Monday, June 13, 2011

Great Northern Green and White Chili

This is another one of our favorite chili recipes (my oldest son has already claimed the leftovers for breakfast). It's much lighter than a traditional beef/tomato chili, and we enjoy it all year long. We eat it alone or with some fresh fruit on the side. It's very easy to make this a vegetarian recipe as well--I just omit the chicken, but you can certainly add some extra beans or veggies if you need to stretch it further.

I find this to be a very economical recipe. You probably know dried beans are dirt cheap. I used my homemade vegetable stock that costs literally pennies for a big pot full, so that's a freebie for me. The parsley came from my backyard. I found great deals at the grocery store on all of the vegetables I used in this recipe today. I did spend extra money on organic chicken with no reservations. I fully realize I am paying $10 for a 3 1/2 pound whole chicken when my grocery store puts ones of the same size on sale for $3, but the price difference is more than worth it to me. I will save you a sermon on why organic is the only label on chicken that matters when you are looking for the most healthful option, but I will tell you that Dr. Oz had a great episode about it and let you do your own research. One whole chicken will get us through three meals though, so when I break it down to only $3.33 per meal, it looks even better. Again, I buy organic dairy products whenever possible, and with the cheese as almost just a tasty garnish in this recipe, my bottom line is less than a dollars' worth of organic cheese. Same with the yogurt--I bought organic yogurt and paid considerably more than I would have for the non-organic, but when you break it down to the cost per serving and take the benefits of using organic into consideration, it's more than worth it to me. But of course you will decide what ingredients are right for you, your family and your budget.

Great Northern Green and White Chili

1 cup dry Great Northern beans, cooked according to pkg directions or 1 15 oz can
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or diced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
6 tomatillos, chopped
1 small to medium zucchini, chopped (about 1 1/2 - 2 cups)
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup plain, unsweetened yogurt (use Greek yogurt if you like a little more "tang")
4 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock
1/2 cup (2 oz) grated Monterey jack cheese
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
2 sprigs Fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
Kosher salt to taste
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Optional: diced jalapeno, red pepper flakes, cayenne to taste

Slow Cooker Directions: Place all ingredients except cheese and yogurt in slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours. Add yogurt to slow cooker right before serving and sprinkle 1-2 Tablespoons of cheese on each serving.

Alternate (Stove top) Directions: Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat in a large stock pot/Dutch oven. Add onion, green pepper, salt, black pepper, cumin and garlic. Saute just until softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomatillo and zucchini and saute for another 3 minutes. Add beans, chicken and stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes, until vegetables are cooked as desired. Remove from heat and stir in yogurt. Sprinkle each serving with 1-2 Tbsp of cheese.


Great northern beans: $1.29/1 lb pkg, used 1/3 of pkg = $.43
Chicken: $10 for one 3 1/2 lb whole chicken, used 1/3 = $3.33
Tomatillos: $1.99/lb, 6 tomatillos weighed 7 oz =$.87
Green bell pepper = $.59
Zucchini: On sale for $.99/lb, used one 6 oz zucchini = $.59
Red onion: $.75/lb, used 8 oz onion = $.38
Garlic: $.25/head, used 2 cloves (1/6) = $.04
Yogurt (organic): $4.69/32 oz container, used 1/8 =$.59
Monterey jack cheese (organic): On sale for $3.49/8 oz pkg, used 2 oz (1/4)  =$.87

Total Cost: $7.69
Six Servings: $1.28 per serving

Vegetarian Cost (subtract chicken): $4.36
Six Servings: $.73 per serving

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