It’s the first week of October and, after a few “cool” days in the low 80’s, it’s headed back up into the triple digits in perpetually sunny Southern California.
I’m not complaining at all, except that I do have serious weather envy about this time of year when the leaves are turning and there’s a chill in the mornings and evenings. The forecasters “promise” that we will be seeing rain and cooler temperatures “soon” but I’m not holding my breath.
To get out of the never-ending summer blah’s I will just crank the thermostat down to 70 degrees, put on a light sweater, pull out the slow cooker and throw together something that just might fool the family into thinking it’s really fall!
Red Bean Chicken Chipotle Chili
- 1 – 16 oz pkg Dry Red Kidney Beans
- 1/2 – 8.11 oz jar La Costena Diced Chipotle Peppers in Sauce
- 2 – 14.5 oz cans Diced Tomatoes with Onion
- 1/2 – 12 oz bag Fresh Spinach
- 3 – Large Carrots Peeled & Cut into Chunks
- 1 TBLS Olive Oil
- 2 Cloves Garlic Chopped
- 1 TBLS Chili Powder
- 2 tsp Ground Cumin
- Fresh Ground Salt & Pepper
- 1 1/2 lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
- 3/4 lb Chicken-Spinach Sausage (Or any other flavored fresh chicken sausage you prefer)
Rinse and pick the red beans in a strainer. In a medium saucepan put the beans and about 1/2 the pan of water over medium high heat until it just reaches a boil. If you are preparing the beans and soaking the night before, remove from heat, cover and set pan aside. If you are “quick soaking” the beans, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 2 hours.
Cut raw chicken breast into 3/4″ to 1″ chunks and sausage into 1/2″ slices. Spray a medium skillet with olive oil spray and brown the chicken and sausage over medium-high heat. It’s not necessary to cook the chicken through, it will finish in the slow cooker.
Place the carrots and 1/2 cup water in a 2 quart microwave safe bowl and microwave on high 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Carrots should be fork tender but not mushy. Adjust time for the strength of your microwave.
In food processor/Vitamix container add undrained tomatoes, the carrots, chipotle peppers with sauce, the fresh spinach, olive oil, garlic, chili powder, and cumin. Process until well blended but not entirely smooth. Taste the sauce add a few grinds of salt & pepper and adjust the rest of the spices as necessary.
Put beans, chicken and sausage into your slow cooker then pour the sauce over the top, making sure you scrape as much as possible from the container. Stir until just combined. Cook on low for 6 hours.
I love this recipe because I get to hide vegetables in the sauce and it can be as healthy as you want it to be. I like to add some fresh avocado chunks and a bit of cheese to the top of mine and serve it with crusty bread and a salad for a hearty dinner that easily feeds 8 and packs 40g of protein in each serving.
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Tomorrow’s Post: Tailgating on Thursday Nights Sucks!