S&W White Chili Beans
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup broth or water
- 1 ¼ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 8 ounces diced butternut squash
- 3 cups sliced kale leaves
- Pour the beans, along with their liquid, into a medium saucepan. Add the cumin, chili powder, salt, and broth or water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low so that the mixture is at a simmer.
- Add the chicken and squash, stirring to ensure both are submerged in the broth. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the squash is tender.
- Remove the chicken from the broth and shred it using 2 forks or your hands.
- Add the kale to the pot and stir to incorporate. Return the chicken to the pot and let simmer for about 5 minutes more, until the kale is tender and the chicken is hot. Serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving Calories 328Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 97mgSodium 877mgCarbohydrates 28gFiber 6gSugar 7gProtein 41g