Tex Mex Chili
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes

 

This is a great, lighter chili typically served in the Southwest. Using chicken rather than beef reduces the calories and fat. Dusting the chicken with flour maintains the moisture. Aged cheddar is the perfect accompaniment. Add diced avocado to the list of garnishes if you like. Serves 6

Ingredients:
• 12 oz skinless boneless chicken breasts (about 3 breasts), diced
• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 2 tsp vegetable oil
• 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
• 1 cup canned corn, drained
• 2 tsp finely chopped garlic
• 1 1/2 cups canned black beans, drained and rinsed
• 2 1/2 cups tomato sauce (or store-bought spaghetti sauce)
• 3/4 cup chicken (or beef) stock
• 1 Tbsp chili powder
• 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
• 1 tsp dried oregano
• 1 1/2 tsp seeded and finely chopped jalapeño pepper (or 1½ tsp hot chili sauce)
• pinch of salt and pepper
• 1/4 cup chopped cilantro or parsley
• 1/2 cup shredded aged light cheddar cheese
• 1/4 cup low-fat sour cream

Method:
1. Place the chicken and flour in a bowl and toss to coat. Lightly coat a nonstick saucepan with cooking spray, add 1 tsp of the vegetable oil and set over medium heat. Sauté the chicken for 5 minutes or until it is lightly browned on all sides, but do not cook through. Set aside.
2. Re-spray the same saucepan, add the remaining vegetable oil and set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Stir in the corn and garlic and continue to cook and stir for 5 minutes or until the corn is browned.
3. Stir in the beans, tomato sauce, stock, chili powder, basil, oregano, jalapeño, salt and pepper.
4. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add the diced chicken and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until the chicken is just cooked through and the chili thickens. Serve the chili in bowls, and garnish with cilantro, cheese and sour cream.


Potato Corn Chowder
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

 

Traditional corn chowder is usually prepared with excess cream and butter. My version uses evaporated milk, and you’ll be surprised at how creamy and rich the soup tastes. Charring the corn gives the soup a fresher flavor.
Serves 4

Ingredients:
• 2 cups corn niblets (canned or fresh)
• 1½ tsp vegetable oil
• 1 cup chopped onion
• 1½ tsp finely chopped garlic
• ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
• 1 cup peeled and diced potato
• 2½ cups chicken stock
• ½ tsp hot chili sauce (or finely chopped jalapeño pepper)
• 2 tsp all-purpose flour
• 1 cup canned evaporated milk (2%)
pinch of salt and pepper
• 3 Tbsp chopped parsley

Method:
1. Lightly coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set over medium heat. Sauté the corn for about 8 minutes, stirring often or just until lightly browned. Purée half of the corn in a small food processor. Combine the puréed corn with the whole corn in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Add the oil to a large, nonstick pot and set over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for about 4 minutes. Add the red pepper and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add the potato, stock, chili sauce and corn mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes or until the potato is tender.
3. Whisk together the flour and milk in a small bowl and gradually add to the soup. Add the salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally for 3 minutes or until slightly thickened and heated through. Garnish with parsley.