Take Away That Chill with Paleo White Chicken Chili!

Here in Alabama it is finally starting to get a slight nip in the air. Notice I said slight. It does not really get cool here until the November. I remember being a teacher and the students wearing shorts pretty much up until Thanksgiving. I am always up for soup, however. Something about a creamy chowder, spicy chili, or yummy veggie/veggie beef makes me want to snuggle under a blanket and read a book. It is a comfort food for me. I had never had the wonders of white chicken chili until last year at a friend’s house while watching an Auburn football game. I was a little concerned about the white beans that were in the soup and the flavor combinations as a whole. Have I mentioned how picky I am yet? Imagine my surprise when I find out how much I loved it, and the shock when I realized what I had been missing all these years. It was like a light bulb went off. I want to give a little shout out to my friend Linda for introducing me to this amazing soup and call her out for her wonderful cooking skills! You gave me inspiration to find a Paleo version that was going to be a Must Have for this winter! So for that, I thank you! As usual, I turned to my go-to, Pinterest. I looked through lots of different versions before I found The One. But let me explain how I got to this point.

This weekend I made my Chicken Pot Pie that you saw on my earlier blog post. At least, I hope you saw it. I like to think that maybe, just maybe someone out there is reading this. I did not use all the chicken I had cooked for the pot pie and still had two skinless, boneless chicken breasts that I had poached left over. I wanted to use them and not let them go to waste, so I searched for recipes that could use the items I had on hand. After much searching, I came across a white chicken chili recipe. I am going to post a link to the original recipe, but I am also going to post mine because, I made modifications due to various reasons that I will explain as I go along. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did making it and eating! It tasted just a yummy as it looks and sounds! Do not worry about not having the beans, I never even missed them.

White Chicken ChiliThis was the finished result last night once everything was cooked and finished. The recipe makes four servings, so if you want to make a larger pot of soup, or want to serve more people, you will have to adjust accordingly.

The recipe came from Health Starts in the Kitchen. This is where I found the basic outline of the recipe, but I adapted it for my own use, and I will give that version for you here my blog. If you are interested in the original recipe you will find it here. This is my version, however:

White Chicken Chili

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4 cups chicken broth

1/2 large onion, chopped

4 ribs (I did one bunch) of celery, chopped

1/2 green pepper, chopped

1/2 red pepper, chopped (I did one whole red pepper because I was out of green peppers)

1 tsp. chili powder

2 tsp. cumin

1 pinch crushed red pepper

1 1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. white pepper

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. onion powder

2 Tbsp. potato starch

1 cup coconut milk (more to taste)

avocado (optional)

Since I had already poached the chicken, I did not have to take that step in the recipe where I cooked it along with all the spices. It also called for filtered water, but I used chicken broth. I took the broth, added it to a pot with the onion, peppers, celery, spices, and the chicken which I shredded.

It then called for you to simmer these ingredients for 1 hour. After 1 hour you add the potato starch with 1/4 cup of the soup mixture and then add the mixture back into the soup to combine. Let thicken for several minutes. Once you remove the soup from the heat, add in the coconut milk and serve. You may add avocado to the top if you wish.

** Note ~ When I made this soup, I am afraid I made several errors, but it turned out yummy in the end. First, I added the coconut milk to the soup before it was time. Second, I guess I simmered it a little too high because when I checked on it after 30 minutes almost all the liquid was cooked out. I added more coconut milk to the soup, that is why I said to taste… just in case you ran into the same issue. Overall, I probably put in about 3 cups of coconut milk.

I hope you enjoy this quick and easy white chicken chili recipe as much as I did. Not only did I have it for supper last night, but I brought it for lunch today as well. I can hardly wait to eat it!

Autumn

Weekend Full of Recipes… And Football

Wow, this weekend went by too quickly! Where did time go? Well, I know where time went… watching football games, reading, watching football games, cleaning my apartment, watching football games, returning a movie, watching football games… Do you get the feeling I am a college football fan? Like any good SEC girl, I am a huge fan of college football and Auburn athletics in particular. Auburn played on Thursday this week, War Eagle, and won (thank goodness), so this weekend was about pulling for teams playing against Alabama, against those who had ties to Alabama, or for those could prevent Alabama from getting into the college playoff. Do you get the feeling that I am a HUGE Auburn fan? Yeah, it is pretty bad. People who do not live in the state of Alabama do not get the relationship that is between Auburn and Alabama. We have the Iron Bowl which is one of sports biggest, if not the biggest (I am going by noted sports magazines, articles, writers, etc.), rivalries there is of all. This gives fans the right to brag for an entire year about their team to the other. It can make you experience the highest of highs or the lowest of lows. Most people do not understand because they do not live in the same state as their biggest rival. We have to eat, breathe, and sometimes live with the people who is pulling against us. At one time I was married and was in a “House Divided.” It was terrible. Never again I pray. I know God has a twisted sense of humor sometimes, so there is a possibility my future husband may be an Alabama fan, but I pray that he is not. Literally. Every single day.

This weekend, however, I did do a few things that were other than just sit around all day in my Auburn jammies and watch college football. I did two that I am quite proud of and one I am disappointed with, unfortunately. First, the disappointment. Have you read Gone Girl? Have you seen the movie? If you have, you read and watched a treat. You either loved, hated, or dealt with the ending. I personally loved it. For me, there was no twist, I am not one to be easily surprised in a book, so if you have one you think would do that, let me know! But the film was so beautifully written, directed, acted, just everything. So imagine my excitement when Dark Places was made into a movie as well. I had read the book and enjoyed it, so I was looking forward to seeing the film. The movie was not widely released, it did not even come out here in my small town of Auburn, AL, so I had to wait for the DVD. Luckily, it came out only two months later. Also, I should note that the reviews were not positive. But like any book fan, I forged ahead ready to see my book characters come to life. All I can say is… read the book. Do not waste your time watching the movie. Yes, it had big named actors. Yes, it followed the story pretty closely, but IT WAS NOT THE SAME. It was a huge let down. I am not sure how to describe it exactly, all I can say is that I was underwhelmed. I give it two stars.

One of the positive things I did this weekend was finish the book Outlander. I am a former elementary school teacher and elementary school librarian with a MLIS with a School Certification Add-On, so I am a librarian by degree. I LOVE books. I love buying them, reading them, collecting them. So you will hear me talk about them every so often. I am so proud that I finished this one because I listened on audio and that was over 33 hours of listening time. It was 896 pages of historical romance. I loved every single minute of it. I highly recommend it and give the book 5 shiny gold stars.

But the real highlight of the weekend… RECIPES!!! I made three Paleo recipes that I am pretty proud of that I would like to talk about. No, I did not create them myself, I am not that bold yet, but I found them in various locations and they turned out pretty amazing. I could not wait to share them with y’all.

First up… Paleo Pancakes. I read through several, and I mean Several, recipes for pancakes this past week. Some had too many ingredients, lots had way too many mixed reviews, or they contained ingredients that I simply did not have. But I was determined that I was going to make pancakes last weekend. I turned to the mighty Pinterest and found The Urban Poser. They had an amazing looking pancake recipe with pictures that could make you drool and great reviews. I knew I had found my recipe. I have included the recipe here. I also want to apologize in advance for my photos, because while my minor in college was Art/Photography… my apartment has terrible lighting and everything comes out yellow. So, sorry.

Here are the photos of the pancake batter, the pancakes a cookin, and one of the finished result. The end product does not look as beautiful as the website, but hey!!! It was my first try! These were so delicious, I will get plenty of practice in the future.

Pancakes BatterPancakes CookingPancakes

The next recipe I tried was a Cake in a Mug, also from Pinterest. I found it here, which when I went to the site to add it just now it said ebay, so that is strange, but stranger things have happened to me! I tried out the Chocolate Mug Cake. It was absolutely divine! I could not even wait for it to cool, I was already diggin in while it was still piping hot! It would have been even better with a dollop of coconut whip cream on top! Next time I just may have to try that! Here is the end result:

Cake in a MugPretty darn tasty I have to say! The chocolate around the top is from where it rose up past the top of the mug and then fell once it was removed from the heat. It was a little time consuming, as was the pancakes, but this was worth the effort! Plus, who does not love a dessert you can cook in the microwave?

The last thing I made was from the book Down South Paleo by Jennifer Robins.

Down South PaleoThis is a great cookbook full of wonderful Southern favorites. I already have about four recipes that I want to try in the coming week or week and a half, so look for those to appear. The first recipe I tried out of this cookbook was the Texas Slow Cooker Beef Chili. It was easy to make, the most time consuming part was cutting up the carrots, onions, and pepper. I got to use all my different seasonings to make the chili flavoring instead of some premade mix. And I got to try a new combination as I had never had 1.) chili without beans and 2.) chili with carrots before. I have to say this was delightful! This will be a recipe I will turn to during football season or in the cold months of winter (or what we consider cold in the South). The flavor was delicious, I did not even have to add any salt, and I was able to start it around lunch and have it in time for dinner. Here is the end result:

ChiliI have to admit that I was a little leery when I first tried it, but I liked it. The second night when I had it for dinner, I loved it so much that I went back for more! This one was a huge hit!

I am proud to announce that in two weeks I have been on Paleo and I have officially lost 12 lbs. It is a little in the big scheme of things, but it is a beginning and I am very proud. I do not find this lifestyle change to be too restricting, or crazy, or hard. I like the food, I like the limitations, and I like eating this way. I have enjoyed reading new cooks to get new ideas, checking out Pinterest for things that catch my eye, and trying new flavor combinations.

Thank you for following me on this exciting journey! I hope I do not let you down! Up next this week… zucchini! I have never tried it, so this should be interesting!

~ A